…we are unable to consider you further for admissions…it was decided that you are not competitive enough…”
The worst beginning to a sentence that I dread to read every time I open a medical school admissions decision e-mail….The kind of sentences that makes you feel empty, inadequate, and simply all-over numb.
This week was rough because I received 4 out-of-state medical school rejections pretty much back to back. The more rejection e-mails I start to receive, the harder it begins to sink in. I’ve been rejected from many things in my life and I am definitely no stranger to being turned down; however, medical school applications weigh so much more to me because it’s my future and it’s my life.
My mom, sister, and boyfriend have been extremely supportive during this time. Whenever I inform them of the unfortunate news, they’re always saying it’s okay and those aren’t the school you really want to go to anyways. It terrifies me of how I will feel if, and hopefully not, I do end being turned down from in-state schools. It’s unfortunate, but my anxieties begin to creep in, and I can’t help but feel a bit sad and lost. However, I believe by letting myself feel those emotions, embracing the rejection, and then being able to let go and move on, is an important coping strategy that I’ve learned works best for me. Rather than being in denial and then having all the emotions come crashing on me all at once, I think it’s important to have an outlet, someone to talk to, or something you do that will help you let off steam. For me, I talk to my mom who seems to be full of never-ending optimistic and supportive responses. She gets me through the hard times, and talks me out of my darkest moments. She reminds me to maintain a faith so strong it can move mountains. She emphasizes that I have a path set by God, and perhaps this particular school wasn’t a part of it. She reassures me that my weaknesses can only get stronger.
When I take time to let my mother’s words sink in, I start to feel a little better, stand a little straighter, and lift my chin a little higher. Having someone like my mom just affirms the importance of surrounding yourself with supportive and positive people. Once you start to hear enough positive things, you actually begin to believe them too! When someone told me freshman year of college that being a pre-med is hard, I didn’t believe them. I didn’t believe them because people around me were getting accepted left and right! However, the important thing to remember is that the successes of other people do not reflect the failures of your own because your journey is unique. Your path is different because you are a different person than your peers.
I know how it feels to want something so bad you’d give anything for it. I know how it feels to be so confident you’ve got something, just to be told “no, you don’t got it”. I know how it feels to doubt yourself in the midst of successful people. I know how it feels to be so uncertain about your future that you just want to crawl into your bed and take a really long nap. Finally, I know you are not alone because I am in your shoes and I am here for you too.
With all this said, you know as well as I do that this is not the end of my endeavor. No matter how long the journey, how difficult the struggles, and how much the sweat, nothing can get in the way of my dream for the white coat. Until it comes true, I will be here working as hard as ever to finally read the words, “Congratulations! We are happy to inform you of your acceptance to…..”