A question I have received from a premed student recently was, "Is premed really that intimidating?" And, the short answer is yes and no. Largely because this is a subjective question, and it varies depending on what one might think is "hard." Additionally, you will be in school for a very, very, very long time.
I repeat: a very long time.
And to even be a competitive applicant, it seems as though there is an impossible list of requirements:
- High GPA
- Great ECs
- Reference letters!
- Killer MCAT score?!
- International volunteer work?!
- Olympic GOLD MEDAL?!
Oh. My. Gosh. How the hell is anyone supposed to have time to even eat?!
The truth of the matter is that, no. You do not need all of those criteria to be a competitive medical student. If you did, I would have never been accepted because, let's face it, I really am quite horrid at sports.
So what do I need to work on?
I highly recommend that you work on having a great GPA. Though this might not come easily, you might have to work very hard at this (I know I did), it's worth the effort. And you might think that you don't have time for extracurriculars, but if you choose ECs you are passionate about, making time for these will be a must for your sanity.
You must put the hard work in because medicine is not easy and because of that, medical schools select for a certain type of keen person who is willing to dedicate their lives towards this field.
How do I deal with negativity and hardships?
It might feel intimidating at times, so please do take the time to take care of yourself. Surround yourself with people you love, and that support your goals. Also, I have had to deal with countless upsets and rejections along the way. Please, do not beat yourself up. I know so many premeds and medical students that continually strive towards perfection. Medical schools do seem to select for type A personalities, after all. But the key is not in perfection, it's within your ability to persevere.
Best of luck on your journey :)