Today, I’m bringing you all a more traditional story time blog post. This whole blog was originally created to document my journey through medical school and share my own personal experiences, but over time I can see I’ve been kind of drifting away from that because many of you are asking for tips and advice on various different things. Those types of posts are hopefully a great help to you all, but for this week you can sit back and enjoy a story-style recount of the day I received my med school offer…
So let’s start right at the beginning, well sort of beginning anyway since we’re skipping the whole long application journey, but that’s a whole other story we can save for another day. The beginning of this story and my gateway to completing this first year at medical school began with a single offer. It was the thing that had been on my mind for the past couple of years. Hoping for it, willing that somehow I would be granted it, but deep down believing it would never come my way. But it did.
It was the 16th of March. I remember this day so vividly. It was one of those cold, icy sunny days. I had come out of my Maths lesson at 12 pm, I had an early finish on Wednesdays. Unfortunately, my friend had a dentist appointment so she dashed off straight after class, deserting me. I could have gone home then too, but I made the conscious decision to stay behind and get some work done. Exams were slowly edging closer and me, having been so preoccupied with applying for Medicine, had semi-neglected my all-important A-level subjects. So you can see I was pretty much forcing myself to focus by going into the “silent study” section of the library and finding a quiet desk right in the corner. This was my favourite spot in the library, it had a huge pillar in front of it blocking out pretty much the rest of civilisation so you could truly pretend you were alone and concentrate like never before. Unfortunately, this giant pillar also blockaded the clock from view so whenever I sat there I have to keep checking my phone. I usually lay it out on the desk in front of me, but that day I made the conscious decision not to, to prevent myself from getting distracted.
Next, I rummaged through my bag and fished out some maths past papers I had pre-planned I would complete. So much work do! Maths was just getting more and more difficult, day by day. It honestly used to pain me to make myself sit down and dedicate some time to the subject that scarred me with its severe difficulty!
Anyway, at this stage, I already had a huge grey cloud of two rejections hanging over my head (both of which came over two consecutive days). I had always hoped that if I did get any offers, that they would come before any rejections, but they didn’t for me. By this stage, I was weak by the sheer volumes of emotional energy that was demanded of me to battle my way through these rejections. It is mentally and physically exhausting to keep thinking, desperately awaiting and keep consistently searching on the internet until you hear back from the universities you applied to…and then to eventually hear the final nope we don’t want you from them. I knew Manchester’s response was due any day now but by this stage, I had fully accepted my fate of not getting and offers: I had stopped refreshing UCAS track on the minute and I had stopped obsessively checking the student room. Instead, I had just been through a huge change in mindset and I decided to focus on what could be changed at this stage: my A-level grades.
So like I said, I was calmly working my way through this Maths paper, and actually enjoying it. I tend to find that when I actually start the paper I seem to become really engrossed in it, it’s a pretty bizarre phenomenon I’ve got to admit. The time ticks by and I was probably about in the middle of this paper when I start to wonder what the time it is. Rooting in my bag I find my phone and hold it up to my face before pressing the home button. And there it is “Your application to Manchester Medical School” staring right back at me. At that moment, I actually stopped breathing. I became really light-headed and I honestly don’t think I knew what I was doing at all when I firmly pressed my thumb on the button. My fingerprint was recognised and my phone unlocked. Within an instant, I was in that email and my eyes were racing across the words, jumping from letter to letter. I wasn’t reading any of the sentences or comprehending what was written on this miniature screen in front of me, I was simply frantically searching, my eyes not satisfied until they had found either the word “offer” or “rejection”.
There it was. Following your recent interview, I am writing to offer you a place to study Medicine here at the University of Manchester, joining us in September 2017. My heart was already pounding beyond control, and upon reading those words the muscular contractions suddenly increased in intensity by tenfold. If there was anything I was aware of at that moment it was definitely how quickly and how powerfully my heart was beating. My hands were visibly shaking – I was in a state of pure shock. There was so much adrenaline suddenly bursting through me, this was the greatest moment of suspense I had ever experienced in my whole 18 years of life. Was this real?
With my trembling fingers, I managed to swipe my way to my mum’s number and give her a call to tell her the news. As soon as uttered the words I heard her voice break and she started crying on the phone. It was just so surreal. I distinctly remember asking her to hold the phone whilst I double checked the email to make sure I had interpreted it correctly since this conversation was currently relying on the sighting of a single word. And that was the first time I read the email properly. I was still feeling really lightheaded and uncontrollably shaking, so much so that I could not possibly stay in my comfortable corner spot in the library and finish that maths paper (despite really getting into the zone with it a few moments ago). I asked to be picked up and my mum and dad both came to take me home. There was no way I could remain in a public environment in the state I was in at that moment.
By the time I was driven home, my whole family knew and I also found out my friend had received the same offer! I was so happy, words can’t describe the gratitude of that moment. Everything had worked out, finally!
And that’s my short and sweet offer-day recount.
Let me know what you thought of this post – would you be interested in reading more posts like this?