Starting this year, I had said that it would be my last attempt to get into medical school. I studied for the GAMSAT harder and smarter then I ever had before and saw a corresponding increase in score. I begun to hope that I might just have a chance at this medical school business after all. I submitted my applications, and played the waiting game. The absolute shock I felt when reading those emails inviting me to interview I will remember for a very long time. Not one, but two of them. I didn’t think it was real. A large part of me still doesn’t believe it is real.
So I went, and I interviewed and tried to answer the questions I was asked as thoughtfully and as honestly as I could. Walking out of those two interviews I was sure I had blown both of them. I was sure that I wasn’t as smart, or as eloquent, or as impassioned as the other candidates I met. That my responses were somehow lacking and not what the interviewers were looking for. It was such a strange feeling, this thought of not measuring up. Of being somehow lesser. I suppose my confidence has taken more of a beating from my unsuccessful attempts than I realised. That, and I’ve med so many incredible people in my lifetime, I feel pretty mediocre in comparison.
To my absolute disbelief, this year I am in the enviable position of being given the choice to choose between two very old and well established medical schools. I never thought I would find myself in the position I now find myself in. And it still doesn’t seem real. Any moment, I expect the universities to say sorry, we’ve made a mistake. We never should have offered you a place. I feel incredibly lucky to have even one offer, let alone two. In some ways, I kind of wish I only had the one offer, so then I wouldn’t have to choose. I suspect there will be many moments over the next four years when I wonder if I made the right choice.
For now I’m writing lists of pros and cons. The main two considerations for me at the moment are finances and location. You see, one of the offers is at a school whose campus is about a 30 minute drive from my house, the other requires a few hours on a plane to get there. Which isn’t exactly a reasonable daily commute. The costs of relocating/ living in one of the most expensive cities in Australia while on a tight student budget are very big concerns, although I think academically the far away school would suit me better. However, I could live with my parents if I were to go to the closer school, and my workplace would facilitate a job for me (not the one I currently hold of course, but there would be something that would fit with my uni schedule) making the finances thing less of a concern.
These are just the main items on my list of considerations. There are many other aspects to this decision, and it is certainly not one I am making lightly. At the same time, I feel a sense of urgency to have this settled. Not only to enable me to plan either way, but also because I know there is another candidate out there somewhere who would love to have my place, once it is offered to them. I want them to have the time to plan and organise a move if necessary. It would also make one hell of a Christmas present for a lucky someone.
And now, it’s back to my lists. If all else fails, I suppose I could flip a coin to determine my fate. 😉