The Dos & Don’ts of Waiting for Medical School Offers
Waiting for medical school offers is without doubt an incredibly stressful time. The main thing to remind yourself is that worrying will not change the outcome, so it’s not really worth the energy at all. Here are some things you should and you shouldn’t do…
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DON’T Look on Online Forums
It’s tempting, as I know from first-hand experience. I probably spent whole days on The Student Room, but just try to stop yourself. It doesn’t help, it won’t make you feel better and it won’t change the outcome. Plus, it wastes time that could be better spent in many other ways.
I’m not going to deny that the student room can be helpful at times, so checking it occasionally is fine, but don’t use it to compare yourself to other candidates or to unnecessarily worry yourself when other people start receiving offers and rejections.
I remember when I was waiting for my medical school offers, a student announced that they had received an offer from a particular university as a joke which made everyone who applied there go into a huge panic, when in fact the university hadn’t even started giving out offers. All I’m saying is, take things you read on online forums with a pinch of salt.
Read 4 Tips to Balance Interview Preparation and A-Levels>>
DON’T Think Negatively
Quite simply put, it’s a waste of time and energy and just like I mentioned above, it won’t change the outcome. Just remind yourself that whatever is going to happen, will happen and it’s just literally a waiting game.
If you do get an offer it’ll be amazing and if you don’t there’s plenty of other options for you – it won’t be the end of the world. It’s easy to get into a negative cycle of thinking and people quite often mention that they feel they’re “not good enough”.
Just think, you were invited to interview because the med school believes you’re worthy based on your whole application.
I remember an admissions tutor before one of my interviews telling all the applicants that everyone who’s been invited to interview actually deserves an offer and would get one, but unfortunately, they have a cap on the number of students they can take on – that’s the only reason why people get rejected at interview, not because they don’t deserve the place.
Read How to Look After Your Mental Health During A-Levels>>
DON’T Replay the Interview in Your Head
No matter how many interviews a person has done, or how amazing they are at them, when you think back at it there will always be things you will feel you could have done better or differently. Stay away from I trap of ‘I should have said xyx”.
The interview outcomes are very unpredictable anyway and trust me when I say you will not be able to truly judge how good or bad your performance was. I got my first rejection from the university I thought I had my best interview at and then I was placed on the reserve list for the interview I thought couldn’t have gone worse.
Read 3 Tips to Kick-Start Your A-Level Revision>>
DO Work on Your A-Levels
Right now, that’s the only thing you really have control over so you should be shifting your attention to your A-levels. Throughout applying and preparing for interviews you may have fallen a little behind, so now’s the time to brush everything up. Feel free to check out my A-level Biology and Chemistry notes if you need a hand with summarising everything you need to know.
Remember, whatever decision the medical school come to, you’ll still need to achieve those A-level grades and the earlier you put your gear down, the more likely you are to be happy on results day!
Read our A-Level tips here:
DO Check Your Emails Regularly
Not obsessively, but just at least once a day. It may be worth giving your junk folder a little look through as well as I know students who have initially missed decisions from universities in there. Whether it’s good or bad or news you do want to find out as soon as you can.
The university might send their decision directly via email or update on UCAS track. If it’s done on UCAS track, you’ll receive a notification about the change in status, so you’ll definitely be well covered if you keep an eye on your inbox.
Read How Does Medicine Differ From A-Levels?
DO Think About a Plan B
Hopefully, you won’t be needing it, but if you do end up not receiving an offer you want to be prepared. There are many different options that you can choose and it’s worth being aware of them beforehand – have a read of them here.
Having a bit of plan will also help to keep you a little calmer because it’ll make you realise getting no offers really isn’t the be all and end all.
I hope this has been useful and helped you to shift your focus on to the right things. Good luck with hearing back from medical schools!
Read our guides to Reapplying to Medicine and Graduate Entry Medicine>>
Masumah is a 2nd year medical student at the University of Manchester. She writes a blog documenting her experience of medical school and gives tips to aspiring medics: lifeofamedic.com
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