This week marked a somewhat momentous occasion in my medical school application process: I finished my last secondary application (for a recap of the process, see “The Long Haul Begins“). Well, technically there’s one more lurking out there but I already decided that a) since they haven’t sent it out yet and b) I don’t actually know in what state the medical school is located, I probably shouldn’t waste my time applying.
While I will never single a school out here, some of the secondary applications schools sent out were patently absurd. A standard secondary usually asked for a 250-500 word essay or two; the high out of my list of schools was five. On the other hand, some schools simply asked you to resubmit your contact information and check whether you have siblings, then requested their $120 supplemental fee in a blatant money grab. That pissed me off, but at least they were honest about their intent – they didn’t care about any essays at all.
At some point, the onslaught of secondaries became funny (I applied to twenty schools, so they started to blur after about secondary number eleven). One school asked me to describe my interest in their school in 50 words or less; I wrote a haiku. Another asked me to write my autobiography; I wrote a 1500-word monster about digging holes in my backyard, accidentally sending my brother to the ER, and my ex-girlfriends. Yes, seriously. A third school requested 100 words on my greatest challenge, how I overcame it, and what I learned. 100 words!? This paragraph is 100 words. That essay was my greatest challenge, and I never did overcome it very well.
Some schools asked me to dig up old GRE schools or high school credits. One wanted my SAT score, broken down by section. I had to call the testing service to get the information, considering I took the SAT in 2005 and can’t remember anything more than 48 hours old.
Let’s just call it a trying process. But it’s done.
So what happens now? Now I, and everyone else, wait. Some schools are quick to offer interviews; I received my first interview the day after my MCAT score came in (I mentioned this previously). Other schools explicitly tell you when they begin releasing interviews. Others say absolutely nothing, and the only way to get a sense for when they will be interviewing is to check a message board like Student Doctor Network, which is a great resource for how school did things last year while simultaneously being the scariest website I’ve ever visited. Spend 10 minutes on SDN and you’ll be convinced that applying to medical school is an exercise in total futility, heartbreak, and anger.
This weekend thus marks the first time since May 2011 that I’ve been truly free. I have no obligations right now besides work; I have no organic chemistry homework, no MCAT to study for or stress over, and now no secondary essay to wait on or fill out. It’s an amazing feeling, and one I’m not sure how to handle.
Is it weird that I decided to write about not having anything else to write about?