Getting to Med School

So I thought I would use this page to tell you all how I (eventually) got to Med School. It was not the quick journey I thought it would be growing up. I thought I would go from GCSE’s, to A levels and straight onto Medicine. Simple huh? I even planned to go to Oxford when I was 16. Safe to say, that did not happen !

So my GCSE’s were the norm for most medical students. I got mostly A’s with three B’s and I was proud of my results! It meant I could go to the Sixth Form of the school that I had missed out on when I failed the 11+ when I was … well 11.

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So far, so good.

We then hit A levels. I had chosen to do English Lit/Lang (big mistake),
Psychology, Chemistry and Biology. We also had to take general studies and do
the EPQ as part of my studies there.

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I struggled. I was so used to being at the top of my year and now, I was
barley passing exams. I was failing left right and centre. English, a subject
which I loved, became my worst enemy and I wanted to skip every lesson. I
should not have changed to the language side and stuck with the literature
side. I felt so horrible, my favourite subject pouring over books and now it
was becoming a drain on me. I was also struggling with the change to a huge
school from a tiny school, new routines, new teachers, new friends and it was
all becoming a bit too much. Chemistry was not going well and even biology,
something I also loved and was my strongest of the three core sciences was
failing me. I became extremely ill and in hindsight, I should have stopped my
education to give me time to recover, but I am stubborn.

I received my results and got CCD with my lowest mark being in chemistry but
that was the subject I wanted to take forward despite it being my lowest
subject. I dropped English like a hot rock and I was determined to keep going on.
That day was a huge shock for me, I had failed before in the past but not to
this extent. However, a day later and I was ready to come back fighting.

I spent my A2 year revising from day one in my breaks for my re-take exams (I
was doing one from every subject) and I was working harder than ever to improve
my grades. Despite this, my grades were still not moving. I kept failing every
chemistry exam, barley getting E’s in biology and doing ok in Psychology.
However, come December I received the news that I was on the Autistic Spectrum.
Suddenly, a lot more made sense. My medication was changed, and I kept trying.

I wasn’t expecting good results to be honest. None of my grades were moving
but I had got an A for my biology coursework, so I was pretty happy with that.
Exams came and went and soon it was results day. In the time of A2 I had
received 7 university rejections and went into results day knowing I would be
calling clearing hotlines.

My exam results were BCE with my biology only 2 marks off the A. I was happy
that I didn’t fail chemistry so I practically ran back to the car and was on
the phone to universities to see if I could get onto a degree in Neuroscience.
My second call was UCLan and I had applied for the foundation course in
Neuroscience and was accepted. I was finally going to uni! I was sent an email
later on in the day saying that I had been boosted to the normal three-year
course which was another boost to the day.

I spent the most amazing three years in Preston in which I found my friends
for life and had the most amazing opportunities. I discovered my love of
science outreach, got to work in the Lancashire Science festival which has
become my favourite time of the year. It soon became the summer of second year
and I was finally applying for the course I had wanted to apply for since I was
in year 7.

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I took only the UKCAT (now known as the UCAT). The GAMSAT was just too
expensive for an exam I didn’t think I would be ready for. This however, only left
me with three choices:

·      Warwick

·      Kings College London

·      Newcastle

I knew this was risky and that I probably wouldn’t get in but I was determined
anyway. I took my UKCAT on the 14th of September and got an average
of 695 and Band 1. I was ecstatic. I had got the highest score I had ever got for
my quantitative reasoning and I knew I could apply with that score. The
following months were torture after that. Waiting for results to come though
was agonising, refreshing my emails every 20 seconds. I even gave my phone to
my course mate at one point to stop me refreshing it.

However, on the day I moved back home for Christmas I received my offer to
an interview at Warwick. I could not believe it! I interviewed on the 4th
of January and waited over a month to hear back. In that time I took my Sem 1
exams and found out I had an interview at Kings College London. That was a huge
shock for me because I knew they only took in 18 applicants and in 2016 they had
1800 applicants.

On the 19th February 2019 I received an email saying I had gotten
into Warwick. I can remember it like yesterday. I was coming down in a lift to
my academic supervisor as my cells had decided to infect themselves over the
weekend and I was really annoyed. I had gotten my phone out of my pocket out of
habit and there it was. An offer.

I was a mess for the next 5 minutes, shaking like a leaf. I honestly thought
that I was going to get another one saying administrative error. I was in.

In March I also received an email saying I had gotten an offer for Kings. I
could not believe the screen. Me? They wanted me out of 1799 people? I had two
offers when I was not even expecting one. I remember the months leading up to these
as torture. I worked for the university call centre during this time, so I was
calling people up and congratulating them on their offers when I still hadn’t heard.
At one point I just had to walk out because the unknown was killing me.

But I had two offers ! It was hard deciding between them because Kings had
been the dream for a while but Warwick had become a uni I was excited by. I was
excited by their peer support programmes and I preferred the feel of the place
in comparison to kings. I had to go and see Kings one last time and the thing
that nailed it in the coffin for me were the students at Kings who couldn’t
even be bothered to get out of their chairs to talk to us. The place didn’t feel
right to me and I would be thrown into the second year of a degree knowing I
would not have covered most of the 1st. So, Warwick was the obvious
choice for me!

I have now finished first year and I love it here. I would pick Warwick over
and over again every time. One day, I want to work in London but for me, having
only GEM students here and everyone being that more mature, makes the degree a
perfect fit for me.

If I needed to do it all over again, I would. A levels were torture but
doing the degree before medicine allowed me to live the student life and get
involved in as much as I could. Medicine for me at 18 would not have been wise.
I needed that three extra years to mature a little and understand how I work.

So that’s it ! My rollercoaster to Medicine, and I would ride it all over
again 😊

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