Didn't get an offer to medical school?
For those who didn’t get an offer, I’ve been there before and experienced that feeling for four years before I got in. I think the worst feeling was my first time getting rejected because, during year 12, I didn’t properly grasp the idea that I was more likely than not to be rejected from medical school. So I didn’t plan ahead and was sort of shell-shocked up until the first day of uni started in my neuroscience degree.
Although it may feel like it, it's not the end of the world. If anything, being rejected at least once allows you to get a year of adult experiences outside of the world of medicine and make you a more well-rounded doctor in the future. When you get into medicine, it becomes exceedingly difficult (but not impossible) to do anything outside of medical school. All that volunteering you hear about people doing as pre-meds is almost non-existent in medical students - it's not because they don't want to but because it's VERY hard to find the time to do it.
Use this year for doing the things that you love and exploring things you always wanted to explore. For example, I used my first year of university to experience research and volunteer for things I never thought I'd dabble in. I came out the other end believing that I don't particularly enjoy those things but what a valuable experience! To know that you're not head over heels for something when you have the spare time instead of finding out when you are busy and you have no chance to experiment with a potential career path is so valuable!
On top of that, who knows, you might find something else you thoroughly enjoy even more than medicine! When I was in year 12 (and almost all of you who haven't been successful in getting an offer this year), I had never experienced any professional field in the world. For those of us in this camp:
- The concept and idea of medicine sound good but how do we know we don't love something else more than medicine?
- How do we know if medicine is actually what we, as people with no real exposure to medicine (and no, shadowing a doctor/having a family of doctors/researching about being a doctor, etc. isn't "real exposure"), think it is?
The reality is that we have no answers to these questions because we have no real experience. We will never be able to answer the second question but at least through spending an extra year (or a few years), we can try and answer question 1 to some extent!
Not getting in is heartbreaking for the vast majority of people and I know it was for me. Take your time to process it and get ready for some exciting times ahead. If you're going into your first year of uni, you're going into a world of opportunity. Try and take every opportunity you get and take advantage of the (relative to when you're in medicine) copious amounts of time you have. Experience as many things as possible and become the best version of yourself.
Feel free to watch this short video detailing what I got up to in the four years I didn't get into medical school.
VERY important reading for every single student who didn't get into medical school. It'll save you thousands of dollars and a bunch of time.