I remember when I was young, I could never sleep. I would lay awake for hours and I only needed 3–5 hours a night to function at 100%. My sleep disparities persisted until after college. As I approached medical school, I knew things had to change. I knew memory formation and long term memory retention are dependent on the length and quality of sleep. If I was going to study 15hrs a day and remember everything I learned, I needed to figure out a way to sleep. Fast forward 5 years – I sleep between 6–7hrs a night.
We are obsessed with fast results. We want what we don’t have and we envy those who have photoshopped bodies or who have the job we want. Everyone talks about “starting tomorrow” or “One day I will…” but the reality is you can keep filling in the blanks because it is never going to happen unless you change one thing. Your MIND.
Over the years, I have learned a thing or two about graduate and professional school admissions. Five degrees down, half-way done with my last two, I never knew getting ‘into’ school was as much a skill as actually graduating. While each type of program has a different constellation of requirements, one part remains the same: the personal statement.
To most, motivation is but a fleeting moment in time we experience once a day, once a week, or once a month. It is the exception as opposed to the norm. We like to think we are always motivated, but without constant reminders, we realize the never-ending battle to stay motivated is within ourselves. An incessant, internal dialogue, where we try to convince ourselves we are going to be productive, just so three hours later we can mentally shame ourselves for sitting on youtube or Instagram for 2 hours and 45 minutes. We all know this scenario too well.
The other day I was sent a message from a friend: “Hi Frank. This is kind of a weird thing to ask you, but do you have any tips for social anxiety/confidence? I have this event this week with a group of friends where I’m kind of “known” as the shy person, but I really want to change that. I have become so aware of my every move and worried that people will think I’m weird, so I just don’t say anything at all or reach out to get to know anyone else! Any tips? Thanks in advance!”
So to recap — the thing I think every student who is a freshman-junior in college should work on is making sure they have fulfilled all of these important parts of the application. Make sure your GPA and MCAT are competitive. Make sure you have shadowing experience. Make sure you have some type of research experience. Make sure you have some volunteer and leadership experience. And make sure you know what makes you different and what sets you apart.