Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Somebody Loves Me

After much waiting, hand-wringing, email-refreshing, praying, nervously checking my phone for missed calls, and more waiting, I am incredibly excited and humbled to report that I have finally been accepted to medical school. Three, actually—Wayne State, followed by Saint Louis, and finally, Loyola—which, as of now, is my top choice.

I didn’t hear anything particularly exciting the first week that acceptances could go out, which, although totally normal, was still nerve-wracking. To make matters worse, Temple sent me a letter in the mail saying I was waitlisted and wouldn’t hear anything back until May 15 (cue dreams of being waitlisted at every school, anxiously wondering if I’m actually horrible at interviewing, worrying if I would have to reapply, etc.).  

Finally, half-way through the second week and before I had started crafting a new personal statement for the next cycle (ok, just kidding. I was going to give it another week…), Wayne State sent me an email saying that I was accepted for the entering class of 2013. Of course, they couldn’t just come right out and say it—the subject line of the email contained the vaguely condemning phrase “Wayne State School of Medicine Decision Date.” The body of the email continued the trend of impending doom:

“Decisions have been made for this round.  Offers are being made to approximately 1/7 of our class at this time.  The attached document indicates the decision of the committee.  We appreciate your interest in our medical school."

Of course, while reading this, especially after Temple’s waitlist decision, I thought for sure I was a waitlisted again—or worse, rejected. But when I opened the attached document, the first thing I saw—much to my relief—was “Congratulations” written in large, green, Microsoft Word 97-esque font.  Even though Wayne State wasn’t necessarily my top choice, it was incredibly humbling and exiting to know that I will, in fact, be going to medical school next year.

The next day, Saint Louis sent me an acceptance email. They were much more straightforward about it, which my nerves were grateful for—the subject line read “Saint Louis University Acceptance.” Now, not only am I going to school next year, but at a place where I really felt like I fit well and would enjoy going. Also, I’d much rather take my wife to Saint Louis than Detroit…

The rest of the week was spent alternately feeling incredibly excited about knowing what we would be doing for the next four years and growing increasingly nervous about the upcoming Monday—the day the admissions committee at Loyola Stritch would be meeting to discuss our fate. Although I would be more than happy to attend Saint Louis, my day at Loyola had blown me away and I really fell in love with the school.

That Monday, despite refreshing my email as if my life depended on it and keeping my phone close by (I literally held it in my hand during class, ready to bolt for the door at the first hint of a vibration), I heard nothing from Loyola. I had been thinking that it would be fun to go out to dinner that night with my wife and grab a movie in celebration if I was accepted. However, once I didn’t hear anything by 5:00 pm their time, I had begun to resign myself that perhaps it wasn’t going to happen, at least that day. Even so, we still wanted to go out. Before heading to our favorite local 60’s-themed diner, we stopped at a strip mall—I had recently ripped a pair of jeans helping my in-laws move, and needed a new pair. While checking out at around 6:00 pm Chicago time, my phone started ringing, and there was a 708 area code on the screen. I whispered an excited “Loyola!” to my wife and made a beeline for the door—there was loud music playing in the store, and I thought it best that the good people at Loyola didn’t think I was taking their call in a club or something. Accepted! We were then able to carry on with our evening, this time with an awesome reason to celebrate!

Now I’m just waiting to hear back from UW, which will probably happen in the next few weeks. I honestly wasn’t personally blown away by the school, though it does have an awesome reputation. However, given its price and proximity to family, it will complicate things if I get accepted there. Boston won’t say anything till January. Also, I think I’m officially going to be done interviewing, unless Baylor decides to send an invite my way. That’s exciting in of itself—though it’s fun to see new places, traveling really gets old after a while. I’d rather be home with my wife.

I am extremely grateful to have been accepted this early in the cycle. I know it’s not uncommon to have to wait until spring to find out if you are accepted or not, and many people end up having to endure multiple cycles. That could have easily been me. There are thousands of highly-qualified applicants, and though there are certain things that can be done to strengthen an application, as well as some rhyme and reason to the selection process, there is also a good bit of arbitrary randomness as well. I am exceedingly thankful that I have been accepted, particularly to Loyola, one of my top choices. Now, I can just settle in for the last part of the pre-med ride—for me, the remainder of senior year.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thoughts? Comments? Requests? Let me know!