Monday, 30 December 2013

Not every dream has a fairytale ending

I was feeling rather optimistic post UKCAT that I would at least get an interview at one of the 5 year courses I applied to.  Sadly I had to focus my choices in London due to family circumstances, which initially I had thought would give me a fighting chance of success, but it turns out not so much. I was rejected from the Uni I thought I had the best chance at (I'm not going to name it I'm afraid) for both the 4 year and the 5 year courses almost immediately.  I have since been rejected from another 4 year course which leaves one 5 year course left, I'm 100% sure that will too be a rejection as ironically that was what I considered my "long shot".  I was disappointed, but not heartbroken.  I think I've realised that medicine wants different things from its students than it did years ago, even only 4 years later the entrance requirements are so ridiculously high now for the UKCAT for certain, if not most, Universities.  I am feeling rather defeated by it all.

I have worked really hard for the last 4 years to get to a point where I have a strong application, I have the first, I have (what I thought was) a pretty good UKCAT score, I have extra curricula awards and achievements, the voluntary work, work experience, yet still it isn't enough.  Those 3 little numbers on the UKCAT mean that someone didn't even read about the rest of it.  I'm a mature student and yes I could apply again, but those 3 little numbers mean that there is a strong possibility I would end up right back here again, having spent another year chasing a dream that deep down I think I know can't happen for me.

I believe I would have had a really enjoyable and successful career and that I would have loved being a doctor so much, but I think perhaps after 2 attempts at the UKCAT which haven't resulted in even an interview or my personal statement even being looked at, that I should call it a day and accept that it isn't meant to be.  I still have my UKCAT books and my GAMSAT books if I change my mind in the new year, but right now…I think that it is the end of my medicine journey.

I'm sorry to those who have been following me for the last few years that my story doesn't have a happier ending.  I'll still update the blog when I've made my final decision in time. Thank you for sharing my experiences with me, I've appreciated everyone's support a great deal. xxx

Saturday, 28 September 2013


So after not being well for the GAMSAT (again!) I was starting to lose hope of being able to apply for med school this year, but I decided to bite the bullet and take the UKCAT this week.

I was so scared, I literally was feeling petrified! Had to take two trains to get there and then walk for about 20 mins to find the centre, when I got there it wasn't open as they were closed for lunch so I spent ages praying I was in the right place surrounded by people who were incredibly calm waiting to go for their driving theory tests. So after getting all signed in I sat down and took a few deep breaths for a moment and then started the test!  I found the VR section rather stressful and the QR section incredibly stressful, in fact I didn't manage to put anything at all for the last question as I ran out of time and had to guess about 10 questions as I just wasn't quick enough!  Abstract reasoning started to make me feel slightly better about it all as to be honest after QR I was starting to feel a little hopeless, and DA went really well.  The SJT was completely fine and about 30 questions from the end of the section I started to really look forward to the whole thing being over...and then panicked that I wouldn't have done very well in it.

I finally finished and went to collect my stuff from the locker whilst waiting for the results. My heart was pounding and I was over the moon when I saw I had 710 overall and SJT band 1!

I was thrilled as I genuinely was just praying for 650 so as you can imagine I feel very very lucky.  Now comes the hard part....choosing where to apply and writing my personal statement (I didn't want to start it before I took the UKCAT as I felt as if I was jinxing myself).  So here we go....fingers crossed my luck continues!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Been here a month already!

So time really does fly!  We've been here a month already, we're still absolutely in love with it all, sofa arrived and we have new bookcases being delivered in the morning (after a 3 week wait grr!).  It really feels like home now and we can't believe we didn't move years ago! 

So what have I been up to?  Mainly trying to figure out the UKCAT, I'm not too bad at it, but unfortunately I'm just not quite speedy enough which is very frustrating but I'm a lot calmer about it than last year.  I'm concerned that its going to be the QR and AR which will be my stumbling blocks, but I'm trying to get my head around them!  Time will tell.  

  I'm taking the GAMSAT next week, however I haven't prepared enough for section 3 for it to be a successful attempt, I'm hoping it will give me a good idea of where I'm lacking in knowledge ready for March though (for 2015 entry if I'm unsuccessful this year).  Just started redrafting my personal statement too which shouldn't take too long at least.  

I'll be happy once my GAMSAT is over and my UKCAT the following week too!  I'm rather dreading them both if I'm honest, I don't have a lot of confidence in them but we shall see!  In the interim, I'm trying to enjoy what is left of the summer, I have a feeling the next 12 months are going to be very busy indeed! 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

New House!

We made it! We managed to move into the new house and remarkably our furniture is all in one piece.  Moving was very stressful and it is only now (5 days later) we've managed to let things calm down and our belongings seem to be finding homes.  Our new house is absolutely gorgeous, we're thrilled with it. We met our landlords today and they were lovely too which was a hugh weight off our shoulders.  We also had the internet installed today which made a big difference too.  We're still waiting for our new sofa to be delivered though, looking forward to that arriving and it feeling even more like home. 

Other half and I have enjoyed exploring and we're really loving the area, this was definitely a brilliant move.  Now we're just getting everything ready for starting Uni again in September.  My other half's place at Uni will turn from conditional to unconditional tomorrow which is brilliant and I've had my enrolment date too which is great.  We're going back home to see my family in 3 weeks before we enrol as I've just become and Auntie again which was lovely, I was thrilled that I was able to see him a few times before we moved, but we want to go back a few times before Christmas to get to know him a little more in these early months.  

Facetime is currently my new best friend, loving being able to see my family even though I've moved nearly 4 hours away from them.  Wish I'd had that when my mum had been alive, she would have loved it! Anyway, a very domestic update from me, I'm going to settle down for the evening and relax with a bar of chocolate.  Hope everyone is having a good week! 

Friday, 26 July 2013

Stress of Moving

I've moved house a number of times as an adult.  As a child I had one family home which we kept my whole life, we briefly had a second home in another area of the country for work purposes, but this was only for a few years and it was never our permanent base.  When my other half moved in with me I had been living in my apartment for only a couple of months, I fully intended to stay there for a good few years however it was really only a place for one person.  It was a two bed apartment but it just didn't fit our needs as a couple, so after we got engaged (4 years ago) we decided to buy.  

We bought a lovely house which I still adore, in a beautiful area right by a country park (which I equally still adore).  We had a new bathroom fitted, we redecorated, made the garden look lovely and made it our home.  Special highlights included being the first people into the country park after heavy snowfall, running through so much fresh snow when everything was still blue! Living near the coast for 4 years has also been a real treat for me and I will really miss it.  But we're ready to move on, to a new area of the country with more culture, more to do, yet still beautiful country parks around (but sadly no coast!). If I could pick our house up and move it to the new area I really would!  But I can't and we've found a lovely new home, slightly smaller than we have now, but its really gorgeous and we're thrilled about it.  

So, whats the catch? In honestly, the answer is actually moving! I've never found it stressful before, even when we moved from the apartment together it just wasn't difficult - yet this time it really feels like it is! We've got a lot of stuff, so much so that we've even been doing car boot sales (which are surprisingly lucrative).  But I can already feel myself getting anxious about packing, what should stay what should go...should we get new furniture, will this fit?  I always remember being told that 3 of the most stressful things in life are getting married (wasn't stressful it was exciting!), getting divorced (hoping this won't be something I have to go through!) and moving house (which I always thought of as an adventure previously).  

Hopefully this will be the last big move for a number of years as we've really fallen in love with the area! Fingers crossed my applications for med school agree with my new found love and let me stay there! My other half will be a student for the next 3 years and I'm doing my MSc next year, but if I'm lucky enough to get into med school it would be so lovely to not have to move again! But whatever will be will be, I will be grateful to get into med school anywhere!  

I shall report on the house-move progress as the packing progresses...for now its time to quickly hoover as we have a viewing this afternoon, fingers crossed!!!! 

Friday, 19 July 2013


I finally did it, I finally graduated! I'm a mature student so this feels like a particularly large life goal completed, I was however more excited when I had my results than I was on the morning of graduation. I knew it was a big deal but I didn't feel over the top excited about it if that makes any sense at all?! So when I arrived in the blistering sunshine, I was more concerned about passing out than I was about graduating! I was given the robes and then dressed, and it started to feel slightly more important (although I did feel a little bit like an extra from Harry Potter).  

I wasn't nervous about graduating per se, it reminded me of being in school and going up to receive an award in assembly a little bit, aside from the robes of course.  I was however extremely nervous about the fact that we had to walk down steps after we had been on stage....the steps were in the middle of the stage leading back down into the audience.  Let me say that again, steps in the middle of the stage + robes + my very very useless ankle = potential recipe for the most embarrassing moment of my entire life.  Fortunately, it wasn't, it was very pleasant and quite emotional.  I think it was about 10 mins before the end of the ceremony that it hit me that my degree and my time at the University I have grown to love very much over the last 3 years was over. I am leaving very dear friends, I'm moving away from my dad and family again and we're off to start new adventures at a new University.  I have a BSc, but I have a lot more than just that (I know it sounds like a cliche but its true). I have learnt that I'm able to follow something through and not only follow it through but do well at it! I'm still completely and utterly in love with medicine, I still want to be a doctor and hope I will get there eventually too.  I have volunteering experience and work experience which will continue throughout the next 12 months at least and I just feel like I've really made the most of what was in part a difficult 3 years. 

After we graduated we went and had photos done, of course the obligatory throwing the hats up in the air shot, jumping up and down in the robes looking elated etc. Then we went and had a small school reception and reminisced about how wonderful the last 3 years have been.  We're all off to do exciting things and we have plans to meet up at least once a year altogether which I really hope we stick to over the years.  But I did feel sad, which was completely unexpected to be honest.  

We have found a house and contracts etc are all signed so we're definitely off to London in the summer! I'm so very excited about this as I adore London, although I'm slightly dreading packing up our home! We've accumulated a lot of books over the last 4 years in fact we're going to do a car boot sale on the weekend just to try and get rid of some of the stuff we just haven't really used. As much as I'm adoring the weather I do wish it would perhaps just be a little milder whilst I'm moving, I don't particularly relish the thought of unpacking in 30 degree heat! 

Anyway, whatever you're all doing in this wonderful sunshine I hope you're all having a great time (and using suncream!).  To other graduates of all degrees - congratulations! 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Result: First Class Honours

I thought I should announce that after 3 years of hard work, I have the best result I could have possibly hoped for - First Class Honours.  To say that I am over the moon would be an understatement.  I'm absolutely thrilled.  

My final exam was also a first which means that my lowest mark for all of my third year was 2 marks off a first, the rest were all firsts! I never imagined it would go as well as it did and I feel really enthused and excited about moving onto my MSc in September (which has also since been confirmed as unconditional).  I have my voluntary work in the new location lined up ready to start in the summer.  The house is on the market, all in all everything is slowly slipping into place.  I feel very lucky indeed. 

Graduation is soon, followed by the graduation ball which I'm really looking forward to and then a summer of UKCAT, GAMSAT awaits! As well as moving etc too. 

Sorry this is short and sweet, but I wanted to share my good news with those who have been kind enough to read my blog over the last three years! Onto the next chapter of it.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Final Results Pending

Don't ask me how I did it, in honesty I have no idea, but I had a first for my dissertation and one of my final exams.  In fact I've only had 30 2:1 credits all year, the rest have all been firsts! I'm over the moon, I still don't know what my final exam result will be, but even if I don't get a first overall my lowest possible mark is a very high 2:1!  I feel very lucky after having such a stressful year last year to have had such a wonderful year so I'm over the moon.  I've really enjoyed the year and I'm actually really sad that my Undergraduate degree is over, I'm going to miss my friends but we're going to all be relatively close to each other.  Some are going on to do masters like I am, others have jobs lined up.  I'm now getting ready to start looking at the UKCAT, GAMSAT and BMAT. 

I'm hoping that this year I will get high enough marks in those exams to be competitive, if not then I will be taking a year out and reapplying next year!  I'm going to keep trying!  I'm hoping that eventually I will get there in the end.  Although I didn't put an application in last year I'm considering applying for at least one 5 year course to try and increase my chances....we shall see though.  
The house is on the market (yay!) so the wheels are firmly in motion for our big move.  My other half is also starting uni in September which will be very exciting.  I'm encouraged by my success in my BSc and looking forward to the MSc more and more each day.  Just waiting for my confirmation of my 2:1 (or above!). 

I'm a little nervous about my result for my final exam, although I'm not terribly good at guessing my results, this exam was quite a beast! I suppose it is good practice for the GAMSAT though.  I'm trying to decide how I'm going to tackle the revision for that, currently just considering what topics I need to go over.  I'm only going to be applying for one GAMSAT uni probably as I don't like the thought of putting several choices down when I don't already have the results in case I'm just wasting choices as I don't know the score.  

Anyway, enough rambling on.  I'm off to watch 24 hours in A and E on catch up! Thanks for reading :). 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Dissertation work

I'm nearly at the end of my third and final year.  So far my marks have been really high this year, my lowest was just 2 marks off a first, I don't know whether my overall final grade will be, but either way I'm over the moon with how this year has gone.  Its been hard work, but I couldn't have asked for better marks.  I'm in the middle of writing my dissertation, I'm actually really enjoying it (mostly) although I have my days where I would rather be doing almost anything else (as I'm sure most people do), overall I'm finding it really interesting and I definitely picked the right topic.  

Then I have my two final exams.  I'm actually REALLY nervous about these, I haven't finished my dissertation so I'm not dedicating enough time to my revision yet, which is frustrating as there are a lot of topics to cover.  I need to get my head in gear really and have my dissertation finished by the beginning of next month so I can plough head first into my revision. I think I am also overthinking my dissertation a little, perhaps I need to concentrate more on writing words on the page rather than making sure everything I write is absolutely perfect.  This is the largest piece of work I've ever done and I think it is good practice for my MSc, hopefully it will go well and I will get a good mark.  

Other than that I can't really think of anything to report, getting the house ready to sell still, we've planned where we're going to be living and my other half is getting ready to become and Undergraduate at the same uni I'm going to be doing my MSc.  Overall everything is slowly slipping into place (fingers crossed!). 

Hope everything is going well for everyone in their final year (and every other year of course), not long to go now! 

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Happy New Year

First of all, Happy New Year! I hope that 2013 brings you all what you are dreaming of!  I've had some good news to start the year, I've been offered a place on my first choice MSc course!  As I want to remain anonymous I'm not going to declare what course this is but I am so happy to have had an offer.  I've got to get a 2:1 in my BSc, but I'm confident that I should be able to do so, so fingers crossed I'll have a new start in September.  

I had previously been feeling pretty rubbish about not getting into medicine (or even applying this time around) but now I feel like this was definitely meant to be, I love the sound of the course and I believe it will really benefit my medicine application in the long run, be that for 2014 or even 2015 entry - I will keep trying until I get where I need to be.  For now I have exams coming up at the start of the new term essays, a dissertation and more exams standing between me and my MSc offer, but I'll get there. 

So for me, so far the start of 2013 has been a positive one, for that I am very grateful! 

Wishing you all a happy new year, and lots of luck for those with medical school interviews/postgraduate applications.