a place to vent!

Okay, just so you guys don’t think I’m all “celebrations,” I’d also like to vent about this application process! I know, it’s only May and I haven’t even submitted the app. yet… but this is a hair pulling endeavor!
LORs- My premed committee eval is being held up by one prof who is on the committee! I know they have to do a million of these each semester, but mine is importnant to me! rolleyes.gif I gave all the info and stamped envelopes, etc in Feb! But I need good letters and I’m afraid I’ve ticked off the two I’m waiting for… sigh…
GPAs- I think my advisor just told me not to try for the 1st committee meeting(premed eval) because my application isn’t as strong as the other wonder kids. Grr… I’m an adult with 3 kids, a husband who travels all the time, and a 1 hour commute each way to class. Tell me that doesn’t count for something!
Med schools- I thought I knew exactly where to apply. Now after spending (too much) time on other forums, I’m worried 6 schools isn’t enough…
This is daunting, don’t you think?
Thanks for letting me vent! (hope my premed committee doesn’t lurk here!) rolleyes.gif

I’ll join you in the vent! wink.gif
My thesis advisor hasn’t returned my e-mail asking him to write a letter for me…It HAS been 8 years, and it IS finals week at my old school, so I’m trying to cut him some slack. wink.gif But I’m so excited and impatience is beginning to creep up on me!

I can totally relate on the application process. It was two years ago for me, and I still have flashbacks! rolleyes.gif At least AMCAS is in better shape now - I spent about 100 hours entering data into AMCAS, for just one school (of course it was worth it b/c I got in, but STILL!).
Don’t worry, the process will only get more annoying and frustrating. See you Thursday!

Grr... I'm an adult with 3 kids, a husband who travels all the time, and a 1 hour commute each way to class. Tell me that doesn't count for something!

Actually, as far as they - and medical schools - are concerned, it doesn't count for anything.
Whoa, whoa, down, people! Don't kill the messenger! But the fact is that you have to do well on your own merits. For the most part, any hurdles you overcame on the way to those merits are just not relevant in the consideration of your qualifications. And so it doesn't really matter if you're a traditional undergrad who was working 30 hrs a week to put yourself through school while doing the pre-med curriculum, or a non-traditional student with a family and many demands on your time. The bottom line remains the same: can you do the work? The question isn't "Considering what else was going on in your life, can you do the work?" Remember that you won't be cut any slack in medical school, either, for things like having kids or a long commute. The response is more likely to be a shrug and, "Well, you wanted to do it."
One thing we OPMs can get a little myopic about is our own struggle to get into med school compared with the struggles of traditional students. While some of those students certainly have it 'easier' than we do in many ways, others of them have encountered plenty of challenges along the way. And we have the advantage of being older and wiser while doing our studies. (Chemistry was sooooo much easier for me at age 41 vs. age 18, there is just no comparison!) So in my experience, pointing to one's unique personal experiences as a non-trad doesn't go over very well.
The bottom line is, your grades, your professional/personal achievements, your MCAT scores, your LORs - quantifiable things - are "what count" when it comes to your application. You could say to a pre-med committee member, "But I had to walk uphill both ways in bare feet through five feet of snow to get to that class!" and I guarantee you their response will be, "So, what was your grade?"
Note that I am NOT saying that your experiences in your adult life do not count, nor am I saying that AdComs don't appreciate the experiences and insights that a non-trad student brings to the table. I'm just saying that they don't give you any leeway when it comes to the primary qualifications that are established with academic and professional performance.
And I feel compelled to close by noting that not only was I a stay-at-home mom for the better part of 12 years, but my mothering experiences featured prominently in my personal statement. So please don't anyone think that I don't appreciate the work of moms, okay?!
(donning the asbestos suit.....)
Oh, and one other thing - Theresa, I should've started by saying that in terms of the various horrors of the application process, I definitely feel your pain. It is a horrible process that can definitely cause ulcers and hair loss. It sounds like you are handling it the right way. I can't answer the question about whether 6 schools is enough. And if any of us knew a good trick for getting LOR writers to actually DO what they promised, we could make a lot of money selling that secret! So hang in there. This is a long slog but worth it.

Thanks for the reality check, I think! laugh.gif
But seriously, that seems to counter the idea that being a busy, working premed with a good GPA is more impressive than being a full-time student with the bills paid by parents and a good GPA.
My GPA is competitive, it’s just not a 3.8 overall. I know what I’m capable of and I’ve proved it with my scores.
My advisor explained to me that what she meant was that there are new committee members who might not be as willing to give out high rec.s with the first round of students. She wants to see me a bit later in the pack so the more average students will have a chance to make me “look good.” Glad I asked for a clarification from her!
Hey, OPM is a safe place to rant-n-rave sometimes. We all still go back to our books or computers and slog through the work.
See, no asbestos suit necessary! wink.gif

Hey, I can definitely relate to end-of-semester stress. Hang in there!
I’m not married and I don’t have kids, so I don’t have to deal with those kind of time commitments (although I sure can commiserate with you on the one hour commute each way!) But I think it’s important for busy students who have jobs, kids, etc, to remember that other students–even single ones who seem to have such carefree lives–are making their own kinds of sacrifices. I know I’ve had a really busy semester, and it’s seriously cut into my social life. I haven’t been out to visit my family in months, either. If I was married or had kids though–yeah, it would take time away from school, but I’d be able to see THEM every day… So there are trade offs for everyone.
I think that traditional students deserve the same respect and fair treatment, both from medical schools and from us other students. Even if they live in the dorms and their parents pay the bills! wink.gif
Anyway, a lot of people can relate to end of semester venting–it’s universal! Don’t worry though, it’ll be over very soon.

Well said, 2ndave.