Anyone Else Out of Steam??

I have 19 days left in my last semester before applying to medical school. I also take the MCAT in 19 days. In the last week, I finished my personal statement for med school application AND secured all my recommendation letters. It’s coming together.

I can see the finish line for this part of my journey.

I should be gearing up for a sprint to the end, but instead? I find myself mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted.

Work from 8am-5pm, Class from 5:30-8:30pm, Time with husband from 9pm-10pm, Studying from 10pm-2am, up at 6am to play with my daughter and get ready for work… Rinse and repeat… and I’m in my car driving all over Nashville in the gaps.

There is no spare moment. I haven’t scored less than a 100% on any exam this semester, so I’m on cruise control at school, but I still have to go through all the motions. The looming MCAT is pressing in on every side, and I do NOT feel ready.

To top it off, my husband just got an incredible opportunity to fly as a contract pilot in Afghanistan for 60 days on/60 days off… It will afford us the chance to completely eliminate all our debt (besides mortgage) and save up for the fist year of medical school…just such an amazing gift! But as great as it is, our family just doesn’t like being apart–not at ALL… so the emotional burden of his departure (next month) is starting to weigh pretty heavily.

I. Am. Tired.

Maybe I just never gave myself the chance to look up over the last 2 years… but now that I’m near the end, I am beginning to realize the weight of all that I’m carrying. It’s heavy!

Then there’s the emotional weight/pressure starting of “What if I don’t get in? I can’t let my family down!” starting to sink in as my application time draws near. So much to think about. So much to worry about!

Good grief! I think I need to put my head back down and keep on walking–because looking around at the scenery has NOT been productive! LOL

Sorry to vent, guys. I know I’m the resident cheerleader… There just aren’t too many people around me who would understand where I’m at right now. So thanks for letting me emotionally vomit all over this post–I now return you to your regularly scheduled reading. I know it’s almost over. I’m almost there. Just needed to get that out. =)

Thanks, peeps…

Rule 1: Take a Breath

Take a Day Off. The investment in time of 1 day out of 2 or 3 weeks will be worth much more to you than cramming another full day. People often overlook the importance that having the mental attitude, the rest, little push that a day off can bring. Play with your daughter, have a glass of wine, cuddle with your husband, watch 2 episodes of big bang theory, take a long luxurious bath, then into the final stretch.

You can do it carrieliz, you’re gonna be an OPM star.

I fully agree with Gonnif. You can do it, carrieliz!

I was going to write the same thing as Richard - you need to take a day off. AND - sleep some during that day off! A personal day, a sick day, whatever.

You are doing amazing — but humans need some rest!



How you survive and do well on consistently getting so little sleep is beyond me, I’m proud of you! Hang in there, you’re almost home!

I do know the burn out feeling though, you’re not alone there! That’s why I’m glad I took your advice and took test 11 for practice. By the time the real test rolled around I wasn’t nervous at all, it was more the feeling of just wanting to be done with it! I literally don’t think I could have studied 15 more minutes at the time I took the test! Hang in there and get some rest!

I agree with gonnif -

  • you have to decompress.

  • your time will be just as bad during medical school/residency - so finding a balance now will be key.

    Crush the MCAT!

Thanks so much, guys. I actually realized that my current situation is great practice for med school. LOL However–while the hours may be similar, I am definitely eager to zero in on one thing (med school) instead of driving all over town doing 10 different things! I feel like being able to focus solely on school and family would be such a luxury at this point!

I have my last physics exam tonight (besides the final.) I went to bed at 11pm last night, not even close to prepared. Didn’t care. I think I scared my husband…he woke up and asked if I was sick. LOL It’s amazing what 7 hours of sleep can do! I definitely feel better already, and I will just have to finish physics prep over lunch. I have a 108% in the class, so I think I can afford to relax a bit on this one…


At the end of the day, I’m going to have to admit that I just can’t do it all, all the time. As a mom, I am wired to believe that I have to hold it all together, and that nothing can fall. I am learning to ask for help. I am learning to breathe. I am learning to rest. I am learning to listen.


Have a beautiful day, friends!

For what it’s worth, you might find the first year of med school will be LESS stressful than post-bacc. My situation was very similar to yours… including marriage to a pilot. Juggling a full-time job, family, classes, labs, studying, and a ridiculous Atlanta commute was my daily grind. After 2 years of that, it was a little bit of a challenge to settle in to med school, but a blessed relief not to be pulled in so many different directions. You are through the worst of it and you did a phenomenal job managing all of your responsibilities, something that won’t go unnoticed by ADCOMs this fall. Do well on the MCAT and you can write your own ticket.

Yes, please, carrieliz, breathe! I totally get it, as we all do. You are among your own here. I completely understand the running around both physically and in your head. It does get exhausting. I had some really bad dead tired, emotionally and physically, moments early this semester. I got over it, but not without taking a step back and focusing on myself. It’s hard to do, especially as a mom, but it has to be done. As they always say, if you don’t take care of yourself you’ll be of little use to anyone else. So, put yourself first.

I, too, have said, I just can’t wait until I get to med school because while I know the stress and sleeplessness won’t be gone, I will feel some sense of relief nontheless. This premed journey is mentally torturous and I’m not talking about the classes! The FUD is brutal. The “what if’s” that loom overhead can just kill your spirit. Especially us nontrads. We are putting it all on the line. If I don’t get in, then what? Then seriously what? Because I don’t really have a plan B because I refuse to believe I may need one. I can’t live with a plan B because it just feels so out of the question. So, I continue to work hard, and run around, and run around. Carrieliz, I really get that! I am so. sick. of. running. around. It never ends. Last semester was much worse, though, and I took a big financial hit to make sure there was less of it this semester, but that alone can really exhaust a person. I was back and forth and back and forth all last semester and it was awful. All I wanted was to get to med school so I could stay put in one place all day! It’s hard to believe, but I do think that for some us juggling so much, med school will be a relief. Not just that we got in, but that we surprisingly have some normality back. It will be so nice to drop my daughter off at school, and then get to school myself and not have to be in 500 other places in one day! Now, I’m probably dreaming and it may not be ever so simple, but I understand where you are carrieliz. Please just know you are doing great, not just in your classes, but all around. Pat yourself on the back! We congratulate each other enough, but we all have to learn to stop and give ourselves credit, too. And, yes, breathe. Take a sick day, sleep, eat, take a long walk, read a non school book, or whatever makes you happy. Just try to get out of your head for a day. Allow yourself even a tiny break. All my best, Shannon

I have a touch of “senioritis” right now as well. Even taking only one class I am just ready to be done with it. The “Summer of Paul” awaits before med-school.


How have you been studying for the MCAT? I may be taking Bio 2 right before and have similar constraints as you (wife, kids, full time work) so unfortunately am already wondering how I’ll fit in studying for the MCAT. Have looked at the “SN2ed” method as a start.


I am dog. Tired. Lack. Mojo.

Need relief soon.

With ya, Carrie!

Studying for the MCAT has been a continual struggle, but I’m trying to weave it into all my other classwork and be as efficient as possible. I think SN2 is a pretty great plan, because it’s really structured if you have the time. For me, though, I just have to get it in where I can.

I’m taking physics and organic last semester and this semester, and I’m trying to study for both the course and the MCAT content…and trying to form bridges across all my classes that tie the concepts together.

But I think the one thing I did that I am most happy about is my volunteer work. I took about 3 hours a week and volunteered as an honors high school chemistry tutor through my church. I tutored magnet students, and it REALLY helped cement my gen chem material. I am consistently scoring pretty high on the PS section of MCAT practice, and I don’t think I’d be doing that so effortlessly had I not taught the material.

When you are as busy and stretched for time as we are, you simply have to find ways to get the most bang for your buck. Whatever you’re doing, ask yourself how you can combine resources to get more out of it.

Short answer, though? Lots of AAMC practice tests for VR passages, Kaplan review for biology,tutoring for gen chem, and relying on the Orgo/Physics work I’m currently doing for the rest of it.

It’s the best I can do–we’ll see how it shakes out in about 12 days.

Here’s hoping everyone had a restful weekend. Let’s gear up for the home stretch of this semester! Left foot, right foot, breathe in, breathe out… (And bonus points if you can tell me the pressure laws that govern those breaths, the gas exchange that takes place, and the …oh, sorry. Can you tell I am continually concept mapping?? )

Carrie you sond like a friend of mine who will be in pharm school next semester. Full time courses, TAing some Gen Chem labs and part-time pharm tech. As well as wife and mother. She says she can’t wait to get to Pharm school so she can slow down. lol