How to Juggle Application Season with a Full Course Load
As a pre-med student going into a school year after submitting medical school applications, your schedule should be smooth-sailing, right? You have beaten the MCAT; you conquered your personal statement; you hit “submit” on your official application to medical school. You have accomplished so much! Most of your work is complete, but you are not finished. At Code Blue Essays, we’ve got the advice you need to seal the deal on the application to the medical school of your dreams and end your senior year seamlessly. Keep reading for tips you need to dominate this fall.
As you begin your final year as a pre-med, one of the most stressful things you’ll be doing is waiting. You have been so busy for so long that it seems like you should be doing something. Unfortunately, waiting is part of the process. There are ways to remain productive, however.
- Stay organized
Especially after you get your secondary applications, there are dates and deadlines you need to keep organized.
- Continue to maintain relationships
During early application season, it can be easy to neglect relationships because you simply don’t have time for much of a social life. Make the most of this waiting period by catching up on those relationships. Your peers, family, and mentors can offer commiseration, support, and valuable advice. Use your current “free” time to enjoy the fruits of those relationships.
- Complete Secondary Applications
This semester, you’ll need to dedicate a significant amount of time completing your secondary applications. If you’re still waiting to receive your secondaries, be productive by preparing answers to commonly asked questions. This way, you can submit your secondary applications as soon as possible. Your chances of getting an interview go up the sooner you complete your secondaries, and you’ll also have far less stress once you hit “submit.”
- Prepare for interviews
After your secondaries are submitted, the waiting begins anew. You would be making a mistake if you didn’t use this time to prepare for interviews. While medical schools are clearly interested in you if they grant you an interview, it is far from certain that you will get an offer of admission after interviewing. Preparation is necessary.
- Ask for help
The waiting game appears to be the “easiest” part of medical school application to pre-med students before they reach the stage in the process. However, it can be overwhelming too. Reach out to our experts at Code Blue Essays for guidance with interview prep, secondary essay editing, and more! We are here to help make sure you get the acceptance letter you have been working for.
In the past, students would have to shoulder much more stress making arrangements to attend medical school interviews. Factors like travel, logistics, and financial commitments surrounding interview attendance weighed heavily. In 2015, the highest percentage of students surveyed (22.7%) said they attended one interview during that application cycle. The next highest percentage (18.6%) said they went to six to ten interviews during the cycle. As you can imagine, attending even half that many interviews may put a strain on your fall semester, especially if those interviews require you to travel significant distances. Logistics would entail missing class on occasion or needing to make up schoolwork.
Covid-19 changed circumstances. In 2020 and 2021, all interviews went virtual throughout AAMC schools. For the 2022-2023 application cycle, schools have more flexibility. Most schools continue to lean into the virtual interview process, using Zoom or another platform to interview prospective students. Some are going back to in-person interviews. Some of the medical schools that remain virtual have resumed the practice of inviting students for “second look” visits. These have historically been visits for which a school invites accepted students to visit to cement their commitment to choosing to attend their medical school.
Last year, when all interviews were virtual, 20.3% of matriculating medical school students attended one virtual interview. 17.5% (the second highest proportion) attended six to ten interviews. Even with virtual interviews, students still have schedules to juggle and arrangements to make. This year, applicants will face the same challenges in addition to the return to some in-person interviewing.
How should medical students approach the demands of an interview season concurrent with a full course load?
First, organize your scheduling. As soon as you discover a meaningful conflict with a class and interview or the travel it may entail, contact your professor to see how they can work with you. They will usually be flexible with enough notice, especially if the class is common for pre-med students.
Second, make the most of the early part of the semester. If you don’t fall behind early, you will be less likely to drop the ball when you multitasking later.
You’re a physician in training!
Finally, understand that the skills you’re gaining right now as you navigate this busy time are skills that you’ll use throughout your medical training in school and as a resident or eventual fellow. One of those skills is recognizing that you have resources, like Code Blue Essays, to help you navigate challenges. Work smarter by asking for help when you need it. Contact us for help with secondary essay editing, interview prep, and more!