Two years ago when I was deciding on my career choices I thought everything was possible. I decided I wanted to study medicine and nothing was going to stand in my way. I was getting good marks (in my school’s standard though) and the best student in my class so everything was looking great.
It was when I started researching medicine properly when I realized that I was never getting into med school with the results I was getting. All year I tried my level best to not only get the entry requirements, but to surpass it and get distinctions so I can get easy access to medical school.
But even with all that effort, things were just not happening. We didn’t have a physics teacher for the first three to four months of the year so my physics marks were suffering, maths was giving me problems and the teacher was not willing to assist and a whole bunch of stuff including not having textbooks at some point.
It was through this chaos when I realized that my dream of becoming a doctor was just not going to happen. It took a while to let the idea sink in but when it finally did I let the idea go. I stopped reading medical blogs even though I enjoyed that more than anything, it felt like torture knowing I could never practice what I was reading.
At the beginning of grade 12, I applied to 4 universities, Wits, Tuks, UKZN and UJ. I applied for things I didn’t want to study because I had the worst results ever, and somehow still the best in my class (I got 39% in physics for my grade 11 final people. I’m still embarrassed to this day).
I got rejected to 9 of the courses during the application process in 2016 and accepted for 3, all of those were my third options. This is why I took a gap year.
In 2017 I was convinced that since I qualify for Med I should apply. I knew I was setting myself up for failure but I tried anyway. I had hope that some miracle would happen and my dream would come true. I can’t count the number of times I’ve prayed about it, but it just wasn’t happening.
For the first half of 2017, I would cry when a rejection came (so far in 2017, I have 5 rejections), because it just hurt so bad. It was when wits rejected me for medicine when I stopped caring, I gained some sort of immunity. After that I would see those hurtful words “we regret to inform you…” and I would look at which course it was, close my emails and go on twitter to enjoy my day.
I didn’t need that type of negativity in my life.
In high school we were made to believe that life after matric is easy, that grade 12 is just one last hurdle before a great life. If you do well in class you get used to praises and being told you could study anything you want. I had to learn the hard way that that’s not how things work.
What getting rejected taught me is that I am not responsible for someone else’s decision, so stressing about whether I’ll get in or not won’t help me. Yes, I’m responsible for my results but I did try my best.
If I can’t change the situation then how is worrying going to help me. Not to say I don’t care because I do, I don’t want to take a second gap year. But I’m not going to let it affect me as much.
PS: I got an acceptance and I’m going to be studying Pharmacy, my second choice. So happy and grateful