Med school

Med school is rough

Hi guys!

Wow. I keep meaning to update this but never seem to have time. I’m almost a month away from being done with my first semester of medical school! It’s been such a wild ride and I’ve been HUMBLED every single day. I thought I was ready after doing well in grad school, but I definitely was not.

Oh, I graduated Summa Cum Laude from my grad program! 😊 It was such an amazing 2 years. I already feel homesick and I’m thinking of going back to NC for residency. We also had our littlest boy on March 12th 2019, about 2 months before I graduated. That was fun not.

I don’t think I’ve ever been this tired.

Anyway, where to start? Oh, I know.

I SHOULD be studying right now, but I’m feeling pretty burned out. The exams happen every week or every other week, with almost no breaks. This coming week is affectionately called hell week. We have our cardio final, competency for OPP, an ethics exam, and an SP. The following week we have day 2 of competency and an OSCE.
Med school is no joke. I think it’s true what they say, it’s like drinking out of a fire hose. I honestly don’t know how I’m surviving. Especially when the twins are in preschool and our almost 8 month old baby refuses to sleep through the night.

It’s hard! It’s so hard, but I haven’t failed anything yet (knock on wood). I hope I can keep this up.
It honestly still feels surreal.

I’m going to be a doctor.

What?! Who let this happen?!

Okay, back to studying!


PS: I have a pink stethoscope!


I’m going to medical school!

Hello everyone!

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated this blog. At first, I was busy with MCAT prep, then applications, then life in general. I kept putting it off. I wanted to have an interview before I updated it. Then when I finally got one, I wanted to wait until I had an acceptance.

Well, I have one! I’m so excited! All my hard work has finally paid off! 😄

Let me start from the beginning. I took the MCAT in July. I did dedicated prep from May 1st to July 21st when I took it. It. Was. Rough. My husband changed his work schedule so I could study every morning. I think I did 4-6 hours a day. I took one day off a week and that was basically the only uninterrupted time I spent with my kids and husband together. The rest of the time was shared between studying and taking care of the kiddos while my husband was at work.

I ended up doing okay. I definitely wasn’t a score I was happy with, I wanted at least one more point. I think that would’ve happened even if I had aced it, to be honest. Anyway, I ended up with a 506. I wasn’t sure if I should retake it or not, but it was high enough that I felt I should continue with the app cycle.

Since I took the MCAT in July, by the time I got my scores back I had already submitted my primary application and some secondaries. I applied to 10 Texas schools, 5-6 DOs, and 17 MDs. I wanted my best chance, so I applied widely. I got a few rejections prior to secondaries, but for the most part, I got secondaries from everywhere I applied. I submitted most of my secondaries around August and waited.

And waited…

And waited…

And waited…

Some rejections trickled in, but I was expecting them. We can’t get in everywhere, right? Slowly but surely, they kept coming. At this point it’s November and I’m getting nervous. I still have secondaries to turn in, but for financial reasons, I was waiting to submit them. I wondered if it was even worth it since it was so late in the cycle.

Then, the email came! I got ONE interview invite. It was my top choice DO school! I had submitted the secondary later in the cycle, so I didn’t expect to hear back so soon. I set up my interview for Dec 12th and planned my trip.

Interview day came and went. I met with 2 professors and had a closed interview. They couldn’t see my grades or MCAT, just my extracurriculars and my personal statement. After that, we took a tour of the on-campus housing, met with second-year students. had lunch with them, and went on a tour of the school.

I was in love. The campus was beautiful, the students were really nice, and everyone was willing to come talk to you about what they did. They also let us try on white coats.

It’s the single most amazing piece of clothing I’ve ever tried on, after scrubs. All I remember is saying to myself, “Please don’t let me love this and then take it away from it. Please don’t reject me!”

They told us at the end of the day that we would hear about a decision within a week. A call if you got an acceptance, an email if we were out on the alternate list or rejected. I kept my phone on me at all time with the ringer on as high as it would go. I was a mess!

My interview was on a Wednesday, and by Tuesday, I got the email.

Alternate list.

I was so disappointed.

I had a feeling I would be put on the alternate list. I’m not sure why, but I thought it wouldn’t be an outright acceptance. It hurt. A lot. I moped around for two days, then got myself together. It’s okay to be disappointed, but it’s time to plan for a possible gap year.

I started thinking about what I could do. It was December and no new interviews. I may not hear back about being pulled from the alternate list until May or June. I graduate with my Master’s May 9th. What would I do?

Fast forward to January. I decided to apply to another Master’s program. This time, one with guaranteed acceptance into the med school if you get in and do well. I met all their requirements, I just needed to make sure I got at least a 3.2 GPA during that year.

I think to better understand why I decided this, I need to backtrack a little. I still had some secondaries to fill out, but I decided against it. Seems dumb, why wouldn’t you do that and risk being a re-applicant?

I’m pregnant! I found out a week or two before my MCAT. My husband and I wanted another child, and an easier second year of my Master’s program seemed like the best time. We are very excited and we’ll be welcoming our last little boy in March! ❤

So how does that affect this? All of my secondaries, except for one that I planned on filling out, are on the West Coast. After the first week of February, I will be too far along to fly. I didn’t want to spend money on a secondary if I knew I wouldn’t be able to attend an interview. Instead, I was going to complete the secondary for the school in my current state and apply to this Master’s program as a backup. The Master’s program has an interview process as well, but they don’t start them until May. I will be done with school by then and hopefully be recovered from giving birth, so it made sense. If neither of these options worked out, I was going to retake the MCAT, re-apply, and work during that gap year.

I was very nervous about the future. I wasn’t sure what to do. Uncertainty is not fun, but it’s really scary when you have young children.

Thankfully, the uncertainty only lasted a month! I was folding clothes and playing with my twins when I got the call. I saw the caller-ID and knew it was the acceptance call. After all, they only call you with an acceptance!

I was right! The school called to say they were pulling people from the alternate list and wanted to know if I was still interested. I said, “Yes, of course! Thank you!”

I think I thanked her like 10 times for during the call. The twins were staring at me and I remember saying, “MOMMY’S GOING TO BE A DOCTOR!” They’re almost four now and I don’t think they know what it meant. I will always remember the big smiles on their faces after I told them. It was my favorite reaction, followed by my husband’s when I told him where we were going. This was his first choice too, based on location.

So here we are! I started this blog as a pre-med struggling with her classes. You’ve followed me through my Master’s program and excelling at it. I’m happy to say you’ll now be able to follow me through med school! 😊

I’ll try to update this more often. With a baby coming and finishing my Master’s, it might be a while though. If you want more updates, follow me on Instagram @studentdrd I’m thinking about doing a giveaway for some of my MCAT materials there. If you’re taking the MCAT this year or next, keep an eye on my insta!

Guys… I did it!



Reflecting on the Past Year

I can’t believe I’m officially done with my first year of grad school! I’m half-way to my Master’s degree, and only a few weeks/months from applying to medical schools. What a journey this has been!

This year has challenged me more than I could ever imagine. The first semester was rough being away from my family, but I managed to come out on top. This semester was even more challenging, juggling full-time parenting of my three year olds and full-time school. I was close to a 4.0, but I fell one point short in Anatomy and got a B (my school doesn’t do +/-). I was upset at first, because I wanted to crush it like first semester and be a super mom while doing it! But… I learned I can be super mom without having perfect grades. My kids still love me and they’re healthy and happy. My marriage is in a good place and my husband is amazing and supportive. My life is everything I could’ve possibly dreamed of; I’m pursuing my dreams and I have a wonderful family.

If you had told me I would be here a year ago I wouldn’t have believed you… I didn’t even know I was even going to grad school! I was relentlessly chasing after my advisor to send my LORs so I could finish my apps. I was worried I would take a gap year and I wouldn’t get a chance to improve my GPA. Yet here I am, having done just that! It’s amazing and I feel so blessed to have all these opportunities.

Now that I’m 27, I wanted to set some goals for myself. I have a lot of self-doubts, and I think it’s about time I put those behind. My goal for this year is to stop doubting myself and my abilities. No matter how much I prove that I can do something, I always bring myself down instead of enjoying it because it’s not “good enough.” Well, not anymore. If I don’t believe in myself no one else will either. Besides, it only adds to the stress I have, it doesn’t alleviate it.

Here’s to 27. Here’s to always being a better person than I was yesterday. Here’s to not being afraid and to believing I can accomplish my dreams. Here’s to failure so I may learn from it and keep going. Here’s to my family and friends for always being there for me. And here’s to my future dog, may my husband let me get adopt you sooner rather than later! 😘



Almost done with the semester!

Hello everyone!

Hope your weekend is going well! Life has been pretty hectic lately. I have a final lists of schools I’ll be applying to and I’m getting ready for 3 more quizzes and 1 more exam before I finish the first year of my Master’s! It’s so crazy to think about that.

By this time last year I had submitted my applications for post-baccs and I remember how stressed I was. With med school apps right around the corner, I can feel the stress creeping up again. We’ll see how it goes!



Quick update

Hi everyone!

The semester has been crazy busy. We just finished our second exam and got our results today. I’ve been doing well in two subjects but anatomy is not my favorite right now! I hope it’ll get better now that we’re getting into the brain! It should be more enjoyable.

MCAT is… MCAT. I have no motivation and I feel discouraged every time I study for it. I’m not sure how to get out of this rut. 😕

Now it’s time for some well-deserved sleep!


Life, Pre-med


Hello everyone!

Wow, this week has both gone way too fast and dragged! It was a tough one; the boys completely switched and didn’t seem to want to nap and kept fighting. My study time has significantly gone down this week, but I still managed to preview, review, and do some MCAT prep. It wasn’t perfect, but something is better than nothing, right? That’s what I keep telling myself anyway. 🙂

This week has been particularly difficult in terms of self-care. I haven’t gotten nearly enough sleep, even when I tried to go to bed early. I felt pretty burnt out… so this is what I did to try to help me through it.

After taking care of my favorite alarm clocks, I made some tea. I love tea, it always helps me relax. I opted mostly for black tea so I could get my caffeine fix too, which helped me wake up.

After the boys nap, if they napped, I put on some makeup. I realize I always feel better after makeup, so I made it a point to it even if I was too tired. It made me feel so much better; I felt pretty and I ready to take on the world! (I can’t be the only one that feels this way, right?)

Finally, once I got home, I waited to study until after I was done working out and showering or after I watched 30 mins of TV. This made my night a little longer, since I still needed to get studying done, but it was so helpful in the long run. I was able to concentrate more, and even though my sleep wasn’t as great, I didn’t feel like I had done everything for everyone except for myself. Once I was done studying, I did some guided meditation before bed to help me relax.

Here’s some other ideas for self-care that I try to do when I have a bit more time:

  • Bubble bath
  • Dance
  • Hang out with friends
  • Watch a movie
  • Listen to music
  • Read
  • Go for a walk
  • Get my nails done
  • Grab some coffe with the hubby
  • Visit the animal shelter (it’s been a while since I volunteered there, but this is by far my favorite thing to do!)

Here’s hoping I can get a better night’s sleep this weekend! Just not tomorrow because I’m forcing myself to take a practice MCAT under test conditions. 🤤

Have a wonderful weekend!


PS: If anyone is wondering, the movie from the picture is called Sing. I love it, it’s one of our favorites!

Life, Pre-med

Mom in Grad School

Happy New Year!

I’ve been thinking a lot about the past year and all the wonderful things that have happened. Going forward, I would like to write more helpful posts pertaining to grad school and not just updating you all on how I’m doing although there will be plenty of that too!

This first post will talk about being a mother in grad school and how I’m trying to make it work. I’ve only been in class for a week but I haven’t felt like I’ve missed out on anything studying while caring for my almost three-year-old twins. It hasn’t been easy, but with some planning, I’ve had a pretty successful week!

To keep myself organized I use a planner. The one I have is from and it has everything I need; a monthly calendar to put important dates in, like quizzes and exams, a weekly schedule with space for goals, ideas, reminders, projects, and things due, and daily to-do lists, space for water intake, food journal, workout journal, and notes as well as a doodle space. This one is sold out, but I’m sure they’ll have a new one for the next school year.

I’ve used planner since 2016 but I had to force myself to use them. After finding one that was specifically made for school I’ve actually looked forward to writing down everything. It helped so much last semester when I wanted to remember when my biostats assignments were due! So far, this semester it has helped keep me accountable for studying for the MCAT, which is the hardest thing for me to study for (Physics and I don’t get along).

Here is what my last week looked like:

Staying organized.jpg

You do not need to get a fancy planner like this. You can use a notebook and personalize it however you want or use an app on your phone. For me, writing it down and being able to see it without using my phone is more beneficial; I’m more likely to start studying without going through Facebook.

So now that I have a schedule, how do I use? It’s easy to write stuff down, but it gets more difficult to actually follow it. If we’re being honest, I don’t follow this exactly; it just isn’t realistic when you have potty-training toddlers. However, if I have it written down, I know what needs to get done that day and will try to follow it. Certain things I do not move, but they don’t have set times during the day. The best example is my MCAT prep; if the kiddos are napping, mama is studying! The time varies but it’s usually 1-3 PM during weekdays. I’m hoping to put in closer to 3 hours a day during the weekends; I’m making a study group with some friends from school to keep each other accountable. According to my Kaplan course, you’re supposed to take one day off a week, but I schedule it in any way to keep things neat.

Another thing that has helped a lot has been meal prepping. You know, that thing everyone tells you to do and you say you’ll do it but never get around to it? Or is that just me? On Sundays, I take a couple hours to find vegetarian/vegan recipes, prep them, and put them in gallon-sized zip lock bags that go in my freezer. I take whichever one I want to have for dinner out the day of and thaw it a little bit before throwing it in my slow-cooker. I honestly don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner; it saves me so much time! You can do this with every meal, but so far I’ve only tackled dinner. I might start doing it for my breakfast smoothies as well, so we’ll see how that goes!

As far as my study schedule goes, I try to study while I watch the boys play. I take plenty of breaks to join them in the fun and take them to the potty. Sometimes I put on a movie for them if I need to get something done right away, but I try to avoid this since I don’t want them watching too much TV. This isn’t really the greatest way to study, but it’s more of a quick review to make sure I get it done. That means I do a quick review in the morning and MCAT prep during nap time, so what about the rest of the day?

When they wake up from their nap it’s time for me to spend uninterrupted time with them. We eat together, make silly jokes, and play until our wonderful nanny gets here so I’m able to get to school early. Some self-care takes place on my drive to school; I’ve been listening to the Harry Potter audio-books while I drive. 10/10 recommend the British version; the voice actor is fantastic! If I’m not listening to books, I put on my favorite music and pump myself up for class. Once I’m in school I take the time to preview my lectures and whatever time I have left I use it to finish reviewing previous lectures. I get home around 9:30 PM and this is where my schedule is a bit more flexible and where most of my self-care takes place.

Let’s take a moment to talk about self-care…IT’S SUPER IMPORTANT! If you don’t practice self-care you WILL burn out! My self-care during the day is focused on my kids so I feel like I get a little break throughout the day, but by the time class is over I’m pretty tired. I take this time to do things that make me happy!

This is what my self-care looks like:

If I haven’t worked out, I will do a quick 15-minute workout. I’ve been following the daily workouts from Tone It Up and I love it! It’s simple and it doesn’t take very long, which is exactly what I look for in a workout. I try to do this at least every other day, but I’m going to try to get it in every day since I always feel better afterward.

If I don’t work out that night, I take a 10-minute break before I start reviewing the lectures from the day. I will do this until 10:30 PM, but sometimes I don’t do it at all. At that point, I get ready for bed and try to relax by spending time with the husband, watching TV or makeup videos on YouTube I’m obsessed, and texting family and friends. I like to play video games, but I can’t keep those sessions to 30 minutes so I try to avoid them during the week. I usually save it for the time after an exam when I’m too exhausted to do anything but play Sims 4 mindlessly while the TV is on. I’m trying to find books to read as well, so if you have any suggestions let me know! I’m concentrating on pre-med books right now, but I also love fantasy. I’m still working on the third Eragon book; I keep forgetting I have it on my phone! The boys wake up around 7 AM, so I try to go to sleep by 11:15 PM to get enough sleep. Make sure you get enough sleep! I function best with 9 hours of sleep, but that doesn’t happen unless it’s the weekend, so I aim for 7-8 hours. Residency will change this, but until then I plan on getting plenty of sleep!

The last thing that needs to get done during the week is the cleaning. I take one day a week where I clean EVERYTHING. I did it yesterday by myself, but I usually do it on Saturdays or Sundays so I can get my husband’s help. The only thing I do during the week is wipe down the table and kitchen counters, take care of the dishes, and clean up any food that falls under the table. Sometimes I do laundry if my sons are out of clean underwear, but I try to leave that for the weekend if possible.

That’s it! That’s how I’ve been trying to make it work and I’ve honestly been surprised at how much I’ve been able to get done. I was really nervous about it before classes started, but a bit of planning and some help goes a long way.

I hope this was helpful! If you have any tips and want to share them please leave a comment! 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend!



Happy Holidays!

Hello everyone!

Just wanted to write a quick post wishing you all a wonderful holiday season! It’s been crazy at our house; we finally moved the babies out here, got everything set up, found a babysitter, and are ready to take on next semester.

I ended up with a 4.0 from my very first semester of grad school! I’m very proud and excited to see how the next semester will go. I will do my best and will aim for a 3.5 at the very least. 🙂 I’m also trying to figure out a new MCAT study schedule so we’ll see how that goes!

Hope you all have a happy new year!



An A is an A is an A

Hello everyone!

I keep meaning to sit down and write this but school has me super busy. For starters, I got a 95% on the integrated exam I talked about last time. Biostats was a different story, but it got curved and I felt a little bit better. Still not where I wanted to be at but I can still make an A in the class; I have a 1 point buffer!

We just got back our results from our third exam. I’m happy to say that I got 100% on Biostats! To be fair, the professor went easy on us, but I’m not complaining! I actually understood the material well so I was expecting a high mark. For our integrated exam, I only got a 89%.

This is the lowest exam score I’ve received and although it is a very good one I’m not satisfied. I aced Anatomy and Microbiology, but Biochem gave me so much trouble. We had two different professors for this exam; I got 100% on the questions from one of them, my favorite professor right now, and only 58% from the other one.

From the first quiz he gave us we knew he would give us trouble. He asked a question from the book, which we’ve never had before, so we approached him and asked for clarification on what we should know. No matter what we asked, his answer was always the same; come to class, read the book, look at the slides. We asked him if we should know the steps and his answer didn’t change. It’s hard to prepare for something when it’s not clear what is expected of you. However, like the good student that I try to be, I did all those things plus watched MCAT videos on the subjects while doing my MCAT prep. I felt really confident about it; three weeks of nothing but glycolysis, TCA cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, and gluconeogenesis just for his lectures. When I sat down for the test I had no idea what was being asked; I felt horrible. We will get a chance to challenge his questions so I hope I’m able to get some points back after we review them. The only way for me to get an A in the class right now is to not miss anymore points. That’s not very realistic, but I’m going to do my best!

It’s seems like a silly thing to get hung up on, but my grades are very important to me. Honestly it’s not just to prove to schools that I can make it, since my first few years in undergrad killed my GPA, but to prove it to myself. I don’t have a lot of confidence in my abilities, and knowing I’m doing well and getting the grades I work hard for puts my mind at ease. I feel like I can do it, like I am smart enough and like I will be successful in med school.

Anyway, that’s my little school update. 🙂 I don’t really have an MCAT update except that I picked a test date; January 19th. I am not ready and I’m not sure I will be by then. I’m putting in a lot of study time but nothing is sticking. I feel like I’m just going through the motions to check things off my list without actually learning. I’ll have to do some serious practicing in December after the semester ends, but right now I’m 99.9% positive I’m going to push it back to April. I was going to do it in March but we’ll have an exam the Monday after I take it, so it’s not worth it to stress about two tests!

We’re exactly one month away from the end of the semester! It’s crazy to think how fast time has gone by. I really hope I can keep it up! I’ll be writing a post on study tips for grad school within the next month, so stay tuned. 🙂



Your Anxiety is Lying to You

Hello everyone,

Let’s start off by giving some updates. Our first exam was last month and I aced both my biostats ans integrated exam! I was very happy and honestly a bit surprised about biostats. Our second exam was last night; I feel okay about the integrated, but I know I failed the biostats. My brain completely blanked; I don’t think I studied enough, but it was really disappointing that I couldn’t remember how to do ANYTHING.

The past few weeks have been rough. Coming off the high of the first exam and doing well on the quizzes helped me keep going, but I kept wondering if I would be able to keep it up and this has been slowly draining me of energy. The anxiety that has come with wanting to maintain my standarss has been causing me to feel physically ill; I constantly feel like I’m going to vomit and my body won’t stop shaking. I have this tightness in my chest that I recognize as the start of a panic attack; I haven’t had one in so long that it’s been hard to calm myself down. I’ve been out of practice, which I guess is a good thing. I wish I could talk to my friends about it, but they all seem to have it together better than me and I don’t want to seem weak. I mean seriously, who gets physically ill from not getting A’s? Me apparently…

When I met with ny advisor she was so happy. She basically threw me a party because I did so well and said my test scores solidified what she knew about me. At the time it felt great, but it’s been weighing on me so much since then. What if I fail and prove her wrong? What if I fail and prove myself wrong? What if, what if, what if? What is she going to say next week when we meet again and I don’t have A’s? Will the tears I’ve so desperately tried to hold back finally come out? I eould be so embarassed but I have a feeling it might happen.

I’m so tired of trying to keep it together for my family. I’m tired of being away from my kids. I’m tired of constantly cutting our skype calls short because I feel guilty for not studying. I’m tired of not driving out to the city to take a pilates class I love because it takes away from my studying. I’m tired of feeling guilty for not spending enough time cleaning. I’m tired of missing my cats back home. I’m tired of being up at 3 AM because I can’t quiet down my thoughts.

I’m slightly annoyed it took this post to finally allow myself time to be vulnerable and cry. I feel so much better now…

I’m not perfect. I know I never will be, and as much as I expect perfection from myself it’s okay to not be the perfect student. I already made a plan on how I’m going to study for biostats to bring up my grade. I already included breaks to exercise and do fun things, like watch TV or hang out with friends. I’ll get through this semester just like I got through all the others and I will do my best to find a balance between studying and having fun.

My anxiety does not control me and it doesn’t define who I am or what I can do. It lies to me all the time about the kind of person/mother/wife/student I am all the time, but I’m not going to listen to it anymore. I have better things to do with my time that worry about things that won’t happen as long as I get things done. It’s time to stop worrying and start living.

I didn’t come up with the post title, by the way. I saw it somewhere else and it resonated with me. Thank you to person that came up with it; you’ll never knoe how much it’s helped me.