I know that most of us are at different points of our journey into one day entering the medical profession of our dreams, but I hope that this message continues to encourage anyone who is having doubts about whether or not they are going to "make it" or not.
School is hard in itself and adding loads of volunteer hours, club dedications, clinical hours, and a job on top of that; it can make life hectic. I also believe as pre-medical students, we sometimes tend to be not very nice towards ourselves due to the fact we are overwhelmed by the pressures of getting good grades while also wanting to be well-rounded by joining clubs or volunteering. But while all of these things can be difficult to juggle within a four year period, know that you are not alone because we are all in the same boat.
One of the main things I notice pre-med students doing, including myself in the past, is comparing myself to others. This is one of the most dangerous things you can do but it is so easy to fall in the trap of feeling the need that you need to constantly do better than the people around you. We tend to forget that we are INDIVIDUALS that all take DIFFERENT paths than each other. Discussing grades, GPAs, or hours of shadowing has become the norm amongst STEM students; it has turned into merely a competition against one another.
GPA is another thing. It's a number that matters on the application but it is not what determines whether you are in or out. I have talked to people that have maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout all four years of their college career, along with a good MCAT score, but were not accepted. Passion is key.
When someone tells you their reasons why they want to be a doctor and don't mention salary or prestige, you know that they are passionate about it. I have listened to people get emotional telling me their stories about what drives them to be a part of the medical field and I want them to know that I am rooting for them so bad. I know the road there can be tough and filled with obstacles that include not having an ideal GPA a the moment, needing to volunteer a few extra hours, or studying extra hard for that MCAT. But people are attracted to your passion. If your story does not need to be fabricated or rehearsed, you are golden.
As an undergraduate, I have not formally gone through the entire medical school application process but I have talked to people who have and who have been accepted, who are taking a gap year, who are re-applying or plan to do something with their life before applying. It is amazing seeing everyone take the path that is right for them and who are not afraid to tell others to do the same. Remember, at the end of the day, their plans are not your plans. Your passion will lead you to where you want to go, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.