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The Application

When do you give up?

So, we’re very nearly at the end of August and two weeks today marks the 7th of September and the proposed start of term for Nottingham GEM.

I found out last Thursday (confirmed on Friday) that I am now second on the GEM waiting list. The list has had sone very strong movement and it’s been really quite consistent. That was until last week. Last week saw only one place movement.

I have 2 weeks to move 2 places. Seems easy enough right? So why am I panicking? Someone has to be number one when they stop the intake from the waiting list. Is that going to be me? Should I be booking the GAMSAT and UCAT (that I cancelled) and be preparing for another application cycle?

“One place a week and you’re in” – very true words of advice from a friend. “There’s always people who drop out last minute/ when the course starts!” – again, very true.

Let’s face it. It’s been a struggle the whole way and I never thought I would get this far or this close. It seems too close for it not to work in my favour but then again, this is GEM. It’s anything but predictable.

When is it okay to give up hope? I’ve been trying to keep optimistic and have been posting on TSR with positive, moral-boosting posts but really, I’m worried. I don’t have the hope or confidence that everyone else has for me. I also don’t want to admit defeat but I’m worried that I’ll be faced with reapplying and I’ll dismiss it. It’ll be my last chance for Nottingham and I don’t want to have to do it all again.

I think it’s really important to show the negative sides to a Medicine application. It’s not easy. It’s been a whole year of hope, progress and rejection. You can’t always feel on top of the world, confident and certain. Whilst having a GEM community on Instagram and TSR is largely a positive thing, it’s important to remember that we often only see the ‘highlights’, the good bits, the successes and the ‘worthy’ posts.

Obviously not all GEM/ Medicine ‘influencers’ are like that and I really enjoy seeing the human sides with all the emotions. The sadness, the anxiety, the pain and the struggle.

I’m finding that the waiting list and movement is constantly plaguing my life. I’m currently on a block of night shifts and I find myself waking up during the day to refresh my emails and check TSR. I know that there’s nothing I can do but a little message or a notification is the only hope I have at the moment.

As usual I’ll email to see if there’s movement at the end of the week. I dread the response. Especially if it comes back and there’s been nothing. I’m wholeheartedly praying for movement, even one place throughout this week. It’s the last of my energy clinging to the hope of a place in this years intake. Why couldn’t I have been 100th on the list?! That was I’d have known from the onset that it wasn’t looking hopeful?!

I finish my shift on Saturday morning and then I’m away for a few day’s, which also marks the start of my 2 weeks of annual leave. Hopefully it’ll take my mind off of it and I’ll be in a better mindset by being distracted! Wish me luck!

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