After graduating from the University of Waterloo with a major in Honours Science in 2013, I decided to do something that really frightened me – I decided to take a year off. After being in school in succession for 16 years, this seemed like the worst idea possible. To be honest, I was slightly ashamed about telling my family and friends about it. However, I stuck with my intuition and did it anyway. It turned out to be the best decision I could ever make.
I began to work at a clinic where I gained experience working with patients, performing consultations, and delivering x-ray reports. I then realized my life long goal of becoming a physician had to be achieved. I had written the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) after my third year at UWaterloo and although I did well, I wanted to do better. So while working at the clinic, I signed up for another MCAT course and decided to rewrite it. The undergraduate biomedical courses I had taken at UWaterloo really gave me an edge when studying. Another benefit came from my teaching assistant experience as a third year physiology TA in my last year.
I scored much higher the second time around and felt confident when sending out my medical school applications. I applied to schools abroad, specifically in Ireland and couldn’t wait to hear back! I hoped and dreamed that my experiences at medical school would be as wonderful as it was at UWaterloo.
After hearing back from many schools, I accepted an offer from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – in Bahrain! I wanted to travel the world, learn about different cultures, and experience things I couldn’t have in North America or Europe. It was a colossal change to move to the Middle East, but I cannot wait to start school within the next couple weeks. UWaterloo really helped shape who I am today. I have become so much more independent and adventurous in many aspects of my life. Most importantly, I have become a dedicated, passionate, and hardworking student who carries University of Waterloo pride with me everywhere I go!