It is approaching the time of year where universities will be informing candidates whether they have secured a place on their desired course. Some people will be ecstatic - they will have received all their offers and achieved the grades required, looking forward to beginning university life in September/October. However, for others, things may not have worked out as they had wished, and it is a much more challenging time.
Rejection is something everyone will experience at some point in their lives. Naturally, it is not a good feeling, especially in the context of medicine offers because students invest so much time and effort into their application. However, medicine is one of the most competitive courses in the world so facing rejection is more common than most people think.
A podcast episode from Ali and Taimur Abdaal’s Not Overthinking discusses the concept of rejection in many aspects of life, however, the points they make can be applied to dealing with academically related rejection.
He makes a very important point about how people treat their successes and rejections. People take these things very personally and in some cases rely on successes as a means of happiness - if they do not achieve their goals, supposedly they have failed and are not happy.
Happiness comes from within, and not getting an offer to study medicine the first time around does not make anyone less of a person. It is always important to learn from your experiences - thinking about why you might not have achieved your goal will help your future decision-making, for example, whether you choose to study medicine or decide to do something else, and will likely improve your chances of success in the future.
I resonate with this one because I have always felt like this since my days at school. We almost feel that without ‘perfect’ grades, or a ‘perfect’ body or lifestyle, we are unworthy. This is not the case. We make this a part of our identity and set extremely high standards of ourselves. However, we must realise that we are humans who make mistakes and we won’t always achieve perfection. And what is perfection anyway? Perfection is extremely subjective and people view it in different ways, therefore it should not be used as a measure of self-worth.
Ali and Taimur Abdaal have great discussions over a wide range of topics, and this episode was no different. I really enjoyed how they made a serious topic quite interesting and fun to talk about, including their experiences with various crushes (which was HILARIOUS!).
Because of how successful both brothers are, it is refreshing to hear high achievers open up about the various rejections they have faced. This is comforting for many people, especially their followers and gives hope to many that failure is not the end, rather it is the beginning of personal growth and development.
I highly recommend listening to this podcast episode (9 June 2019) available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. If you have been unsuccessful in securing a place at medical school, please feel comfort in knowing that I was in your shoes 2 years ago and I can totally understand how you feel. Having said that, rejection was redirection for me and opened up so many more opportunities that have allowed me to grow and develop into a much stronger person. If you choose to reapply for medicine, it is important to reflect on things that you can improve on in your application next time around, and we have amazing resources on our website that can help!
Author: Iqra Ali
Editor: Allegra Wisking