What Could YOU Be Doing NOW During Lockdown?
As a prospective medical student, the thought of not being able spend the summer months as you normally would at this point in your journey can be terrifying. Quite frankly, it has left many pre-medical students stumped with knowing what they can and should be doing at this time.
That being said, even though face to face work experience is cancelled and you cannot spend your time as you normally would, there is still so much you can be doing right NOW during you LOCKDOWN days!
Your personal statement is one of the most challenging pieces of written work you will ever face. You need to put down in a limited number of words why you want to study medicine, what you have done to ensure medicine is for you and why the medical school should make you an offer. It’s a hard task that required lots of time and patience…. something you will not be short of during lockdown. Spending half an hour a day for a few days a week can make all the difference and ensure your personal statement is top notch. With not much else to do as a means to occupy yourself, why not work on something which can be the deciding factor on getting into medical school?
Similarly, even though lockdown persists you are still required to sit your entrance exam(s) to gain a place at medical school. With the copious amounts of time on your hands you can dedicate part of your days to revising and preparing for such.
With a lack of in-face work experience and volunteering placements available as of current, this is the time to think outside the box. You can still volunteer and gain insight into medicine regardless of being in a global pandemic. The most obvious would be signing up to volunteer in your local community to deliver food parcels and medication to those who are socially isolating and have no family/friends to help them out. Alongside volunteering, you can also take part in virtual work experience days held by medical schools, companies and hospital trusts which have been designed to offer the same level of experience and knowledge as would be gained from true face-to-face placements. This being said, the work experience and volunteering you do prior to medical school needs to not only be medical related. Anything you do which allows you to gain skills important to medicine can be used – whether that be working in a supermarket dealing with difficult customers or being a helper at a local youth club which enhances your teamwork skills. Just because the world around us is a little strange at the moment, does not take away from the opportunities that present.
As well as the factors which are essential to your application as a medical student, lockdown is a way to also learn new skills, take your interests further and add to your application in a way that will allow you to stand out from other candidates. There is mass amount of research in medicine which dominates all specialities and covers every aspect you could think of – why not spark a new interest in a side of medicine not considered or take you knowledge further by diving into the world of journals. Find topics of interest as well as current topics which are making waves within the research community. Not only may you find something which you didn’t know existed, but you will provide yourself with something to talk about both on your personal statement and during interview. Away from medicine, you could take up a new skill or hobby and grow this while in lockdown – this can be anything and will ultimately not only offer you some release away from the stresses of everyday life but will also show to admission tutors that you have free time and do something with it. Alternatively, you could spend some of this free time tutoring younger siblings, friends or people looking for help – with the online world becoming increasingly important, there is sure to be a way to put your academic skills to good use from the comfort of your house.
Ultimately, there is a vast array of things you can be doing NOW during LOCKDOWN. Not all have to be related to your medical application, but you will more often than not find that even those that seem completely unrelated will have some standing on your application.
Lockdown is a difficult time for all, but make the most of this unusual set up to make yourself the best candidate you can for applying to medical school. Don’t waste the extra time you have! Think smart and it will pay off!!
Thank you to Holly Egan for a great piece, you can find her on @dreamsofamedic on Instagram.
This piece was reviewed by our Step2Med team who can be found on @step2med on both Facebook and Instagram.
To read further articles head over to our blog page on www.step2med.co.uk/blog, and email us if you have any questions on firstname.lastname@example.org.