At this time of the year one day it feels like summer and the next there is slush falling from the sky. We are overwhelmed with an onslaught of midterms, papers due seemingly every day, and most of us barely have time to think coherent thoughts. Those who are graduating also have to puzzle through disheartening rejection letters from postgraduate institutions and the sad fact that their undergraduate lives are coming to an end. We’ve got the not-so-hopeful med school hopefuls, the maybe-next-time law applicants, and maybe the sorry-try-again dentist wannabes. On top of all the responsibilities we have to school, work, friends, and family, we now have to find out what our ‘plan B’ passions are.
Well, I’m one of those ‘just shy of an interview’ kids and this is how, despite all the rain, tears and exasperation, I’ve managed to “stay golden”.
First of all, I took time to collect and reflect on all my newly acquired and hard to deal with rejection. I picked up the phone dialed my mom and my best friend and had them help me validate my self worth when all the “unfortunately… we cannot at this time…” emails started to come in. You may not need to talk to your mom, but maybe a nice TV marathon or snuggling up with Ben and Jerry will help you feel a little bit better.
Once I was done being sad and bleary eyed I picked up my laptop and figured out ‘what else?’. What else am I good at? What else do I want to do? What else? Now, this doesn’t mean that I’ve given up on my dream of saving the world through medicine or law or whatever but I know that I just need to increase my stock as an applicant for next year. Not only is becoming a better applicant more important to me but so is enjoying the time that I spend doing it. I want to make sure that whatever I do until I get into that program makes me happy as well as enriching my skills and expertise.
UBC has a ton of resources to help you do just that. They have Career counselling, job fairs, and a huge database of professors, alumni and staff who can help you (if you have the right questions) to figure out what cool skills you may be able to develop. In addition to that, UBC has a few programs catered to those with a first degree.
After I spent a solid amount of time juggling homework, studying, friends, and my existential crisis I took a break and focused on myself for a couple days.
I reminded myself that no matter what happens I will learn something from the experience and will be that much better for it.
Keep everything in perspective and stay golden.