Want help applying to UBC? See the online mentorship program!

Hey all!  So over the last few years, I’ve been grateful for the chance to mentor a number of high school students – mostly referred by word-of-mouth. So, thank you to anyone who passed on this site or my contact information.

It’s high time that we made this into an official online mentoring service! The only difference is now you have an actual link to pass on (haha).

The suggested areas for the mentorship are geared mostly towards high school students looking to apply to university.

Want help applying to UBC or another university? See the online mentorship service over here at http://shannayeung.com/mentorship/

How to prepare an Integrated Sciences proposal

As we transition over to  http://shannayeung.com/blog tell me which posts over the last 3 years have been your favourite! So that I’ll be sure to move those over.


Other recent posts on the new site




Why you should make a personal website and blog

Why make a personal blog?

Blogging has been a fantastic way to record the way my life was. I do recommend starting a blog if you’re starting first year because it will help you record precious memories such as the type of person you were,  what was important to you e.g. goals, values, the friends that you made. Some aspects of yourself will change as you move forward in your time at university and some will stay unchanged. Having a written records and photos can help you compare and figure out what those were. In other words, it will help you realize your self-growth.

A blog can serve as a highlight reel to help you realize how many people and opportunities you have to be grateful for.

Thanks so much for being a part of my time at the University of British Columbia! 143 posts here on UBC Blogs and all the times that you’ve come to read! I’m consciously reducing the amount of time I spend blogging (besides this blog, I co-run a food-centered blog with my friend) so I am blogging less this year compared to the previous two years. I currently plan to leave my old posts here in case they may be helpful to any students in the future though when I have time, I’d like to remove some of my not-so-great posts.


Why make a personal website?

I decided to follow the lead of mentors in research world and design a more professional looking  personal website at http://shannayeung.com.  Our online identities can define other’s first impression of us nowadays in our technology-heavy world so we should take control of our identities and make sure our online identities correctly represent who we are. I find Linkedin too constricting and I felt like building your own website gives you so much more freedom. I also think inserting pictures to represent what you’re passionate about is much more engaging than lines of text.

How to make a personal website

See this great guide to making a personal website that I followed: https://collegeinfogeek.com/personal-website/

Apps Submitted, Studying for midterms, Dinner with friends

Hey! So if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that my last two months have been consumed by endless writing and editing. This morning, I finally sent the last application in. I feel relieved that I can have more time to study for upcoming midterms!

I feel like school just started not too long ago but we’re already a month in! Does anyone else feel like your September has flown by faster than you expected?  The fact that my next midterm is this Wednesday has helped me finally process that we are deep into the school semester already.

Today was a perfect day in many ways. My pharmacology and physiology lectures were interesting today. My friend, Amanda, and I then got a ton of studying done. I have been studying a lot in quiet places in the libraries lately so it was nice to study somewhere full of life. Then I had fun meeting a bunch of Amanda’s friends. They were all super funny and laid-lack. We had dinner at the Gallery on the 4th floor of the Nest. It was my first time and I liked it there, though their food is a little pricey.

Hope you have an awesome weekend!




Looking beyond setbacks

Yesterday I was feeling overwhelmed that I still have finish my applications but I don’t want to fall behind in school but there’s only 24 hours in a day and so on…  I struggled against writer’s block and asked myself, “What am I doing? It’s taken so much work to get here. Why am I faltering at this step?” I felt unsure of my own abilities because it seems that my belief that if I just try again and keep going, things would work out. At that time, it felt like that belief was wrong for once.

Today I remembered that school is my priority but it is not everything. It’s not worth getting too focused on. I had to turn down the invitation to today’s food tasting but stuck until two of my best friends (who are also food photographers) were finished to go home together.

We swapped funny stories on the way to the car and teased each other over the dumbest things. We even got wistful for a bit as we talked about our dreams and how we’re uncertain about achieving them but still going for it. The serious mood broke when the two broke into song to sing along with chorus at the same time. It was very fitting that it was the chorus of  Hedley’s “Perfect” that goes “I’m not perfect, but I keep trying”.

It was then as we laughed at how off tune the two were as we drove down past the beautiful darkness of the trees along Marine Drive, I remembered how lucky I am to have best friends that have had my back for the last 10 years. I remembered how lucky I am to be living my life that has been so full of precious people and experiences, and that I have so much to look forward to.

Most important of all, they helped me remembered that life is not going to be perfect, but it is still going to be awesome.

Yay! First Med School Application submitted

I am super excited to share with you all that I’ve submitted my very first medical school application ever. I keep reminding myself to be realistic that admissions is very competitive, and even more so for a third year applicant. As I said before, I’m going for it because I subscribe to “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” so you might as well take a shot. But I know there really isn’t a need to be too rush to get from one place to another.

The applications are taking up a fairly big chunk of time even though I tried to get as much done before school started. There are a couple more applications to submit so I’m going to get those done as soon as possible, and head back into focusing on classes, work and extracurriculars.

Speaking of applying to medical school, I want to recommend a MCAT test prep company that  called Magoosh. If you’re applying to graduate school or law school, they also offer tutoring for the the GRE, GMAT and the LSAT. Magoosh is offering  Save 20% on Magoosh test prep plans  to readers of this blog through that promo link – yay!

Have an awesome weekend!

Grateful for a friend sharing this journey :)

So if you read this blog, you’ve heard Veena mentioned in every other post – because we do some many things together and are so alike we should have been born twins. So today is a special post in honour of the birthday of my “twin” and the fact she is stalking this blog today (hehe!).

I cannot express how grateful I am to have a friend that always get me about things we worry about and things we want to achieve in life , always offering to help me justice when something bad happens, study together for hours with and lend mutual motivation to get things done!

The journey to getting to what we want to achieve with lives feels more like a difficult at times but it’s a thousand times better to have a friend climb the same steps with you side by side.

Look forward to getting to the next step together and have food adventures together for a long long time.

Happy Birthday to this super smart, driven, ambitious, hard working, and humble friend!

Getting ready to go back to school

Things I’ve been thinking about:

If you’re actively trying to pave a path to your dream career, you are happy to climb the little obstacles to get there.  

Today, one of my best friends, Veena, had a birthday party during which there was a lot of “wow schools starts again in just over a week!” and “back to the study grind!”. Veena and I had the same thought and glanced at each other at the same time and had a little laugh since we have been studying for our MCAT most of the summer. Yet we don’t regret it at all and we would sacrifice our summer all over again in a heartbeat because we choose to do this to chase our dreams. 🙂

Dreams are allowed to change one day, and I am going to stay open to embracing changes. 

As much I’m really determined to reach my current dream, I watched this video by Dr. Tooley and was reminded that it’s okay to have your goals change as you mature and learn more about yourself. Watch that video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7u471kd4hts. This past week, I’ve been asked multiple times about what I see myself doing 20 years from now, and of the times I mention I am interested in medicine, I always get asked what kind of doctor I want to be. People usually want a speciality as an answer. I want to 1) first cross the hurdle of getting into medicine and 2) be open to trying different specialities in rotations because you never know until you’ve tried!  Instead of saying a speciality, I would rather say there are traits & a work life and home life that I am envisioning for my life 20 years down the road instead. For example, a doctor that is committed to making patients feel like they are being listened to, feels comfortable with the skills and knowledge expected me for my level of training at the point, feel like my job is helping people and has meaning, a work environment with colleagues that support each other. In my personal life, I envision having a husband and children, settled in a neighbourhood that we’ll be living in for a while (as opposed to be temporarily living in a town for a few months or 1 year for training and constantly moving around). I bet that a good number of things I have just said will change as things happen to me and I grow and experience another 20 years of living.

I need to learn what is essential and what is not, and prioritize accordingly. 

I’ve been listening to the audiobook, “Essentialism”, as I walk to the bus stop, etc . It’s really made me start to think about how I can identify what is most important in my life and what things should I start saying no to.

I look forward to being a full time student again. 

The summer’s been fun but I look forward to the student life of classes, studying with friends, club activities, and all the other awesomeness of being a university student!Plus, I try to always remember that I am privileged to be a student whose main job is to study and learn!

Side note: I forgot that textbooks are very expensive. 

I seem to forget this every year. Booklists are out! I tried to hunt down my Pathology textbook on various used textbooks sites and Facebook groups but in the end, I’ve resorted to ordering the Pathology textbook brand new since the new textbook just came out. I figured that it’s better to buy the new version so that it will be easier for me to re-sell when I’m done the class. I am SO excited for my Pathology course in Semester 1!



Tips for preparing the Medical School Application

In Canada, you are allowed to apply to a handful of medical schools while in third year but the number of third years that get in is not very high because you’ve had less time to do extracurriculars, boost your GPA, etc.  I’m not confident that I’m competitive to get in but I’m still going to try because as Wayne Gretsky said “You miss all the shots you don’t take”. If I just give an earnest effort to applying, I still get a better chance than not trying at all right? Most importantly, I’m going to apply this year to get a practice run to familiarize myself with the application process. All the information I gather together, I can hold on and make applying to next year easier 🙂 Here are some things I learned so far – some of these are things I wish I did so I hope these help you : )

  1. Keep all your emails, or else you’ll regret having trouble finding that exact day you gave a presentation.
  2. Keep meticulous records of all volunteering & employment. Record the date, hours, the contact information of someone that can be a verifier.
  3. Your application takes a lot of time. A friend of mine finished her application in a weekend so I thought I could finish it in a week working on it in the evenings after work. Nope. Nope. Nope. Some of you awesome writers probably can. The rest of us  need more time than that to write and revise.
  4. You will spend a lot of time emailing/calling to find a verifier.
  5.  When your old contact has changed jobs/disappeared/changed their email address/phone number, don’t panic. Spend your energy looking for an alternate verifier instead.
  6. You may feel feel like everything you’ve done so far sounds lame on paper or feel like you’ve so uncompetitive compared to the profiles of accepted applicants. I try to keep in mind that it’s NOT a competition of who’s better – you’re competing with yourself to present the best picture of yourself! If you feel a hit to your self-confidence at times, it’s okay!! I think it’s pretty normal. Talk to a friend that can cheer you up 🙂
  7. Ask for help if you need it. No one in my family has gone with through this application process so I asked some friends & colleagues to look over my application – which I am grateful to the moon and back that they are willing to do so.
  8. See your weak areas as places to grow 🙂 Filling in the application has made me realize what areas I am weak and what kind of experiences I should look to gain this upcoming year.
  9. It’s probably better to know your score before you start working on your application. I’m starting to work on it without knowing my MCAT score and I wish that I know my score so that I could know which schools I am eligible for and just focus on those. My scores don’t come out until the end of August. So if you have the luxury of choice, I would advise you to write the MCAT earlier in the summer, e.g. at or before mid-late June so that you know you stand.
  10. Make a giant spreadsheet to track deadlines.

Good luck!

P.S. Does the fact that I quote Gretsky instead of an European philosopher make it painfully obvious that I’m a Canadian? Hockey is basically a philosophy for living here in Canada, at least for hockey players (hahaha).

Post MCAT: what I’m grateful for

  1. I am grateful to be where I am right here right now. If I only believe that happiness is if I hold an acceptance letter, then I would be miserable! I am happy that I have the opportunity to chase a dream that isn’t possible for some people with different circumstances, such as those living in places where woman can’t attend school, or whose family obligations made it impossible. I’m lucky to have had the chance to study at university, to have the option of choosing my own path in my life, to be able to believe that I can make my dream a reality. And so, I am happy. Younger me said “one day I’ll write the MCAT”. I’m already at “one day” which feels crazy and I’m grateful to be.
  2. I am grateful for my friends who studied with me for 12 hours at a time for the MCAT, share advice and resources and all sorts of help, and be each other’s cheerleaders to remind each other that we can overcome things that seem scary at the moment but aren’t that bad once we can see past them. Super proud of them (special shout out to my smarty friend who score amazing on the MCAT!) and I’m so glad we’re in this together.
  3. Everyday I am so lucky to have a family so supportive of my educational goals. While I studied, I was very grateful to live with my family because they wanted to help me save time so another family member prepared dinner/let me off the hook for lots of trying-to-get-this-house-in-shape tasks, and so much more. They also offered a lot of cheerful “You do it!” and reminders that life isn’t perfect and that if things don’t work out, there are always chances to try again. I can keep going for pages about how awesome my family is, but I’ll stop here to not bore you readers to death.
  4.  On that topic, I am going to try my hardest to do what I can but I’m thankful that if things don’t work out (which is always possible but nothing is 100% certain!), I have chances to try again!
  5. That writing this blog has helped me reflect on what my life has been like often and helps me stay positive! When I think about what I write, I tend to think about what I am grateful for and what has made me happy.
  6. Thank you for reading and joining me on this journey! 🙂

What I’m up to: Finances!

  • I’ve been making a conscious effort to educate myself on managing finances. Early in first year, I wrote about how I started thinking about finances and that I went with Veena to the bank to learn all about different options for saving money. Now as I’m soon to start third year, I’m investing even more time into this now thinking about what I need to do to plan for at least 5 more years of tuition. In addition, if I have to move to another city, I also need to be conscious of potential housing costs, bills, and more. I strongly believe that even if we’re young, we shouldn’t wait to learn about these until we’re graduated to learn and plan. If we start learning now, we’ll be more prepared than if we start later! I know so very little so I have read a bunch of the White Coat Investor’s beginner series, which I highly recommend. He is especially geared to people in/planning for professional/graduate school, with the special challenge of a significantly larger student debt than a student only paying for one degree. I want to read my way down this list when I have time  http://astore.amazon.com/whicoainv-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=64  If you can recommend other great resources for learning how to manage finances, let me know!

Recommended Blog Post:

  • Reading other blogs. I read a post by fellow blogger Kate. Check out this post because it’s SO relatable if you have ever taken Organic Chemistry/tend to over stretch yourself/like to subject yourself to crazy busy schedules all the time