Getting into Medical School, aka Holy of Holies (the F-1 version)

My adventures as an international student trying to get into a US medical school as a prestigious MSI student!

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Location: East Coast, United States

I am a 22 yr old Foreign lady trying to get into an American med school. The journey has been "rough" to say the least. So join the band wagon and let's see if they think I'm good enough to become a doctor. I hope my story encourages someone, maybe you. Not necessarily to become a doctor, but just to follow your dream. Leave your comments as you read...I thrive on feedback. And if this is your first time here, catch up on what you missed, cus every post IS important...well almost all. So forget that board meeting(at your own risk) or skip that class (again at your own risk) and lose yourself in my archives. REMEMBER: "If it aint ROUGH, it aint RIGHT" - Richard Hamilton, Detroit Pistons Guard

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The things we do for money

I'm sure by now you are getting tired of my financial lamentations...I really wish I could say it would be over soon, more for my sake than yours, but except by some miracle it doesn't look likely. A few weeks ago I was "managing" my checking accounts online. By managing, I mean making sure no one had cashed that check covering my share of the pizza we ordered eons ago, putting me and my struggling finances into the red light district. Luckily, no one had. But there were other things to worry about.

By now I had done the math and figured that I might end up spending close to $6000 by February next year on the whole application process. This is not a bad thing though, as that means I would have been invited and had to fly/drive to at least 15 of my 21, for interviews. After doing the math though (you'll be surprised at how much complex mental math you can do when you're facing impending brokedom), I realized that there was no way my 9 to 5, rather my 10ish to 7ish, was going to pay for the process and at the same time solve for the variable "x" (my survival after the process). So guess what I did...I called on one of my life lessons that I had thus far been trying to perfect.

I took INITIATIVE. You see, I did learn something from Miu Corp after all. But in all honesty, when faced with the "right" circumstances, you don't even need to TAKE initiative, it comes JUMPING at you from all corners. Literally and Figuratively. I had to sift through the 1000 ideas sprouting up in my head on how to make an extra dime, and come up with a robust plan B. Should I go back to my roots in customer service? You know, like waitressing, cashier, or maybe even the school library? Nahhh...the thought of sucking up to some Boss figure was not vey appealing. I needed to call my own shots. Determine when I got to work, how much I got paid, how I went to work or if I even went at all. You know, be an "entrepeneur". Ok maybe not exactly but you catch the drift. So what exactly did I eventually decide on?

After ruling out all those options that were ruled by a "boss"-archy and those that could potentially get my black behind deported, I was left with one. I had formally tutored biology in college for 4 years as well as math, physics and organic chem informally. So why not do it again, but this time on my on terms. All I had gotten for it till this point was a measly 7 bucks/hr, an occasional "thank-you", and an even more occasional threat to get beaten up for possessing an accent. So I upped my prices and put a very emotional "love for teaching" ad on craigslist, complete with how it wasn't just for the money but to satisfy my desire to help others...blah blah blah. It really wasn't just for the money though, like I said before, I was getting sick of watching Lifetime's rendition of "My father didn't love me so now I will kill all men that look at me" and I needed something to get me off the couch. And fast. Unfortunately though, no one seemed to be buying my emotional rantings. So I advertised again on another tutor website, and just waited. And waited.

It was during this waiting period that I decided to randomly try an SAT exam online. Seeing as I had boldly advertised I could help with the math section of the test and I had taken the exam almost six years ago, a refresher was very much in order. So there I was clicking on the first "SAT test" link good 'ole Uncle Google gave me about to show them who the math don was...or not. I solved the first problem easily. I hadn't lost my touch. Tried the next one, missed that. Can't win 'em all anyway. Then the next, that threw me off completely. Some random question about how to construct a fence with some rope and sticks. What the....? What happened to the retro style questions, you know, "it takes two men to build a house, how long will it take three...". OK, so the point is I bombed the test. At this point panic set in. I had not only advertised the SAT, but also the GRE and the GMAT, all of which I had not taken to this point, and didn't plan to take anytime soon. What on earth was I thinking? I considered deleting my ads and just forgetting about the whole tutoring thing, but as I remembered the kwashiorkor ridden state of my account, I decided otherwise...maybe no one will answer, it had been two weeks already anyways so why don't I just leave them up.

No such luck, about two days later someone emailed me, wanted help with GRE Math! Ok, be cool. We exchanged some emails and set up a meeting time. I quickly explained that I had never taken the GRE just in case he wanted some expert. He was fine with it, I wanted him to back out so bad, but he didn't. We talked about the good part, the money. My strategy was to find out how much regular tutors ask for (~$40/hr), and go way lower. It worked, I'm sure ol' boy was even beginning to wonder if it was some scam or something, the price was ridiculously low, to him, but to me it was a heck of a lot of money.

We had the first session this Monday and it really hasn't been as bad as I thought, the SAT is actually a bit more fanciful with its questions than the GRE. Some of the questions still throw me off though, but at least I gave the disclaimer that I wasn't a guru, so he doesn't always expect an answer in 2 seconds. Timewise it's harder than I thought, cus now I don't get any free time till 11pm at night(3 days a week) and it's even getting hard to put up posts here, but you know I won't leave you hanging for too long, so be patient with me. But the checks are darn good. Let's just say we're one step closer to solving for "x". I had to do all I could to resist cashing the first check the very next day. We don't want me looking desperately broke now do we?'s the rule of the game, "The broke always try to look rich, and the rich just try to look normal...(Eric Jerome Dickey).

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Blogger Bijouxoxo said...

Ride on gal, taking charge of ur finances before serious brokedom sets in. This tutoring thingy may not be that bad afterall.

August 09, 2006 9:19 AM  
Blogger tori said...

chei! *should I steal Abbeys idea and be tutor?*

lol. Nah, im broke, but school starts in a little over a week. I wish I had thought of it earlier sha! G'luck!! :D

August 09, 2006 9:21 AM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

lol...never too late, u can squeeze it in somewhere.

August 09, 2006 10:21 AM  
Anonymous ogizzle said...

For real, I was broke this summer and even though i tutored in college the process still strikes fear in my i ended up babysitting this summer and being a research subject. Meanwhile, I think EJD has some mad quotable words. I just finished "chasing destiny earlier and he said "falling in love is like falling off a building- it doesn't hurt till you get to the end"

August 09, 2006 10:27 AM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

yeah..funny cus I just started reading my first of his books this wknd and I'm already quoting him.

Research subject huh? risky, risky...was it some new drug they were testing on you? I've heard horrible stories. But ur alive and hopefully well so I guess urs went well

August 09, 2006 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the next time you want to spend 6 grand on applying for school, holla at me for 'downpayment on a house' funding ;-) ~tyrese on facebook

August 09, 2006 11:10 AM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

lol...hopefully that will be never!

August 09, 2006 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ummm ...excuse me.... i don't understand the downpayment on a house joke (hence I'm remaining anonymous!) I get that $6000 is equivalent to a downpayment on a house...but the articulation...? [anyway only if u have time busy lady :) ]

August 09, 2006 11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting...Your sister in TX told me about your blog...

Your story thrilling.... :)

August 12, 2006 1:39 PM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

thanks for stopping by...sista, thanks for the publicity

August 15, 2006 9:54 AM  
Blogger Vera said...

Abby girl, you just gave me an idea!!! I have been broke for no reason; I mean, no reason @ all. I know how 2 use my hands (braid hair et al) but I have just been doing "ajebo" for no1 but myself. Hmmmmmm, this ad thing no be bad idea @ all o. Well, enjoy med skool sha. Wish u the best of luck!

- God Bless Ya

August 28, 2006 6:38 PM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

men if you've got it use it. its really not that bad, sometimes i'm even like "dang another check already?"

August 28, 2006 6:51 PM  
Blogger Vera said...

AH ah! From what you just said, it's obvious you neither want nor need the money. If I were you, I would give it to someone some1 who reads your blog and tells you she will start braiding hair for money. And if that some1 coincidentally becomes me, I won't mind @ all oh. I'm not suggesting anything, of course. And if you should decide that maybe this Vera girl needs the money more and you need her address, just lemme know girl. I'll give it to you...out of the goodness of my heart, of course.


what site did you place that ad on?

August 29, 2006 2:10 AM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

meeen if you knew wassup u won't even be saying I don't need the money, lol.

It's just so easy that at the end of it ur like wow, i just earned this money? I put it on craigslist and another local tutor website. But I found the local website on craigs list. So look out for any in your area.

August 29, 2006 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

abbey i like ur philosophy on moni. i know u are a true giver because u just dropped for me the other day. i will still pay u bck even though u told me not to worry. You need tht money more than i do but thanx for lending a hand in my time of need.
u know me

August 29, 2006 10:12 PM  
Blogger ABBEY said...

ok now ur making me sound like a charity case "I need the money more than you do", it's all love though

August 30, 2006 8:57 AM  

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