3 Reasons Every Pre-Med Student Deserves a Post-MCAT Vacation ,
So, you want to become a doctor. Unfortunately, the road there is one of the most difficult pursuits in academia, and for good reason. One of the most monumental landmarks in the journey to practicing medicine is taking and passing the MCAT. This test will determine what type of med school you can attend and, ultimately, whether you can become a doctor or not. Any pre-med student will tell you it is a very big deal. They will also tell you that it was one of the most difficult tests they had ever prepared for at the time. With all this work and stress centered on the MCAT, it would do any pre-med student a world of good to do some major relaxing after they have finally completed the process.
1. Give your mind a rest.
Ideally, you should spend about 40 hours a week studying for the MCAT. That equates to a full-time job. It doesn’t matter when you are applying for med school, cramming in 40 hours a week for study time is no easy task. Students are often in the middle of classes, have other jobs, are working on research projects, or have extracurricular activities that need to be taken care of before they can even begin to focus on study time. Many students opt to split up their time the best they can during the week and then take about 20 hours every weekend to study. After all this preparation, the mind is full of enough information to fill a couple encyclopedias. And, not only does this information need to be recalled perfectly to ace the test, the mental exhaustion that pre-med students suffer as a result of the extensive preparation can become overwhelming. After you take the test, this is the absolute best time to give your ticker a much-needed rest. Actually transporting yourself to a different location is the perfect way to get your mind, which is now overloaded with information and worry about your score, to become clear again.
If you have already gone through the process of studying for the MCAT, you know how much work it is. If you’re just starting down the road of preparing for the test, you will understand as soon as you walk out of that testing center how stressed you were and how much of a relief it is to finally finish that exam. If you want to become a doctor, there is absolutely no better time than directly after the MCAT to jet off to the beach or another favorite getaway to celebrate your hard work. Finishing the MCAT is no small feat, so anyone who does it deserves to treat themselves to some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
3. Re-focus on your goals.
As soon as you finish that MCAT test and receive your score, one phase of the journey to practicing medicine is complete. Let’s hope you were happy with your original score and can use it to begin applying to medical schools. If not, you will have to re-take the test. But, assuming things go as planned, you will receive your score and begin the next leg of your journey – the application process. Once you know your scores, you will have a bit more perspective on the types of schools that could accept you. As you think about where you want to go and what type of medicine you would like to practice, this is actually the perfect time to get away. A vacation lends a bit of breathing room. It will allow for some time to reflect on your journey so far, re-generate, and think about why you truly want to practice medicine in the first place. Sometimes, the difference between getting into a good med school and a great one is the amount of passion you have for medicine. Get back in touch with that passion after you rid yourself of those MCAT worries by taking a week away.
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