Many of us have trouble doing the bare minimum in order to do well in our classes during undergrad and then to be expected to do a ton of extracurricular activities just feels close to impossible. Here are some tips to consider when trying to work on building your resume in anticipation for medical schools.
FOCUS ON A FEW ACTIVITIES
There is a little bit of an overachiever in all of us and it is easy to think that if we can list multiple extracurriculars then that is better than doing a few activities but really being invested in them. It is great to show that you are interested in many different activities but if you feel like you are doing it just to show off then stick to focusing on a couple of activities.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR ACTIVITIES
The best solution to this problem is to pick some high-yield activities. You might be thinking what does that even mean. What it means is that you participate in activities that you know will directly help your application for medical school. For example, the AMSA program at my school was a great way to not only get involved but also was a way to shadow Physicians at the medical school. This would be a high yield activity because you could kill two birds with one stone.
MAKE A DOCUMENT OF EVERY EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITY
Some students believe that your resume should be made up of medically related activities that have some sort of affiliation to Medicine. This is not true at all. In order to be a well-rounded applicant, it is important to have participated in other activities. Also, listing everything you have done allows you to remember things you have done that you may not remember and then also is a way to remind you that you have done a lot even though it may not feel like.
TAKE A LOOK AT A FRIEND’S RESUME
This is a great way to remind yourself of extracurriculars that you have participated in or even give you an idea of things you should try and participate in. Sometimes students just do not participate in activities because they seem boring so looking at other activities can give you good ideas of things to participate in yourself.
I remember other students always exaggerating about their level of participation in various extracurriculars. I think some students are know to just exaggerate and make other people feel not as great about their resumes. Remember that at the end of the day although you are being compared with other students, the best thing to do is focus on yourself. There will always be people who have done more things that you have but you probably are not competing for the same spots. Relax and do your best to be involved and let the rest happen as it should.