In your journey to medical school, it is important to stay in touch with your identity and uniqueness. When signing up for volunteer opportunities, applying for research positions, and joining on-campus organizations, only invest time into activities that truly resonate with you. Participating in activities for the sake of a better-looking resume not only wastes times, but also hinders personal growth. In addition, the medical school interviewers are able to easily differentiate between the applicants who genuinely care for their activities versus the ones who simply want to look good on paper.

To give myself as an example, I made sure to continue my passion for dance throughout my undergraduate career. Although it is not “medical,” the skills I gain from choreographing and teaching dancers will only benefit my as a future physician. Communication and conflict resolution skills that I learned from my career in dance are ones that I will most definitely apply once I join the medical field.

I am also a research assistant in a project about microplastic pollutants in our freshwater systems. This research does not have a direct association to the medical field other than the fact that consuming microplastics may be harmful to health. I participate in this research because I am genuinely curious about the effects and extent of this tiny pollutant on our ecosystem. Working in the lab has given me the skills of hypothesizing, data collection, and drawing conclusions, that are all valuable skills in the medical field which parallel to observing symptoms and diagnosing a patient.

The trials and tribulations faced on the way to medical school should not strip you of your identity. The journey to medical school should be a growing experience unique to every individual. In addition to the core scientific and medical experiences, it is important to do what makes you happy and also use those experiences to better you as a medical professional.