Hey everyone and welcome back! It was only a year ago that I was finishing up my last semester as a pre-med in college. Boy how time flies! So much has happened in the past year that it almost seems as if it happened years ago. I’ve been at my job for one year, took my MCAT, applied for medical school and was accepted. It’s really crazy how so much can happen in what seems like a short period of time. That being said I want to discuss on the blog today the top 3 things I wish I knew earlier on as a premed. So without further ado let’s jump right into it!

Grades matter, but they’re NOT everything.

I couldn’t be any clearer with this one. We all know that grades are extremely important when applying to medical school. After all the average GPA for someone applying to an MD program is around a 3.6-3.7; it is only slightly lower for a DO school at 3.5-3.6. This means that a lot of emphasis is put on pre meds to maintain stellar grades thought undergrad, particularly in prerequisite courses such as biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics. I personally remember stressing out in several courses because I knew how important it was to have a competitive GPA when I decided to apply. And when I received a B- in one of my courses as a freshman I was devastated. I thought at the time that I wouldn’t have a chance at getting into med school with a grade like that and began to start doubting myself and my capabilities.That being said if I could go back in time and tell freshman me one thing, is that grades only make up one component of how an admissions committee evaluates you. So one or two “bad” grades may not be the end of the world. My tip to you is to do your best in every course and put in as much effort as you can. Much of the time if you put in your maximal effort then you will succeed. And I know it sucks when you get a grade you’re not happy with even after putting in a lot of time for studying (BEEN THERE…I’m looking at you physics!) But just remember you are not defined by that one bad grade. Try to continue improving and do better on future courses!

The MCAT is a necessary evil.

First off, the MCAT is no fun! Everyone I know and have spoken to despise studying for the MCAT. It’s tiresome, time consuming, and at times, frustrating. Many people get discouraged when they put in hours and hours of studying to only see their practice score jump up one or two points. Furthermore, with the new 2015 MCAT the test itself is 7 hours long, making it a test of endurance and stamina more than anything else. However despite the criticism, the MCAT is the only method that admissions committees have to directly compare students from different universities across the country since everyone takes it and receives a score. Admissions committees can then use that score to compare applicants across the board because in reality a 510 is a 510 despite which college they attended. As a result the MCAT is not going anywhere anytime soon; therefore premeds have to accept this reality and find a way to incorporate MCAT studying. It might not be the most enjoyable thing to do but it’s best to just suck it up because doing well on the exam will just get you one step closer to your dream. I’ll be sharing my story and how I studied for the MCAT in another blog post!

Don’t do something because someone says you have to!

This is perhaps the biggest thing I wish I had known as a premed so this section will be a little longer than the others.

Throughout your premed life you will be having people tell you that you need to be doing certain things to get into med school. This includes professors, premed advisors, and even fellow peers. Many of you may not know but I did not initially start out at the university that I ended up graduating from. I transferred from a school in Boston to a college in New York City after just one semester. However when I wanted to transfer I was discouraged by premed advisors at the university from doing so because they claimed transferring would diminish my chances of getting into med school. And while I considered what they said, I knew in my heart that I wouldn’t be happy at my current school for the next 4 years and so I transferred mid year as a freshman. And you know what? It was the best decision I ever made and don’t think for a second that impacted my medical school chances.

There was another instance as a premed where the head of the Biology department was pressuring me to repeat introductory biology by claiming that medical schools would not accept my AP Biology credits from high school. He basically tried to scare me into taking the course by telling me that I will not get into a medical school if I didn’t re-take it. After doing my own research, I discovered that A LOT of medical schools, including my university’s own medical school, accepted AP credits for biology as long as students supplement the credits with upper level biology courses. As a Biology major this wouldn’t be an issue. To me this was a no brainer; if I was going to get the information in more detail and depth from upper level courses then why would I re-take Intro Bio if doing so would set me back a year (the first part of the course was offered only in the fall). Despite the pressure, I decided to not repeat intro bio and just took upper level bio courses. I truly believe this was the right decision for me.

Finally the biggest thing I was told as a premed, especially by my own peers, is that I needed to do research and publish papers to be accepted to medical school. People would tell me all the time I needed to do research to get in and that I cannot get in without it. Let me just say something…THIS IS THE BIGGEST MYTH! You can definitely get into medical school without research. I did contemplate doing research and applied for several positions as an undergrad. But I was never truly passionate about it or inspired by the projects available to me at the time and I think that showed during my interviews. I always envisioned myself as a physician who provided care directly to patients, not someone working in a lab. And although I applaud those who have a passion for their research, and think research is important for medicine as a whole, it just wasn’t the right path for me. So instead I decided to gain a lot of clinical experience ranging from volunteering and shadowing, to working as a medical assistant and scribe because that was the environment I saw myself in and WANTED to be in. I believe everything worked out in the end.

So my suggestion to premeds is take the advice you get from different people with a grain of salt. Consider it carefully but don’t be afraid not to take it or to deviate from the traditional premed mold. After all the right med school will see how great you are and want you there in the first place so don’t sacrifice your wishes or what you enjoy doing in order to be a cookie cutter premed version of yourself 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this post and stay tuned for more!

Until then,

xoxo

 

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Hey, everyone! Time is flying by. Can you believe we are already a month into the new year? Unbelievable! A lot of changes have been happening in my life  recently. Once of those changes includes getting into the habit of dialing back the amount of makeup I wear on a daily basis. I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been into really natural, fresh faced makeup with minimal effort. My primary goal when doing my makeup recently is to let my skin be the focal point by making sure it looks even, pretty, and healthy.

During the winter, my skin tends to get dry and irritated. Because I have such sensitive skin, any irritation tends to lead to breakouts. Luckily, the breakouts this winter haven’t been so terrible especially after discovering several new skin care and makeup products that have helped me tame the dryness. However, what initially inspired me to try to achieve a fresh faced look was purchasing Burberry’s lip & cheek bloom in the color Hydrangea, after gawking at it for several days in Sephora. Something about this soft cream blush made me want to focus on keeping my skin happy and breakout free so that it would look flawless once applied.

I have also changed up my moisturizer this winter and discovered a facial spray to increase hydration when my skin feels especially parched. These skincare products along with my desire to minimize my makeup routine have changed the way I look at makeup and skincare as a whole, especially as I continue to move forward in my professional career where a full face of makeup will just not cut it.

This is the makeup look I’ve been gravitating towards recently. I’ve only used 5 products in this look: a bit of primer, a touch of foundation, concealer, mascara, and the Burberry cream blush. It’s simple and fresh with a hint of color, and the minimalistic nature of the look makes it super easy to get ready in the morning.

Below is a list of the products used to achieve this fresh faced look.

 

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair® Cream Intense Hydration

Too Faced Hangover Rx primer

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
NARS Radiant Creamy concealer, Custard

BURBERRY Cat Lashes Mascara

BURBERRY Lip & Cheek Bloom, Hydrangea

 

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Until next time,

xoxo

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Every year at the start of the new year we gather round and make our New Year’s resolutions. These are the things we want to work on and accomplish in the upcoming year, whether that is to get fit, start a new project, go back to school, travel more, spend less…you get the picture! With 2017 in full swing, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to try and make use of my time more efficiently and be more productive.

While being productive is always a goal of mine, I especially want to accomplish as much as I can during the six months I have free until I start medical school in the summer. I also want to be more consistent in writing and scheduling posts to go up on the blog so that new content is available often.

With some thought and reflection I have come up with several tips that have helped me increase my productivity and stay on track with my goals. I believe these are the 4 most helpful ways to be more efficient with your time and get stuff done!

BE A MORNING PERSON!

One thing I have noticed is that by waking up early enough so that I don’t feel rushed, I have plenty of time to plan out everything I have to do for the day without forgetting something important. I can calmly get up out of bed, eat breakfast, get dressed and prepare for the day. This allows me to stay organized which makes performing my tasks later in the day easier and more efficient.

I also think waking up early creates the illusion of a longer day. I know when I sleep in, the day seems shorter, and it seems as if I have less time to accomplish everything I want to. Luckily, when it comes down to being an early bird versus a night owl, I am definitely the early bird. However, I truly believe that even if you are not someone who likes to wake up early, doing so tricks your mind into thinking you have more time to do the things you want.

EAT A GOOD BREAKFAST!

Whoever said, breakfast is the most important meal of the day was definitely onto something. Breakfast provides your body with the energy it needs to function after a period of fasting during the hours you are asleep. Getting in a well balanced breakfast will allow you to feel full and tackle all your tasks for the day without constantly thinking of your next meal. Some of my favorites are scrambled eggs with mushrooms or spinach, avocado toast, and oatmeal with blueberries and almonds.

PLAN. PLAN. PLAN.

Organization is KEY! Planning ahead is essential to being productive because it enables you to take on your tasks quickly without missing a step, idea, or deadline. By keeping everything in order and sorted out you can give 100% to the task at hand, without worrying that there is something missing.

JUST DO IT!

The most important tip to improving your productivity is to just start! You can wake up early, fuel your mind, and plan ahead, but if you don’t actually begin doing everything you set out to do then you will get nowhere and you will continue to remain unproductive. Just continue to remind yourself to take the plunge and begin whatever tasks you have waiting for you at the moment.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Stay tuned for more coming soon!

Until then,

xoxo

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image courtesy of TheStrivetoFit

Hey everyone! Welcome back and Happy New Year! I hope you all had an amazing holiday season. I decided to kick off the new year with a post that is sort of different from what I typically write about on this site. It’s not about fashion or travel, beauty or food. It’s about the beginning of a new chapter in my life starting with my acceptance into medical school, a dream that was 11 years in the making. 

Where will you be when it happens? When your life changes. When you finally get the thing you wanted most. Who will you tell?

I remember the day vividly. I had just gotten to work early in the morning and began to organize my tasks for the day. We had been at a different office location the day before so a few things were out of place. I also had to catch up on uploading photos and transcribing notes to put in the patient files.

I took a few bites of my bagel and casually decided to check my email on my phone like I do every morning while I eat breakfast. Mind you, I wasn’t expecting ANYTHING. At that point I had been rejected from several schools including some I had interviewed at and was starting to feel defeated. It also had only been 4 weeks since my last interview and the admissions committee said that decisions would be sent out within 6-8 weeks. As the screen refreshed though, I saw the words. The words that changed everything. “CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2021! ” I stared at the screen for a few seconds, trying to process, squinting my eyes as I continued to read in order to confirm that what I thought was happening was actually happening. Oh. My. God. “Moooomm!” I screamed in a shaky voice. “I got in!”

My body was filled with so many emotions all at once: happiness…excitement…relief. My throat tightened and the tears began to fall, releasing all the tension, anxiety, doubt, and fear that had taken over me these past few months. I found myself sobbing. With this acceptance I felt validated, like all the hard work I had put into the last 5 years in high school and undergrad had meant something . It was not for nothing. Most importantly my dream for the past 11 years and everything I had been striving for was finally coming true. I WAS GOING TO BE A DOCTOR!

December 21st 2016 is a date I will never forget. It is the day that changed everything for me. The day my future in medicine began. I am so incredibly grateful for the support and opportunities I’ve had along the way and I am even grateful for the challenges and the setbacks that have helped me grow throughout my journey. I look forward to starting this new chapter in my life and couldn’t be more excited!

This new chapter will somewhat change the nature of the content on this blog. I will continue to publish content on fashion, food, travel and beauty but I think I also want to slowly incorporate posts about medicine and the medical school application process including my tips and experiences along the way! Reading what others had experienced during this process really helped me and motivated me to remain positive through it all. I hope you stay tuned!

Until next time,

xoxo

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Yayyyy, Christmas is almost here! Only two more days until my favorite holiday of the year and I couldn’t be more excited. The excitement began two days ago when I received my acceptance to MEDICAL SCHOOL after years of hard work (more on that experience in another post), so you could definitely say Christmas came early this year. Nevertheless, the holiday is fast approaching and with two days left I wanted to do something a little different, and share with all of you one of my favorite holiday traditions.

Every year my family typically hosts Christmas Eve in our house. My mother, sister and I pile the house with all sorts of food even if we are just having a small group of people. What can I say? We’re greek! Greeks cook for an army of people even if in reality it is just a few, because you never know who will just “stop by”. There is NEVER enough food! After we have stacked the house with appetizers, desserts…you name it, we get ready and wait for our guests to arrive. Once they do we crack open some bottles of wine, play both greek and english Christmas music and just enjoy the night.

Now it is after our guests leave when our holiday tradition begins. Typically people go to bed after Christmas Eve and wake up Christmas Day to open up and exchange presents. However, one year when we were little my parents allowed my sister and I to stay up until midnight after the guests left. This way it would be officially Christmas at midnight and we could open up our gifts. Soon enough staying up and opening presents at midnight because our little Christmas tradition and every year this is what we do and I feel like it makes the holiday just a little bit more special each year 🙂 That’s it!

I would really like to know what your favorite holiday traditions are so leave a comment down below!

I hope you enjoyed this post and stay tuned for the next one.

Until then,

xoxo

 

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