Lillith321
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I am a 21 yr old thinking about getting into higher education (university)
I finished sixth form in August of 2017 and had I gone the normal route i would be starting university sept 2017. But I did not get the grades i desired. so i decided not to go uni and take a "gap year" in which i worked here and there. This led to me losing my motivation for higher education and just playing it off as " i didnt want uni anyways" "uni is going to put me in to much debt" and a whole host of other thoughts that kept putting me of. Months of lazing about unsure of what i wanted in the future, i decided to give going to college a go doing a "Access to higher education in IT" at a college next to where i lived,

Sep 2018 I started my "Access to higher education" course at this college near me, which when i first researched about the course the course "ticked" a lot of the boxes i thought i needed. But a couple of months in the so called course was beyond garbage and terrible, some of the unis i planned to apply to did not accept the course and the few unis that did accept it wanted specific units of that course and wanted specific greats (lets call one of the units "maths" and in this united i was expected to get a distinction" When i first applied to the course i asked what units will be available and if i would be able to choose the specific combination of units that i would need, to which i was told i would be able to i would be able to.

A month or so into the course something was bugging me, mostly how the first unit we did was complete basic, like literally basic usage of a computer. Stuff like literally word for word copy of a word document that was printed, and my "task" was to seperate the paragraphs and maybe change the font of paragraph, change the font size of another, fix minor spelling mistakes etc. At this point Im just annoyed but i jsut do the work. but this goes on for like weeks, couple this with a not so good teacher and a class of 19 or so year olds that are on there phones,and there to have "fun" which frustrated me a lot. 2 Months in we are still doing very basic computer usage, stuff my little sibling could do with their eyes closed, i asked the teacher when i would be able to pick what units i wanted to do and stuff like that, to which he said in december once this unit is complete. Come mid december when i was able to "choose" my units, when i put down the units i wanted it turned out that i would not be able to do them and that i could only do the predetermind units. Now since i was not able to do those units, i was unsure about whether i would be able to go to uni and my "path" that i thought would lead me to university is now up in smoke.

This frustrated me a lot and lead to me eventually just not coming into the classes and eventually around februarry just quit the course as a whole around Feb 2019.

Once again I was lost and eventualy spiraled into me not wanting to go into university, making various excuses once again, me going into a rough couple of months of not wanting to keep a job, not wanting to do anything, gained significant amount of weight, being lazy and not thinking about what i wanted for myself and my future. I even made excuses for why i wasnt able to get a job saying thigns like "these people just dont want me", "I dont want this job its too far", "this job is not fun", "they wont hire me". I made every excuse i could to not apply for jobs adn for the ones i did, i only got a few interview invite and made even mroe excuses to not go. only in december 2019 did i find a job and actually stuck to it, i enjoyed the staff around me and my collegues and I finally found something to be "happy" about and it gave me enough money to go out and buy stuff that I wanted.

Fast forward a few months of me being at my new job Corona slaps us in the face and lockdown hits even harder, I spent about 2 months of being at home playing games, watching movies/shows/anime every single day non-stop, then when work became available i went back to my retail job, i jsut went into a rroutine of work, come home, play games for a few hrs sleep and then repeat.

Now come june/july i started to once again become unhappy with myself, where i was at in my life and what i wanted for myself, i did not want my entire life to be at a retail job in some shop the rest of my life. Seeing people around my age finishing up there university courses, posting there graduation and stuff made me even more unhappy and i dont know if the word "depressed" is correct to use here. I was upset at myself and felt like i genuinely wasted 3-4 years with nothing to show for while others where finishing up university with degrees etc.

Reading all of this your probably wondering "what in the **** lead you to wanting to do medicine" and to this i would have to say one of my friends, who is currently studying medicine right now and his excitement and and the way he talked about what he was learning.My attention was first grabbed back in 2017 during his first year of med school. the way he talked about his lessons and the interest he showed got me interested and made me thinking about "What if i studied properly and decided to go to med school", this thought repeated yearly and would crawl back into my thoughts everytime my friend would talk about what he was studying and the interesting stuff he was learning. Skip to june 2020 and having so much free time, i spent days thinking about wanting to go back into higher education and i have genuinely been interested in studying medicine, whether this is possible or not is a whole other question.

If you read the my entire rant, you are a goddamn legend, reading my incoherent written diarrhea, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing that adn letting me vent adn get that off my chest.

I finished sixthform in 2017 and got resutls that i am absolutely not happy with and if i was delusional and asked if those grades would get me into medicine, it would probably make my grteat great great great grandparents roll in there grave.NOW LET ME SAY ONE THING, MY RESULTS WHERE ALL MY FAULTY, I HAD NO ONE BUT MYSELF TO BLAME, IT WAS MY FAULT THAT I DID NOT TAKE MY EDUCATION SERIOUS AT ALL AND ENTIRELY MY FAULT THAT I GOT THE GRADES THAT I DID.

Now my question is do I have a good chance if getting into a ghood university for med school if i was to sit My A levels privately and applied to med school for 2022, what are my chances, because technically speaking i have already complete A levels once and i would technically be "resitting my a levels" and i know that its usually looked down upon by universities. So realisticly speaking what are my chances to get into med school. If it is unrealistic i will look at other course that interest me and ask in the relevent forums for information.

Additionally any information on resitting exames privately, what i would need to do to even be able to apply to med school in my situation would be greatly appreciated. it doesnt have to be a set by step guide but a rough idea of what i would need to do ( i will further research this myself later on)

I currently live in london, i assume knowing where i live would be handy, so the information is geared towards what is available in the area where i live.


I appreciate anyone that was able to reach all the way here and everyone that can help me in my situation, all information is welcomed. all critism is also welcomed and appreciated as well. If my question is near impossible please tell me so. you do not need to sugar coat it you can hit me with the hard truth, im a grown up person and ive made mistakes before i do not want to go after something that is near impossible and will lead to disappointment, finding out my hard work was for nothing,

Also please ignore grammar and spelling lol im writing this at like 6 am and i havent slept since like yesterday morning.
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Ramipril
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First of all, 21 is not an 'older person' :rofl:

Secondly, from what I read you seem excited about the idea of being a medical student, but do you actually want to be a doctor? I know covid has ruined things but have you ever had any healthcare experience? Also, medical school can be heavy at times, especially if you know you struggle with motivating yourself. Of course this can be working on but it's just something to consider.

More and more medical schools are accepting resit applicants. So as long as you apply strategically ('good university' is irrelevant for medicine), that shouldn't be an issue.

As for the A-levels part, I don't know but I assume it involves registering as a private candidate and going from there?
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ITS2019
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Hi. I'm sorry that you went through all of that. With regards to studying medicine, you have to be 100% sure that is something you want to do as there are people who do everything perfectly in terms of applying, etc that still don't make it because medicine is one of the most competitive courses. With that being said, there is always a chance. The application process involves having 3As at A level(can check university websites), extensive work experience and volunteering, etc, a solid UCAT score, and good performance at the interview stage. There are also other healthcare courses with lower requirements such as pharmacy and optometry that you might also want to consider. If you really do want to go to university then it would be a good idea to read up on the requirements of the course and make sure you meet those. Also, 21 is not an old age for medical students, there are people in their late 20s, and beyond that start medical school. My advice would be to have a serious conversation with yourself about what you really want to do and give it your all.
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Nickita
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Firstly, you are gonna make a lot of people on here feel REALLY old with the title of this thread, I have entered my 30s for example, you are not old!
Have you looked into access courses? From memory places like Lambeth College do an access course which is approved by certain universities, not everywhere though.
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nexttime
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Sorry that was too long to read but... 21 :laugh: "Older person"?! :laugh: I thought you meant like 60!

I'd say up to 35 is commonly done and not at all controversial. Older gets more unusual and you might get some arguing that the NHS will get less out of its investment in training you, but is still done.
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Lillith321
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(Original post by Ramipril)
First of all, 21 is not an 'older person' :rofl:

Secondly, from what I read you seem excited about the idea of being a medical student, but do you actually want to be a doctor? I know covid has ruined things but have you ever had any healthcare experience? Also, medical school can be heavy at times, especially if you know you struggle with motivating yourself. Of course this can be working on but it's just something to consider.

More and more medical schools are accepting resit applicants. So as long as you apply strategically ('good university' is irrelevant for medicine), that shouldn't be an issue.

As for the A-levels part, I don't know but I assume it involves registering as a private candidate and going from there?
I actually do want to be a doctor, not in the sense of being a surgical doctor like a neurosurgeon etc (I might change my mind later down the road) but a research doctor like a pathologist,a psychiatrist. Im not 100% settled on what type of doctor i want to be, but i do lean more towards research oriented.

As for motivational issue of the past, Ive been working towards fixing it slowly, whether it be forcing myself to wake up early morning to go gym or bike riding and develop good habits and routines that can push me forward. I appreciate your reply and your thoughts and for giving me hope that i could possibly get into medicine if i work hard enough.

If you don’t me asking, have you done medicine or currently doing medicine? If so what made you want to do medicine and what section of medicine did you lean towards and why so?
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Ramipril
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(Original post by Lillith321)
I actually do want to be a doctor, not in the sense of being a surgical doctor like a neurosurgeon etc (I might change my mind later down the road) but a research doctor like a pathologist,a psychiatrist. Im not 100% settled on what type of doctor i want to be, but i do lean more towards research oriented.

As for motivational issue of the past, Ive been working towards fixing it slowly, whether it be forcing myself to wake up early morning to go gym or bike riding and develop good habits and routines that can push me forward. I appreciate your reply and your thoughts and for giving me hope that i could possibly get into medicine if i work hard enough.

If you don’t me asking, have you done medicine or currently doing medicine? If so what made you want to do medicine and what section of medicine did you lean towards and why so?
Great to have ideas but don't settle on what you want to do now. You'll probably change your mind. It's good you have the motivation because they do say that getting into medical school is the hardest part, and you have quite the road ahead of you.

I'm a second year (well third year) medic. I'm on a graduate entry course as I did a degree in something else before. Long story short I didn't want to be a doctor at 18, then realised during my first degree that the idea appealed to me a lot more, and then got into medical school and am loving it. I'm keeping my options open as in what to specialise in as I still have a long way to go and learning about an area in theory to experiencing it on clinical placement to actually doing it as a doctor are all very different.
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Nickita
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(Original post by nexttime)
Sorry that was too long to read but... 21 :laugh: "Older person"?! :laugh: I thought you meant like 60!

I'd say up to 35 is commonly done and not at all controversial. Older gets more unusual and you might get some arguing that the NHS will get less out of its investment in training you, but is still done.
Thank you, you've just made me feel a lot better about all the comments popping up on TSR about being "old for medicine" from people in their early-mid twenties!
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Puzzled11
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(Original post by nexttime)
Sorry that was too long to read but... 21 :laugh: "Older person"?! :laugh: I thought you meant like 60!

I'd say up to 35 is commonly done and not at all controversial. Older gets more unusual and you might get some arguing that the NHS will get less out of its investment in training you, but is still done.
(Original post by Nickita)
Thank you, you've just made me feel a lot better about all the comments popping up on TSR about being "old for medicine" from people in their early-mid twenties!
Yes, makes one wonder how other students in uni and on the course, like school leavers react to an 'older person' in their midst! Hopefully this is not the standard perception of what 'too old for' is..
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JohnL7
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(Original post by Ramipril)
Great to have ideas but don't settle on what you want to do now. You'll probably change your mind. It's good you have the motivation because they do say that getting into medical school is the hardest part, and you have quite the road ahead of you.

I'm a second year (well third year) medic. I'm on a graduate entry course as I did a degree in something else before. Long story short I didn't want to be a doctor at 18, then realised during my first degree that the idea appealed to me a lot more, and then got into medical school and am loving it. I'm keeping my options open as in what to specialise in as I still have a long way to go and learning about an area in theory to experiencing it on clinical placement to actually doing it as a doctor are all very different.
Hi Ramipril,

I would really appreciate your advice on how you went about convincing (sorry this may not be the right word but I hope you know what I mean) the interviewers at med schools that medicine was the career and path you wanted to pursue after not having done it initially.

I am looking at changing careers and applying for medicine, that's why I ask. My bachelors is in Economics and I'm essentially working an office job in a related field but have a strong desire to do something more fulfilling in my life. I feel like if I was fortunate enough to get an interview, a huge question would be "why such a big change and why now?" I feel as if I have some convincing reasons but wonder if these will be strong/convincing enough.

Thanks in advance!
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nexttime
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(Original post by Puzzled11)
Yes, makes one wonder how other students in uni and on the course, like school leavers react to an 'older person' in their midst! Hopefully this is not the standard perception of what 'too old for' is..
I really don't think so. I think its just self consciousness.
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Ramipril
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(Original post by JohnL7)
Hi Ramipril,

I would really appreciate your advice on how you went about convincing (sorry this may not be the right word but I hope you know what I mean) the interviewers at med schools that medicine was the career and path you wanted to pursue after not having done it initially.

I am looking at changing careers and applying for medicine, that's why I ask. My bachelors is in Economics and I'm essentially working an office job in a related field but have a strong desire to do something more fulfilling in my life. I feel like if I was fortunate enough to get an interview, a huge question would be "why such a big change and why now?" I feel as if I have some convincing reasons but wonder if these will be strong/convincing enough.

Thanks in advance!
I only had one interview and wasn't really asked anything about why I didn't do it the first time round so I can't help you there. Also, the people interviewing us knew nothing about us. We were blind applicants and most of our interview was role-playing and how up-to-date we were with basic things going on in medicine then. As well as some common sense things. Other medical schools do it differently though.

Honestly, only you know why you want to change. As long as you can explain it and are also able to show you truly understand what studying medicine and a career as a doctor entails, you probably won't need to convince them too much.
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ecolier
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(Original post by JohnL7)
...I feel like if I was fortunate enough to get an interview, a huge question would be "why such a big change and why now?" I feel as if I have some convincing reasons but wonder if these will be strong/convincing enough.

Thanks in advance!
I interview for med schools, and this (very personal) question is very unlikely to be asked (as said above).

These days, med school interviews are very objective and structured - in the olden days you may well be asked questions based on your history, what you look like etc. etc. but luckily these days it doesn't happen. You may well be asked "Why medicine" or "Why not physician associate" etc. though.

Finally, I say all this but there are still med schools who will do panel interviews, and med schools who will let their interviewers ask Qs from the personal statement so make sure you research which ones do what type of interviews; and prepare properly.
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JohnL7
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(Original post by Ramipril)
I only had one interview and wasn't really asked anything about why I didn't do it the first time round so I can't help you there. Also, the people interviewing us knew nothing about us. We were blind applicants and most of our interview was role-playing and how up-to-date we were with basic things going on in medicine then. As well as some common sense things. Other medical schools do it differently though.

Honestly, only you know why you want to change. As long as you can explain it and are also able to show you truly understand what studying medicine and a career as a doctor entails, you probably won't need to convince them too much.
Thanks very much for taking the time to write back and for your insight!
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JohnL7
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(Original post by ecolier)
I interview for med schools, and this (very personal) question is very unlikely to be asked (as said above).

These days, med school interviews are very objective and structured - in the olden days you may well be asked questions based on your history, what you look like etc. etc. but luckily these days it doesn't happen. You may well be asked "Why medicine" or "Why not physician associate" etc. though.

Finally, I say all this but there are still med schools who will do panel interviews, and med schools who will let their interviewers ask Qs from the personal statement so make sure you research which ones do what type of interviews; and prepare properly.
Thank you very much - this is very helpful and reassuring! I'll ensure to do a lot of prep.
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Kogomogo
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Way back when I was in college (many years ago now) I did a course called medlink and it was amazingly informative and such a good experience, from a quick google it looks like it's still a thing. It involved a few days at nottingham uni and we got to attend lecture style info talks like you get at uni, some workshops revolving around medical practices, talk to actual doctors and get loads of advice on applying and what it's like as a job and a student. I actually decided not to apply for medicine because of it, but i liked it's honesty and the chance to see what it's really like. If you're right for medicine i think it would help you a lot if you could go and give you lots of good info and things to think about.
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Puzzled11
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(Original post by nexttime)
I really don't think so. I think its just self consciousness.
That's a relief, for all of us grads!
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