A compilation of advice from my fellow PA students
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Keep good track of all the volunteering and patient hours you do. It becomes a major pain in the booty when you have to put it in CASPA but realized you haven’t been keeping track of them lol.
- This is your time to SHINE. DONUT be afraid to put down anything and everything because you worked hard , so let them know!
- Trust yourself and what you stand for. It’s a weird and scary process that you’re putting your heart and values on your application in hopes that whoever looks at it will grant you an interview! But it’s part of the process. These things make you, you. It’s who you are. Any program would be lucky to have you.
- Plan accordingly and plan ahead. CASPA opens right before finals hit, so sometimes it gets pushed behind and plans change. Set a goal deadline for each section so you stay on top of it and try your best to make the deadline a priority. If it doesn’t happen for whatever reason, show yourself grace because you tried your best.
- Save up money! I applied to 6 schools and dropped $1000+ for applications alone.
- Write and re-write your personal statement. Sit on it. Let it grow old. Come with it with a fresh set of eyes. Work on this the longest because this gives your application persona and sets you apart from the other applicants, and it’s the hardest part! Like, how do you explain to them your entire life story and why being a PA matters to you and why medicine matters to you through a piece of paper?
- Let other people read your essay. Keep an open mind to the critiques because they want you to succeed also! But ultimately, it’s going to up to you whether you want to make those changes or not. Don’t feel pressured to do so, but don’t take the criticism personally.
- Apply early! Most interviews are a first come, first serve basis.
- Don’t compare your application or yourself to others. You are you. They are they. At the end of the day, all we have to offer is ourselves and what we did in the best of our ability. There will be shining star, perfect applicants who don’t get in. And there will be just normal stars, average (or even below average aka me) applications, who do get in. Either way, you’re a star for even applying and I’m proud of you for taking strides to make the world a better place and chasing your dreams.