The Interview Part 3

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

As I stepped out of the train onto the outdoor platform of my destination, I was met with a blast of sweltering humid heat. Until this point of time, I had forgotten I was in New York in July and that walking outside in the heat would present something of a challenge. This was not the weather to be wearing a long-sleeved black blouse that stuck to my skin like a vinyl sticker on plastic. My pores all dilated simultaneously to allow the free flow of sweat that drenched my skin. According to Google Maps directions I had printed, the interview location should not be far off, a fifteen-minute walk. As I stepped off of the platform the road split right and left leaving me undecided in which direction I was supposed to start my journey. I obviously picked the wrong way first requiring me to u-turn towards the right. What Google did not mention in the directions was that the fifteen-minute walk would start off on a steep incline up the hill for the majority of the way since the train station was at the bottom of the hill. Why did I not bring a hat?

    Instead of a roller suitcase I decided it would be best to bring a backpack to lug around New York and for the most part, it proved to be the right decision. My back, however, screamed to differ. The black backpack created a barrier preventing any airflow to my back as I walked causing a thick moist film to build. This combination was of course paired with black pants that clung to my legs in a tight fit also preventing any airflow from reaching my legs. It was a beautiful day with not even one cloud in the sky and on any other day and in any other circumstance I would be enjoying myself immensely. On the other hand, at least it was not raining. As I walked onto the college campus where the interview was being held, my next task would be to figure out in which building the interviews were being held. 

    Based on the information provided, I walked to the main building which had some signs and open doors. As I walked through the empty halls, I noticed formally dressed people standing around an open doorway with a sign. I sighed with relief and briskly walked over smiling. The moment of slight elation happened to be brief though because as I approached I noticed the people were dressed a bit too formally for a medical school interview and on closer inspection, all happened to be brown-skinned. As I stood there watching in confusion, I noticed some women walking in wearing decadent sarees with beautiful jewelry. This was not the interview location this was some sort of wedding party that I was not invited to. The guests walking in looked at me in confusion and judgment since I was not dressed in the proper attire for this event. My anxiety returned and the palpitations began once again. I needed to find my event which I was now late to.

    I ran back outside in a state of panic and walked back around from where I came and noticed a small stand-alone building where I spotted a girl sitting outside. I walked into the building to ask for further directions to guide me to the right spot however, this building happened to be where the interviews were being held. Before I had a chance to think further, the administrative assistant sitting at the desk smiled politely and informed me I was thirty minutes late and I needed to go inside immediately to write the entrance exam. So without further ado or any pomp and circumstance, I was led to a room with another student and handed the paper and pencil. 

    A few days before the interview, the university notified me that my MCAT scores were expired and I would need to take their entrance exam prior to the interview and later on, would need to retake the MCAT exam in order to qualify for their four-year program. Because of the time constraint, I did not have much time to review and prepare for the exam testing me on first-year level biology, chemistry, and physics. The exhaustion disappeared as my adrenaline system revved up and it was time to take the exam. The exam did not have any excessively complex questions and I finished my exam before the guy who had started before me and went to wait for the interview portion. I was so nervous I could feel myself shaking. I had no idea how I did on the exam because my answers were my most educated guesses which means I wasn't sure if my choices were correct or not. 

    Remember my state of exhaustion and sweat? I had brought my interview clothes with me to change once I reached my interview location. The way I had planned it, I would arrive at the place early, change my clothes, and then review a little bit before sitting the exam. As you now know, this is not how the timeline I was given. As I was sitting there observing the other interviewees and preparing to go freshen up, the assistant notified me that I was next in line for the interview. A boy walked out of the interview room holding a bag with the university's logo imprinted on it and excitedly went to his parents and told them he was admitted! My jaw dropped open, I did not expect to know today whether I would get in or not. Right at this moment, my name was called and I walked into a room to be greeted by a panel of six, the deans of the university. 

    All the interviewers took turns asking me questions regarding my past experience, why I wanted to become a physician, why I picked their school, and to spice things up, sprinkled in some biology, chemistry, and physics questions as well. I was not able to answer all the science questions due to my lack of preparation but I tried. Although I was really nervous, the passion shone brightly from my eyes and I know it came through in my words. What did I look like during the interview? I would prefer not to know but I am sure I had quite the glossy appearance and extra dewy skin look going. After they were done asking me questions, they requested I wait outside while they contemplated their decision. I went outside and headed straight to the washroom ready to puke. In the washroom, I composed myself and tried to steady my shaky legs and arms enough to walk out and be able to sit and await their judgment. 

    In about five minutes, I was called back in and congratulated by all the interviewers. At this point, my friends, I was in shock and my legs were ready to give. I was going to medical school in Europe! After all the formalities, I walked outside and sat underneath a tree and lay on the grass looking up at the sky with tears streaming down my face. There was a light hot breeze and stillness around me making it feel like the world had stopped just for a moment. I called my mother to let her know I had been accepted. My parents did not know I would receive a verdict the same day and they were just as surprised as I was. My future looked as bright as the sun beaming on my face. 

Until Next Time,

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