The waiting


Was my dream of becoming a doctor over? Having finished all my interviews, I felt as though I hadn’t expressed my true self and had perhaps wasted a lot of my time. All I could do to find out was wait. And wait. And wait. And then wait some more.

In the meantime, I had Assessed Practicals to contend with which would count towards my final A level grades. But nothing could take my mind off the constant worry hanging over me about whether or not I would receive an offer.



I knew that I would be lucky if I did receive an offer – to get one offer to study Medicine in 2013 is very lucky, two is rare and three is virtually unheard of due to the large number of applicants compared to places. However, it seemed everyone else I met who was hoping to study any other course had five offers. Yes, five. You can’t even apply to five medical schools! Every time someone greeted me, whether they were family, my peers or my teachers, their first sentence would be “How many offers do you have?!” followed by a superior expression when I had to reply that I was still waiting.

School life monotonously carried on, packed with yet more Assessed Practicals. I didn’t hear from any of the medical schools, although I was vainly hoping but not really expecting to. As I had nothing to aim towards, I slowly felt my motivation draining away.

One day, feeling tired and weary, I was sat in the Sixth Form Café with my friends comparing UCAS emails. Suddenly, I realised I had an unopened UCAS Track email. Thinking it must have been an old one, I opened it to see that it was dated only a few minutes before. I froze, staring at my phone… “Dear Miss Barberio, Something has changed on your UCAS application”. Stupidly, I blurted it out to my friends whose shock and excitement only made the overwhelming tension that I was feeling worse. “It’s going to be a rejection, don’t get excited”, I kept saying. I clicked the link and time seemed to slow as the page loaded, taking what seemed like forever, whilst my friends watched the screen, willing it to hurry up. Finally it loaded and I typed my password and 10 digit ID number that was deeply ingrained into my head from desperately checking my application every day. I held my breath as the next page also took forever to load…

“It’s so hard to get in, I didn’t do well enough in my interviews, I’ll have a gap year and just try again”, my thoughts whirled round in my head. “It’s going to be a rejection, it’s going to say ‘Unsuccessful’”, I repeated to my friends.

Finally, the page loaded. All I could see was one little word next to the name of my favourite university. One little word that meant so, so much to me. ‘Conditional’.

Collectively, we screamed and then they were hugging me and cheering while I was squealing like a lunatic. I could not believe my luck. When I’d finally calmed down enough to talk, all I could say was “I don’t believe it, I thought I had done so badly!”

After joyfully explaining the reason for our outburst to the shocked dinner ladies, I went out to call my mum who was equally ecstatic. I waited until my Dad came home that night to tell him, so I could see his reaction in person when he asked how my day was and I could reply that it was the best of the year so far. The jumping, hugging and screaming could then continue.

However, at the moment nothing is certain. I have to achieve A*AA in Biology, Chemistry & Physics, an offer which few Medical Schools give out, most others giving just AAA.

Although I worked my socks off for the exams, I found them particularly hard on the day. So getting the grades that my offer demands seems unrealistic. I am writing this five days before results day and today is the day that the universities know the results…

The thought that they know whether I have got in or not and I don’t is unbearable! If I don’t get in, I will reapply and then make the most of a gap year, hopefully travelling to foreign countries to do work experience in different healthcare systems, as well as trying to do more work experience in England.

So, yet again, I am waiting. I hope that like my last period of waiting, it will end with a happy outcome, but who knows? I’m keeping all my fingers crossed!