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What is one piece of advice you would give your pre-application self?


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I would tell myself to practice patience. I wasted so much time and emotional energy getting hyped about every email, every call etc between April and now. I probably checked the forum at least 1,000 times for updates and anguished over every invite that went out to other people while I hasn't heard anything. Had I just let it be, I definitely would have been less stressed out and a lot happier these last few months.

As far as time management before the cycle opened, I wish that I had saved more money for the process and interviewing. I saved a good chunk of change but that money goes pretty quick between CASPA, supplemental fees, transcript sending, flights, hotel, seat deposit, rental car etc etc. I wish I would have thought about the logistics and finances of the process as now I'm kind of scratching my head on how to move my family across the country with zero lapse in health insurance and income while balancing my wife's maternity leave too. Obviously those are good problems to have, as I got accepted, but still something I wish I had spent more effort considering. 

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Don't submit CASPA applications to programs you don't fully intend on applying to. I think I spent an extra $350 on submitting CASPA and GRE scores to programs that I never completed my application for (ie. not finishing supplementals). Even more egregious, some schools required supplemental fees to even view the supplemental application and for one program it was $100. In the end, it's whatever since I got accepted, but it would be great to have an extra $350 right now.

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1 minute ago, ChristineQLe said:

Do your research on the schools, pull up the supplemental questions before hand, save it,  keep taking classes between cycles and accumulate more hces. 

I agree with Christine. Do your research on the schools you are going to apply to ahead of time and have your essay done prior to CASPA opening, so you can start on the secondary apps right away and submit EARLY! 

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Expect the unexpected. You might get rejected from a school you thought you were perfect for, and you might get an invite from a school you didn't think you had a chance with. While researching and touring schools, keep an open mind. The program I enrolled in wasn't on my radar a year prior. After some research and being blown away during the tour, I couldn't pass up the opportunity.

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I got my CNA to gain HCE during my sophomore year of undergrad. I worked a LOT in order to accumulate hours, and my grades suffered because of it. I had to learn the hard way to work less and focus on school. My advice is that there will always be time to accumulate more HCE but it's hard to raise a low GPA once you've taken a lot of classes. 

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currently a student 4 months in. If I could go back, I would've saved myself a TON of money.

-apply early

-as many others have mentioned, don't apply to schools you wouldn't actually attend. One school I applied to literally sent their students all over the USA for each rotation (so you would be moving every four weeks). While this might work for some students, it definitely would not have worked for me. I could have saved a lot of $$ being more selective and learning more about schools.

-make the most out of your pre-PA school health care experience and the providers that surround you. if they enjoy teaching, pick their brain for knowledge! it will help you tremendously in the long run.

more for post acceptance and PA school in general....

-when you get in - just relax. seriously. no amount of reading or studying is going to prepare you for this. take a vacation. spend time doing things you enjoy. 

-during school, take time for yourself! i cannot say this enough. you won't be able to study effectively if you don't take this time. i have a habit of declining doing fun activities to study. our class does bootcamp on mondays and basketball on thursdays - such a stress reliever! it's nice to have fun with your classmates outside of the classroom that you sit in ALL DAY LONG (we stay in the same room so it's basically a second home)

these tips have all been discussed before, but hide sight is 20/20 :)

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