Hi I’m Anusha and I’m Matthew and we are your wellbeing officers on the VMS Student Committee. Approximately every fortnight we will be posting blogs up about different topics related to mental health and wellbeing as well as discussing some in the weekly Virtual Medical Society meetings. We know that applying to medical school/dental school/ veterinary school can be very stressful and are here to help you all achieve the shared dream of becoming a qualified doctor, dentist or vet! We would love it if you could get involved by asking questions or suggesting topics you would like to see in future blog posts in the comments section at the end of each blog post. Please be respectful of each other- everyone is entitled to their own opinions even if they are different to some of yours! 


This week we are informally discussing how Year 12 is going with Janice Ooi, one of the winners in our wellbeing competition. From the challenges of lockdown to advice for current Year 12s and Year 11s and 10s, there is sure to be something that is relevant to everyone in this post. We hope you enjoy!


What is your involvement with Medic Mentor?

I joined Medic Mentor very recently after seeing it mentioned in a blog when I was researching different things I could do to strengthen my application into medical school during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have since joined the Virtual Medical Society and am doing the University Hospital Birmingham Medic Mentor Virtual Work Experience.


What GCSEs did you do and what A-Levels are you taking?

For GCSEs I took Biology, Chemistry, Maths, English Language, English Literature, Spanish, Art, Geography and History and I am now taking Biology, Chemistry and Maths for my A-Levels.


How did you find the first national lockdown back in March?

I was very worried about how my GCSEs would be affected however, my results were good when they came out last August. I did some revision in case I had to resit as we didn’t know how we would be assessed whilst still getting fair grades. I also took some time off for myself which was really beneficial. I also made sure to keep in touch with my friends and this was really beneficial for my mental health as well as theirs as it kept up a little bit of normality during an uncertain period in our lives!


So on the subject of extracurriculars, what extracurriculars do you do?

I do a wide range of extracurriculars and particularly enjoy football, badminton reading and drawing. I would have joined my school swimming team, though am currently unable to as a result of COVID. In my free time I also enjoy pursuing my broader interest in medicine by completing research projects.


What advice would you give to others in Year 12 and people in Years 11 and 10?

Talk to people! I found talking to girls in the year above really helped to boost my confidence and allowed me to go to someone if I felt like I couldn’t talk to my parents. Furthermore, try and put faith in what you have done so far and believe in yourself! Also make sure to focus on yourself and take some time out when you need it – don’t overwork yourself!


So you mentioned you have moved sixth form this year. What prompted this move and why did you choose to go to your current sixth form? 

I have been to boarding school since I was 14 but had to move to another boarding school for sixth form as my last boarding school shut down in the COVID-19 pandemic. I am originally from Hong Kong but now go to school in Kent as I have to be within a certain range to a legal guardian. 


And last question, why do you want to be a doctor specifically?

When I was in Year 7 I got the opportunity to dissect a heart and this really sparked an interest in a scientific career. After some discussions with my parents, I decided to look into the career of becoming a doctor and found this to be a profession I wanted to go into.