Getting into grad school…

Getting into graduate school is probably one of the most difficult and stress invoking things you will do in your whole life. It begins with completing the right courses, getting the right grades and makes those grades that are not so hot As. From there the application process begins. Depending what you are going to for can make this step of the process more simple or more stressful. For many programs it’s an easy step of the application process and is part of your current process but for many healthcare professionals higher education does not work that way. For most healthcare higher degrees it consists of interviews, letters of recommendation, personal statements, volunteering experience, hands on patient care experience and much more.

Most healthcare graduate or doctorate degrees require things such as your GRE or your MCAT. These are standardized tests that basically place you on a scale in comparison with those who also took the test. Basically, this is a means of rating you. These tests are looked at and weighted heavily when it comes to your application. That being said, it is important that you do well THE FIRST TIME on these type of exams to ensure your application is at its very best. In order to ensure I did the very best on my GRE I hired a tutor who tutored me for four months and who received a 100% on his GRE. Therefore, tutors, resources, and some serious study time should be utilized throughout this process.

Once the testing is over and you received the score you hoped letters of recommendation and personal statements are next. Begin these as early as possible and have multiple people read them. Especially when it come to your personal statement. You want someone to get the full picture of you within the word count allotted. I was lucky to have a teacher who worked with me on this who basically specialized in personal statements, reaching out to faculty to help is a great idea when it comes to personal statements.

Once you have gathered all you need you complete the application send it off while your heart is beating 200 times a minute. Be sure to apply to as many schools as you can afford to heighten your chances of approval and to ensure you go to a school you will like. You press the send button and that’s when about a month to three months of anxiety begin. The waiting period is by far the worst part of the whole graduate school application process. The past however many years of your college career swarms your head and you will think of every mistake you made, everything you made right, everything you could have done differently and then it hits you the big phrase we all think: “maybe I’m not good enough”.

Then maybe you get an interview slot. This is key! This means your halfway there and I hate to break it to you but the interview will make you or break you. Be prepared! Practice questions, jot down things about yourself you want to get across. But a suit! Look presentable and be confident but not cocky. Show yourself in your best light and be prepared because these interviews are what will get you where you want to go. Each program uses different methods of interviewing such as group interviews, panel interviews and one on one interviews, feel free to reach out and ask the school what type of interview you should prepare for. They are usually open about these types of things. Do your best! Sometimes you will think you did terrible but actually do wonderful and others you think you did wonderful and actually did badly. It all comes down to the interviewer or interviewers. Just do your best and remember your half way there!

After your interview comes the hardest part, waiting. This process continues for the duration of the application reviewal process. If you feel your loosing your marbles and like an anxiety ball of craziness it’s normal, but some piece of advice I will share. Remind yourself that sometimes there’s a plan for us bigger than what we imagined for yourselves and that if this is meant to be it will. Who’s to say how many times or how long it will take to get what you want or into the program you want if it is meant to be and you don’t give up you will get there. This is the point where you let go of the wheel and have faith that whatever is mean to be will happen. Realize your acceptance is out of your control. When you do this whatever letter comes your way rejection or acceptance you will be in a place to deal with it.

Applying to graduate school is a roller coaster. For some it takes several years, for others it takes one try. For me, I promised myself that whatever was meant for me was going to happen and that the first thing that fell in my lap was right. So I did just that. I got accepted, I cried, I was overjoyed and I took my place where I wanted to be and where I was meant to be. It’s a long rough road but just like me you will get there, and when you do you’ll know this was the path that you not only wanted but that you were meant to follow.

So keep your head up. Keep your grades up. Keep you friends and family close for support. And most importantly never ever give up, because chances are, if you feel in you’re heart you are good enough and meant for a specific career then you are and nothing will stop you. Good luck!

All for the love of that dog…


Meo is going on 6 years old. I first got him when I was 18 years old and finishing high school a year early to get away from the bullies. At the time he was the best thing that ever happened to me. He took my heart and kept it safe. I spent my time caring after him and loving him. In a way, he saved me from my troubling years of high school and my abusive high school relationship.  He was there when I needed him most and I focused all my energy and love into raising him. This little fur ball saved me and in the biggest of ways gave me purpose again.

A year ago (2016) I came home from work to find that he severely broke his leg. My fiancé had to break the news to me which resulted in me staying up all night crying and hugging him. It hurt my heart to see him that way. He’s the closest thing I have to a child and even though they have tendencies to be annoying as all heck sometimes, he’s one of the best things I have. And so began my journey of a month from hell.

Mind you, I was in school, working and leaving that weekend to do PA observations three hours away in a different state. I suddenly found myself depressed, helpless and shocked at the cost of surgery. Every place I went to in Chicago wanted to charge me thousands of dollars. I was only 23, and the only money I had was that saved for our wedding in a few months. I was faced with some crazy options like amputating his leg or putting him down. I sat for 6 hours holding him in my lap at Animal Welfare League to see if they could help me and within 15 minutes they said sorry but it’s too severe to repair here. No one could help. This was truely one of the worst times of my life to feel so helpless in such a difficult situation, but I was willing to do what I had to to get him the surgery within two weeks and get him better again. And so I did. I found a way.

A year later we are running into some problems with his leg again. This time because of the plate. Although, it seems as though the doctors can’t really say for sure. So here goes surgery number two.. but going through this a second time I know I won’t stop at anything until he’s well again. It’s crazy though to think of what you would do for another living thing. What you would pay or go through to ensure they are alright.

It’s crazy how something so small can mean so much. I never thought that I would go to the lengths I did to fix him to make him better. I realized how crazy love truely is.. just looking at it from the perspective of ones love for their dog. Out of one of the craziest, most terrible and stressful situations I came out with a lesson… that we will do anything for what we love. Money, time, stress… it’s nothing when it comes to what we love. This goes to show that for every one of us in this world there is something, someone out there that we would do anything for.. and maybe just maybe the world would be a better place if we acted towards one another like I do for my dog…

A little about me…

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Elisa Antonietta Electra De Feo-Romanucci is my name, complex but it suits me. I just added the last name Kelly into the mix in January, so to avoid too much confusion, I go by Elisa Electra. It’s a good pen name  and it just seemed to stick. Simple, sweet and kinda out there; so the shoe fits. Just like my name, my life and story are just as complex. I was born in a small town in Italy and moved to America with my mother a few years later. My life consisted of taking yearly trips to Italy to see my dad and my Italian side of the family. In a strange way, I lead a split life. I lead half a life in Italy and half a life in America. Although both amazing in their own ways, this “split life” was nonetheless challenging. Having to come to a new country, learn a new language and somehow make sense of my life was harder than one can imagine. However, I managed and successfully was able to lead a split life and with that I learned to value time. I learned to value the time I spent with my mom because come summer I would be in Italy for three months without her. I learned to value time with my dad because come September my sister and I were back in Chicago with our mother and beginning a new school year.

Time was of value. I always felt like there was so little time, even as a child, there was just never enough. At seven years old, my dad died suddenly. The thing that hurt the most was that I never felt I spent enough time with him, and I was right, I didn’t. He was 33 years old when he died and I was 7, that’s only but a small piece of my life that I got to know or spend time with my dad. Now, at 24, that’s the thing that hurts the most. The lost time we could have had together. I decided then that time was of the essence and that I was going to make the most of every minute I had. Some people say this figuratively without true action or meaning behind it, but when I said it I meant it. People who know me know that I am a FREAK about time. I am always on time, I make sure all that I do is worth the time and effort it takes, and I know my time (like everyone else’s) is limited on this earth so it’s now or never.

Years pass too fast and so many things happen within that time I wanted to somehow find a way to salvage it. Although I have a nack for writing I didn’t feel writing a book would be appropriate. I felt a blog would be the best way to document my time, my journey, my accomplishments, my failures, my mistakes, my goals and my life. I felt a blog was the best way for me to get my story, thoughts and experiences out there to document them for myself, for my kids (someday in the far future) , for my sisters and family, or for someone out in the world. If just one person in the world were to read even just 1 blog post and it change something in them and motivate or help them, then this blog has accomplished it’s goal. All in all, I feel my blog has a variety of purposes, but most of all it is a window into my life to somehow help others with theirs.

So a little about who I am what I like and where I am going. I am 24 years old, I am a dedicated/hard-working student and proud nerd currently in the process of receiving my second bachelors degree and in the process of applying for graduate school. My education goal is to receive my doctorate degree and practice medicine. I currently work at a children’s hospital in Chicago and am heavily involved in volunteering. I truly believe in giving back to others even if it’s as simple as donating your hair to cancer, small things count! Besides this boring stuff, I am the second of 5 girls and the daughter of my amazing hard working mother and dedicated and strict step-dad (how he has put up with all 5 of us I have no clue).  I am the wife of a strong, motivating and amazing man that I first laid eyes on 11 years ago. I am  also a friend of some amazing women and men that make this world a little better by just being in it. I am an unique person and I promise you will only meet someone like me once in your lifetime. My interests are many. I enjoy sports (ice skating is my favorite), reading, writing, fitness, education/learning, teaching, fashion, traveling, food, beautiful places, dogs, motorcycles, art, spending time with family and friends, advocating for those who don’t have a voice and breaking barriers. You will get a little bit of everything because that’s just how I am.

What is your blog going to be about you ask? Well, everything. There is not just ONE thing that sums up my life. My life is made up of a variety of experiences, trials and errors, ideas, thoughts and experiments and it will all be documented here. Everyone’s life is unique and different from the next person’s and that’s what makes mine unique from the rest. So sit back relax and grab some popcorn because if your following you’re in for a bumpy, upside down, once in a lifetime type-a-ride.

xox,

Elisa Electra