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Student includes literal blood, sweat and tears with grad school applications

By Melanie Woods, January 17 2016 —

Whether you’re applying to medical school, law school or a graduate program, application requirements seem to grow at an exponential rate. Good grades and volunteering experience often will no longer suffice on their own and many students are now resorting to extreme measures to stand out from the crowd.

Fourth-year English student Madison Morrison literally included her own blood, sweat and tears with her applications for Masters programs at several universities across Canada. Morrison gathered each liquid in a small vials, labelled the containers and shipped them along with her official transcripts.

“I’m applying to the University of British Columbia, McGill and the University of Calgary,” she said. “It’s been difficult to ship all the vials to Montreal and Vancouver but it’ll be worth it when I get in.”

Morrison said collecting the actual blood, sweat and tears was fairly easy.

“I’m basically crying constantly this semester, so I’ve got tears in abundance,” she said.

Morrison said the blood was the most difficult of the three to obtain.

“At first, the front desk at the walk-in clinic stopped me,” she said. “But then the doctor came out and mentioned how he gave up his first-born child to get into med school, so he was sympathetic. He took enough blood that I’ll be able to save some for my PhD applications.”

Morrison said she feels her application falls in line with what committees are expecting.

“They always say to include a little bit of yourself in the application, right?” Morrison said. “So I gave them my literal bodily fluids.”

U of C graduate admissions advisor Tanya Jones said applications like Morrison’s are hardly unique.

“We’re definitely seeing an increase in unconventional personal statements,” Jones said. “We made the requirements vague to encourage creativity. Originally, we wanted videos or art, but then people started sending us actual body parts. One law school applicant gave us the deed to his soul — he’s a practising energy lawyer in the oil and gas sector now.”

Morrison said she doesn’t feel like her efforts were that extreme comparatively.

“I have a friend who literally gave an arm and a leg,” Morrison said. “He came out of surgery yesterday afternoon and seemed pretty optimistic about his chances of getting into med school. The doctor who did the surgery is going to write him a sweet reference.”

Morrison is currently waitlisted for admission to all three schools.


This article is part of our humour section.

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