Emotions run the gamut during the time between the end of the interview season and Match Week – Relief. Excitement. Worry. Stress. Just to mention a few. If you’re in this weird space between January and the middle of March (Match Day 2024), you may be wondering what you can do to manage such emotions and occupy your time while it feels like it’s standing still.
Here are a few things you can do to prepare for your potential move and make the most of this period:
- Start by going through your home and giving away or selling things that you won’t need after you move. This can help declutter your living space, make packing and moving easier, and lighten your mental and physical load. Sell items online, donate them to charity, or give them to friends and family.
- Start researching moving companies or rental trucks. If you have a lot of large items or are moving a long distance, it may be more cost-effective to hire a moving company. On the other hand, if you have a small number of belongings or are only moving a short distance, you may be able to save money by renting a truck and doing the move yourself.
- Consider housing options. Are you planning on renting or buying? If you’re leaning towards renting, start looking for apartments or houses around your top locations. Make a list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves, and use online resources to find places that meet your criteria. If you’re thinking about buying a home, start looking into mortgage rates and options, and consider whether a condo or townhouse might be a good fit for your family. (Remember, residency hours are long and hard. Homeownership might be a lot to take on when you’re in this phase.)
- Look into storage options. If you won’t have room for all of your belongings in your new home, or if you’re not sure what you’ll need in your new location, consider renting a storage unit. This can give you a place to keep your extra items until you know more about your living situation.
- Research the cost of living in your top-ranked locations. Take a look into things like average rent prices, grocery costs, and transportation expenses. This can help you budget for your move and determine how much money you’ll need to save.
- Start packing non-essential items. If you have items that you won’t need in the immediate future, consider packing them up now. This can help reduce clutter and make the actual packing process go more smoothly.
- Make a list of important numbers and institutions to notify of your move. This will streamline the moving process and give you one less thing to do after MATCH Day 2024. Make sure you remember to update your address with your bank, credit card companies, and any other institutions that send you important documents. This can help ensure that you don’t miss any important communications.
- Make a list of utilities you’ll need to set up at your new home like electricity, gas, water, and internet. You may need to set up new accounts or transfer existing ones, so it’s best to be prepared to start this process as soon as possible.
- Start looking into transportation options in your new location. If you’re moving to a new city or area, you may need to find a new mode of transportation. Look into options like public transit, whether or not you’re close enough to the hospital for your spouse/partner to walk to work, etc. Sometimes you can get rid of the added expense of the additional car if you’re in a prime location.
- Stay organized. Keep a list of tasks and deadlines, and make sure to check off things as you complete them. This can help reduce stress and ensure you don’t forget anything important.
- Brush up on the SOAP process. The Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) is the process that allows applicants who didn’t match during the main Match to apply for unfilled residency positions. We hate bringing this up, but it’s necessary. While it may feel terrible, it’s not the end of the world if they don’t MATCH. We’ve written about this before and explained how there are plenty of physicians who didn’t MATCH during their 4th year of medical school and went on to become happy, practicing physicians – whether through the SOAP process or other means. No matter what, it’s important to know what to do if they don’t match during the main Match; therefore, understand the SOAP process and how to participate.
- Think about how to support your loved one after MATCH week. In this article, we talk about all the ways you and your family can support your loved one after the MATCH process. After you read it, share it with both sides of your family and your friends to help them understand how they can provide the best support possible to your spouse/partner, no matter the outcome.
Regardless of the outcome on Match Day 2024, it’s important to take time to appreciate all of the hard work and achievements made during medical school. You both deserve to celebrate success! Wishing you the best of luck on your residency journey.