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Author Topic: The possibility of having to give up my dreams
Atonement
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Possibly having to give up dreams

For the past few years, I have wanted NOTHING more than to become a doctor.

When I started off, I was at a community college with a 3.1 GPA, but I worked it up to a 3.6 (average person accepted to most med schools has a 3.7) and transferred to a good 4 year university with great medical school acceptance rates.

Unfortunately, it’s all been downhill from there.
My first semester at my new college, I only got one A: anthropology, which has nothing to do with my major. I only got a C in that semester’s biology. This brought me down to a 3.477.
I was sure I’d redeem myself with the summer 1 biology, but no. It was a B, bringing me down to 3.462.

Now, I’m in physics and doing badly. If I’m lucky and get a B, it will bring me down to 3.442. If I get a C, 3.4.

In addition, compared to what I’ll be taking later, these are the EASIER classes.

I’m trying so hard, but I feel like my dream of getting into medical school is slipping away from me one class at a time.

My mom says just to try as hard as I can, but make plans in case it doesn’t work out.

But I don’t know how much of this I can take. Taking excruciatingly difficult classes, rarely being able to have fun or relax, paying expensive tuition and fees, and putting my whole life on hold for a dream that is becoming less and less likely to come true is getting emotionally exhausting.

What’s more: most of the new friends that I’m making are also planning to go to med school, but have much better resume’s and higher GPAs. And I don’t know if I can handle seeing all my friends go off to med school without me. I can’t imagine having to tell all the friends, old coworkers, and family members that are so proud of me that I just couldn’t do it.

What’s more is, I don’t have any other goals. And I don’t know how to live life meaningfully unless I have a goal to work towards. All the things I want to do are dependent on being done with school and having money to be able to experience things like travel/ect.

I just don’t know what to do, and am feeling really lost right now.

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copper86
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Atonement, I have had a very similar experience, so I know how exhausted and upset you feel. Ever since I was little, I had wanted to be a vet. I loved animals and wanted to take care of them. So, in high school, I took all academic (university-oriented) maths and sciences; but got a really rude awakening once I realized that my math and science scores would not be high enough for acceptance into math or biology programs (biology was a bit better, but still not high enough); so I tried the venue of veterinary technician. But even then, my math and science scores weren't high enough; and out of the thousands of applicants to veterinary schools, only a handful (200 or so I think, or even less) get in... And my scores weren't competitive enough. I was heartbroken over that; and took a Sociology class on a whim in Grade 12 because I needed the credit it would give me. I ended up falling in love with the discipline; and graduated with a BA in Sociology at university.

What I'm trying to tell you is that it is entirely normal for someone to change their mind about a job, dream, or major at any point in their lifetime. I have friends who changed their major in their third year of university; and they'd still be graduating only a year and-a-half behind schedule; doing something they now love. I'm not telling you that you have to change your career path, major, or your dream... I'm just telling you that if you do decide to do that, that is perfectly okay. I know how upset you feel; and sometimes when I know people who have vet jobs, I still get a little jealous... But I found out that my true goal in life is to help others and I'm fascinated by how people and society operate. I love animals and want to take care of them; but instead of being a vet (and after a while, I realized that I couldn't bear to do surgery on an animal, even if I was helping them), I can volunteer at a humane society or at a clinic.

You say you got an A in Anthropology. How did you feel about that, besides the fact that the grade didn't count towards your major? Did you like the class? Would you consider taking a like-minded course like that again?

If you have your heart set on being a doctor but you feel as if medical school, tuition bills, and all the pressure and homework are too much, what about trying to be a pharmacist, a receptionist at a walk-in clinic, or a dietician? Those jobs will still enable you to help others have access to healthcare and you will still be giving sound medical advice to patients.

Even if you do change your mind (and I am not advising you to do that at all - do what you feel is best), you can always volunteer at hospitals, blood donor clinics, walk-in clinics, and hospital charities. You want to help others - that kind of desire can be found in many other vocations, medical or otherwise.

I'm sorry that you are going through this; and I truly hope that you are feeling better. Your friends, family, co-workers, and friends within your field would feel proud of you and happy to be in your life, no matter what path or dream you choose to take.

[ 07-25-2012, 02:06 PM: Message edited by: copper86 ]

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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Atonement
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The thing is, I still really, really want to be a doctor. Badly. It's not that I want to give up, but that I feel as though I'm being forced to.

If i knew I had a good chance of doing decently and being admitted, I'd be happy to grit my teeth and go through with the hard classes.

If this doesn't work out, I think I'd still have a good chance of getting into nursing school, and would probably do that.

I guess one of my weird hang ups is that i think of so many other jobs as just an occupation or career, but doctor as an entire identity.

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KittenGoddess
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quote:
Originally posted by Atonement:
What’s more is, I don’t have any other goals. And I don’t know how to live life meaningfully unless I have a goal to work towards. All the things I want to do are dependent on being done with school and having money to be able to experience things like travel/ect.

I just don’t know what to do, and am feeling really lost right now.

Have you spoken to someone in the counseling or career counseling center at your college? Those folks are usually awesome at providing guidance when you feel really lost. Or even find a faculty member that you are particularly close with and talk to them maybe?

What you wrote above about the things you WANT to do being dependent upon being out of school and making money brings to mind another question. Is it that you truly want to be a doctor, or is that simply a means to an end for the other things? I ask because I too have been there. I thought I knew what I wanted to be, I was so sure of it. But once I got to college, I found that I didn't enjoy the classes nor was I particularly good at them. (Not that they were "too hard" per say, but that they were not in line with the way my mind worked at all. I just didn't view the world through that framework.) I had a hard time letting go though. I rationalized it all over the place to myself...if I could just do then, then I'd have the money to do what I really wanted. Maybe I could go back later and get a different degree while I was working in this field that I really didn't enjoy or wasn't good at. Plus I was worried about embarrassing or disappointing my family, etc.

I talked to a faculty member, then my therapist about it and came to a realization. There were plenty of other things that I COULD be which suited me better and would still let me do all of that "other stuff" that was the goal at the end of the day. I picked what I enjoyed and haven't looked back. Now I have a profession that suits me, that I enjoy & am good at, and that still offers me lots of the benefits I wanted. No, I don't make the big bucks that I'd imagined...but I'm also not miserable everyday either.

One of my best friends in college was in a similar position. She was in the same program I was, but in her case she really wanted to be an artist. Because she was afraid of disappointing her family, she continued the program even though it didn't suit her at all. In the end, she got a job and was terribly unhappy at what she was doing. I ended up being very glad I didn't push ahead down that path. For me, it was better to explore other options and find something I really loved.

ETA: Just seeing your reply. I'd still suggest talking to someone in counseling to see if they could offer a different perspective.

[ 07-25-2012, 02:26 PM: Message edited by: KittenGoddess ]

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Sarah Liz

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Atonement
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The thing is, when I was in the community college, I did great in my maths and sciences, and actually enjoyed them.

The only thing is, at this school, they are SO much harder. It seems like everyone I'm meeting here was a valedictorian with half their college courses completed before they even left high school.

I actually like this class, and when i was taking the last test I felt like I was doing such a great job, but I only got a 65. And I was really, really good at Trig and Calculus, so I don't understand why I'm having so much trouble.

I guess it's also that I'm sort of used to thinking of myself as not outgoing or pretty, but Intelligence is the one thing that i've always thought I had. And when it's taken away from me, it's the most painful of all.

I do plan to discuss this with my therapist on Friday. It's just, right now i feel so drained, and I know that I'm going to be in a lot of worse classes than this one soon.

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Sans
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quote:
Originally posted by Atonement:
The thing is, when I was in the community college, I did great in my maths and sciences, and actually enjoyed them.

The only thing is, at this school, they are SO much harder. It seems like everyone I'm meeting here was a valedictorian with half their college courses completed before they even left high school.

I actually like this class, and when i was taking the last test I felt like I was doing such a great job, but I only got a 65. And I was really, really good at Trig and Calculus, so I don't understand why I'm having so much trouble.

Hey, Atonement. I was wondering, after I'd read your post, if there is a possibility that part of the struggle that you've been having with these courses could center around difficulties in adjusting to a new school and a new program that is more demanding than your previous program?

What you've stated above seems to indicate that the college that you are currently attending is much more demanding than the community college that you used to attend. Different schools operate on different expectations, even if they're teaching essentially the same courses. Using this line of logic, the fact that you are having a hard time at your current college is not really surprising, know what I mean? It's not that your strengths have changed, it's just that quite a bit more is expected from you at this new school.

If what I'm saying resonates with you, I think that you don't necessarily have to consider changing professions or giving up your dream. For me, entering the International Baccalaureate prep program 4 years back was a really difficult transition. I, too, felt that I had to work endlessly to achieve modest grades. But I found that I got a grip on the situation after I changed my methods of study, time management, and organizational skills. I did not wind up dropping out of the program in the end.

I think that it would be sound to consider if your struggle is partly/largely a result of studying in a program that is more intense, more fast-paced maybe, more demanding. There are many factors to consider when we struggle in a new program. I understand why you would question your suitability for this program, but that is not necessarily what the issue is here.

What do you think?

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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Sans
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How have you been doing recently with all of this, Atonement? How did your discussion with your therapist go?

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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Atonement
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Hi, Sans! Thanks so much for checking up on me, and sorry for not responding to your last post.

I absolutely think that could be what is happening to me. In fact, during the orientation, we were all warned that a large percentage of transfers into the program lose up to a full letter grade, and thankfully my decrease hasn't been that drastic.

Still, I somehow had this idea that it just wouldn't happen to me, and that willpower would be enough to overcome it. So far, it hasn't been that simple.

I know I'm still in the running, but I've really thought a lot about the idea of becoming a PA or a nurse instead. While it's not necessarily what I planned, there are a lot of incentives like being able to move back to by Chicago(my birthplace, and near where my sister lives) sooner than I'd initially planned, and not having to be in school for quite as long or make fairly low wages in comparison to the loans I'd be taking out during a 4-5 year residency.

I did talk to my therapist on Friday, and she says she thinks that my lack of interaction and loneliness is causing a bit of despondence and depression (situational, not clinical)(I'm living alone for the summer, and almost all the friends that I made over the semester have gone home)

But I'm feeling a lot better this week. Somehow, despite being almost completely unable to study, I did fairly well on this week's test. If I do well on the final, I may even be able to get a B in the course. This has caused me to be more motivated this week, so i haven't had as much of an issue as far as paying attention/studying.

Also, the class will be over Monday, and next Wednesday I'm leaving for a huge, monumental family vacation (including my older sister who i only get to see once a year) to the island my dad is from, which just happens to be in the Caribbean.

I'm talking to my therapist again this Friday, and I'm not sure what direction she's planning on taking it, but either way, I feel way better than last week!

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Sans
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Hi, Atonement! [Smile] I'm so, so glad to hear that you're feeling better this week! Yay! And congratulations on doing well on this week's test!

Yeah, it's a good thing to keep your options open, since there seems to be many considerations aside from simply getting high scores.

I'm sorry to hear that you've been living alone and not been able to have interactions with friends. Hopefully that will change when school starts again in the fall?

Oooh, the vacation starting next Wednesday sounds like so much fun! I think that it's a well-deserved break after all of your extremely hard work. [Big Grin]

Hooray! I'm rooting for you! [Smile]

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Hey Atonement,

I'm glad to hear about your family vacation, it sounds super fun! Its especially awesome that after the stress you've been having in dealing with all of this that you have the opportunity to blow off some steam!

I'm also glad to hear that you've been feeling a bit better and think about some of your other options if you do no choose to become a doctor. I was once at a University's Open House day, and the student there that I was speaking to asked me what I wanted to become and what I planned to study. He said that every second person says that they want to be a doctor. I think that when someone really enjoys the Sciences, pretty much everyone tells them to become a doctor. It is presented as THE option for those people who actually enjoyed Calculus or Chemistry. But it isn't the only job out there. That isn't to say that there is anything wrong with your pursuit of becoming a medical doctor, I think it is a fantastic and noble pursuit. What I mean to say is that if you do decide that, for whatever reason, being a doctor simply isn't going to work out for you, that there are so many other options out there for you than it often seems there are.

PS I love Calculus and trig too! I used to get really frustrated by trig identities, but I got better at them and realised that they're kind of like a puzzle, and suddenly they became fun!

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Atonement
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Yes, right now my city is a ghost town, but Everyone will be back at the end of the month. Once the student organizations get going, i think it will be much easier to interact.

I also have a roommate (one who I know, and am already casual friends with) withing the next few weeks.

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Starfire&Shadows
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Hi. I'm glad things are going better now!

I was just wondering if you've thought about which parts of actually being a doctor are most important to you? And how your average day would go - and which parts of that day you might look forward to most. It could help you plan out a second choice. (Of course, you might not need a second choice.)

You don't have to respond to this. [Smile]

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We are all made of Star Stuff...
-Carl Sagan

...Their eyes beheld, first of all things, the stars of heaven.
-Silmarillion

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Wreckingball
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Hey just going to put in a little shout out to nursing:

It's amazing! I'm a pediatric nurse and work with kids abd families of all backgrounds and ages. I smile and laugh and am challenged every day.

I learn new things, take courses and progress on an acedemic level in lots of ways too. It's just in a more practical way than school (and allows me to support myself financially).

In Canada , not sure about the states, I can eventually work towards becomming a nurse practitioner which is very similar to being a dr.

It's a good option if you decide med school isn't what you really want. So that's my little nursing plug, but as mentioned before there are lots of other medical/ish options:

respiratory therapy, ocupational therapy, physio, psycology, social work, recreational therapy, diagnostic imaging tech, EMT, .....

lots and lots of options that will lead to great careers and a great life.

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'My love's a beahive, dodecahedron of caring'

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