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"I always thought you were going to become a doctor" is the response I get almost every single time I tell someone I am no longer pre-med.
12 Years Ago: Age 6
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
"I want to become a doctor just like you to save and help the sick."
If only a six year old little girl can image the life of a pre-medical student. At the age of six, I have always wanted to become a doctor. Of course over the years, the different types of fields I wanted to pursue in medicine changed constantly. It went from wanting to become a dentist to a cardiologist to a orthopedic to a pediatrician and the list just kept growing and growing.
I don't know why but medicine was always so fascinating. It was so interesting that another human being, just like me, can heal someone. As a child who always got sick or injured, I looked up to my doctors, especially my pediatrician. She was my superhero.
One day, during my appointment, my pediatrician asked me "what do you want to be when you grow up?" and immediately I answered "I want to become a doctor just like you to save and help the sick." From that day, I knew, I WAS SO SURE, that I was going to be a doctor just like her.
5 Years ago: Age 14+
Let's skip through elementary and middle school because who the heck knows what I was thinking during those times. 8 years later (age 14), it was time for high school. I always thought high school was so important and I needed to build my resume for college. I always wanted the BEST resume anyone could ever have and that's when I BURNT myself out.
I loaded my high school courses with AP classes. I loaded my schedule with sports and work. I would work 4-8 hour shifts after school when I didn't have practice for the sports I played. I volunteered at my local hospital whenever I had the chance. I was a living machine doing everything at the same time.
Junior year... ACT AND SAT season. Studying for the SATs was the one of the worst periods of my life. I wanted the PERFECT score (1600/1600), so I worked my ass off. Unfortunately, I didn't get the 1600/1600 and I wasn't happy because I wanted to get in the best undergrad school so that I can get into the best medical schools.
Senior year... It was the time to "chill" and not care about school because you already got accepted to college. I didn't exactly "chill" my senior year until the last 2-3 months of high school. I still studied for my quizzes and tests. I still completed my homework (sometimes during lunch :)). I knew what I wanted (Medicine) and I did not give up. Yes, I was burnt out from everything I did in school, but I always thought to myself that medicine was going to be worth all the stress and struggles I went through.
0 Years ago: Age 19
Every freshman college student wants to experience the college life of partying, going out with your friends, skipping classes, etc. Not me. As a biochemistry major on a Pre-Med track "prevented" me from experiencing the college life. I always stayed home to study for my next quiz in Calculus 1 or stayed home to finish my Gen Chem 1 homework. but why? Because I wanted to become a doctor.
1st semester, I passed all my classes with flying A's and finished my semester with a 4.0. I was quite impressed with myself, but then I started to realize that I chose my grades over my own happiness and freedom.
When 2nd semester of freshman year started, I was still in that mindset of wanting to become a doctor. Again, I worked my ass off for my flying A's. Everything was the same as 1st semester except for one thing... I was depressed.
"Suck it up." "Do it for your family." "You are going to be successful in the future." Phrases like this is what "kept me going" on the pre-med track. Eventually I gave up, I just couldn't do it anymore. I felt like I was going to die.
I don't know how to express in words how I felt, I guess the perfect word to use is BLEH. I just felt bleh about everything. I was extremely depressed and my anxiety started to kick in. I couldn't eat and all I wanted to do was sleep.
I just knew I didn't want to pursue medicine anymore but I told myself to keep going for my family. I did pre-med for a couple more months and halfway through the semester I finally FINALLY realized I couldn't do it anymore. I wasn't happy with my life.
I knew I needed to be in control of my own life. I needed to love myself again. And that is why I am NO longer pre-med.