For years, I had my entire life figured out. I knew exactly what I wanted, where I was gonna get it, and when it would be done by. Not only did I have it all figured out, but I also let everyone else know I did as well. Later down the road, I am now seeing how this isn't always necessary. Right before fall of the senior year of college, I came to a big realization. Who was I actually going to medical school for? Was this going to make me happy? Did I even want this for my future at all? The questions that were popping up were endless, and the answers I found myself giving were ever more horrifying. Ultimately, I decided medical school was not for ME. It was not what I wanted for MYSELF. And that is okay.
About mid-high school is when I realized I wanted to make becoming a doctor (radiologist to be exact) a reality for myself. I began to plan, immediately, my path going forward. I'm a planner, so this came very second nature to me. It was all laid out in front of me. The timeline, the hours of studying, the money... I had thought of it all. Now, it was just time to execute my plan. However, I quickly learned plans don't always as planned.
For my college years, I knew for the longest time Michigan State would be the school for me. I got accepted right at the start of the senior year of high school, and I was elated. The first start of my plan was ready to go. However, this was the first time I was faced with a difficult decision. Unfortunately, I do not get to enjoy the luxury of not worrying about all the finance troubles college can bring. Therefore, I chose to stay and complete my associates at my local community college for my first year. I knew this was the best choice for me financially, but it did sting a bit.
Throughout this all, I was on the fast track. I was doing everything I could to graduate with my bachelors (and an associates degree) in 3 years. This I would 100% say was my first mistake as the intense amount of credits and summer classes really began to burn me out. What I once loved, school was now the biggest that was killing my drive. My 4 year perfect University I had chosen had turned out to be now what I expected. I'm only at Michigan State for two years, and I must say that those two years were not even close enough to the amount of time I would love to spend on this beautiful campus.
And here we are: the beginning of my senior year. This is when the questions and thoughts I had continuously dismissed began to take over my life. I tried to ignore my doubts because I was so terrified of what all my friends and family would think. Would they think I'm just being lazy? Would they think I'm not good enough for medical school, and that I am taking the easy way out? Would they be disappointed? What will my mom think? How do I even begin to break the news to my family and especially my mom? My mom has always put me first in her life. She has supported me through thick and thin, and I am so grateful that I can say she really is my best friend. Why was I so afraid to tell her?
On a fall weekend trip home, I decided it was time. It was my mom, my best friend. Why did I think I couldn't tell her? The conversation was certainly not easy and many tears were involved. All my fears very quickly washed away. She reassured me that changing my mind is okay. That I am not letting anyone down. I soon realized continuing on the pre-med track would only be disappointing myself.
Admitting to ourselves of what we truly want in life is horrifying. Society puts an unbearable amount of stress on young adults to have everything figured out. Why? We are young. We deserve time. It takes an immense amount of time to make these types of choices, so why are we feeling so much pressure to rush them? I offer you this advice. Take your time. Focus on you. Make your choices for you and no one else, and remember: it is OKAY to change your mind.
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