How It Felt To Finally Drop "The PreMed Track"

How It Felt To Finally Drop "The PreMed Track"

Sometimes it is really hard to decide what you want to do with your future.
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I think something that many students struggle with is deciding what they want to do with their life. Specifically, with their career. Deciding this is a daunting task and something that I personally believe schools and parents do not necessarily prepare you for. How are you supposed to decide at 18 what you are going to do till you retire at 65? Choosing your major and career path in college is scary and something that I definitely struggled with.

Going into college, I had no idea if I wanted to do nursing or psychology or be premed. I was interested in all of those fields and I could not make up my mind as to which one I wanted to pursue more. Thus, as a freshman, I became a psychology major and put myself on the premed track. This meant I was taking science classes that would aid me on my MCAT exam along with my psych courses. It seemed like I had everything together.

I went through my freshman year of college taking both sets of classes only realizing at the end of the year that I was still confused about which path I wanted to take. I say I was confused, however, now looking back I think I was more scared. I was scared because in my heart I knew what my choice was. I knew what I wanted to pursue and what I genuinely enjoyed learning about. However, I was scared to allow myself to choose that option because I knew that my indecisiveness was the only thing that was protecting me from accepting my truth. I carried this fear all through the summer before my sophomore year of college, until I simply couldn’t lie to myself anymore.

A week into my sophomore year of college, I had a complete breakdown. I was trying to read my molecular and cellular biology textbook and I just couldn’t do it anymore. I didn’t care about what I was reading about and I kept asking myself why I was putting myself through this. Why was I forcing myself to take classes that I didn’t want to take? Why was I forcing myself to be something that I knew in my heart I wasn’t? Why was I doing this? The answer to all of my fears lied in a simple word: expectation.

There is a great deal of expectation, specifically with Asian immigrant parents that their children become doctors and engineers and lawyers because those jobs are stable and rewarding paycheck wise. Although my parents have never directly said this to me, I knew it was their dream to see me become a doctor. Their expectations were what I was so scared to let down. I was scared I would disappoint them with my choice to not be premed and intern, not be a doctor. I was so scared to tell them how I really felt that it took me almost two years to build up the courage to talk to them.

I remember bawling my eyes out in our car, trying not to look my dad in the eyes when I said that I just wanted to be a psychology major and that I was struggling in my premed classes. I was prepared for the worst. I was prepared to get yelled at and told that I was stupid and that I was disappointing them on all levels. However, to my surprise, my dad calmly said that he wants me to be happy and if premed does not give me that then I should not waste time in a field I have no interest in. My mom was equally as supportive saying that all she wants is for her kids to be happy. I was completely speechless. My parents are the type of parents that give you tough love and do not really care if what they say hurts your feelings. So, knowing how my parent’s operated, I was so shocked that they were so okay with my transition away from premed. I was so shocked that I even asked them why they weren’t upset and why they weren’t yelling at me. They said simply that I gave premed my best effort and if I am that miserable taking those classes, then no parent wants their kid to suffer like that.

I write this article to emphasize that college is your time to figure out what you want to do in your life. Do NOT pursue something just because your parent’s want you to or because you think it will make them happy in the long run. Because their happiness won’t matter if you wake up every single day of your career hating what you do and wishing you had pursued your passion. I am so incredibly grateful that I have parents who were supportive of my decision, but I know that not everyone is as lucky. Talk to your parents and make them understand what you want in life. Do not be afraid to stand up for yourself like I was for so long. At the end of the day, this is your life and you deserve to pursue whatever career you believe will give you the most fulfillment in your life.

Cover Image Credit: 59th Medical Wing

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A Letter To My Freshman Dorm Room As I Pack Up My Things

Somehow a 15' x 12' room became a home.

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Dear Geary 411,

With your creaky beds, concrete walls, and mismatched tile floors, you are easily overlooked as just another room we were randomly assigned to— but you were different. Inside your old walls, I have made some of the best memories of my life that I will hold on to forever.

Thank you for welcoming my neighbors in with open arms who quickly became friends who didn't knock and walked in like you were their own.

I feel like an apology is needed.

We're sorry for blaring the music so loud while getting ready and acting like we can actually sing when, in reality, we know we can't. Sorry for the dance parties that got a bit out of control and ended with us standing on the desks. Sorry for the cases of the late-night giggles that came out of nowhere and just would not go away. Sorry for the homesick cries and the "I failed my test" cries and the "I'm dropping out" cries. We're sorry for hating you at first. All we saw was a tiny and insanely hot room, we had no idea what you would bring to us.

Thank you for providing me with memories of my first college friends and college experiences.

As I stand at the door looking at the bare room that I first walked into nine months ago I see so much more than just a room. I see lots and lots of dinners being eaten at the desks filled with stories of our days. I see three girls sitting on the floor laughing at God knows what. I see late night ice cream runs and dance battles. I see long nights of homework and much-needed naps. Most importantly, I look at the bed and see a girl who sat and watched her parents leave in August and was absolutely terrified, and as I lock you up for the last time today, I am so proud of who that terrified girl is now and how much she has grown.

Thank you for being a space where I could grow, where I was tested physically, mentally and emotionally and for being my home for a year.

Sincerely,

A girl who is sad to go

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When Was The Last Time You Were Alive?

If you can't post it for everyone to see, was it truly a remarkable moment?

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Being alive is an essentially effortless act.

In theory, as long as you're eating food, drinking water, and performing as a human, assuming no major health conditions, most of us are living.

The tragedy I see most often is so very few of us are alive.

Now, I'm not suggesting you drop your textbooks and sprint up a mountain, or go broke trying to find yourself in new activities and events.

That's the illusion pressed onto so many of us. Social Media, more importantly, FOMO, has taught us that in order to truly be alive we need to make sure we travel far and wide, eat gourmet and unique food, and essentially, immerse ourselves in something phenomenal. However, regardless of what you do- don't do it without an audience and the value of your experience will only be justified by the number of likes you accrue on your #bestvacation ever because you #lovenature. With your back to the camera and wispy hair flowing in the beach air, you hit all of your angles, how else will you prove that you're alive to Instagram?

I fell for this too. I spent so much of my life constantly trying to get to the next phase life had to offer. High school was fun, but I was counting the days until graduation. Growing up in a small hometown wasn't awful, but I had sticky note calendars until my next vacation. And day in and day out, events would happen all around me that were just too "normal." I wasn't alive, but I was living.

Setting your soul on fire and truly living is so much more difficult than you could ever expect, but not because you have to drain savings and take along a buddy to snap all the perfect moments.

Choosing to be alive is realizing how important it is to be in this moment or phase in life and accepting it for all its worth. Instead of racing to the finish line or trying to sprint into your next season of assumed happiness, take time to notice all the beautiful and small things that make this moment so important. There is so much life to be found in simple moments.

Semesters are ending, we are all racing to summer. Perhaps in the process, take note of the routine cafeteria worker that constantly smiles at you and says hello. Or perhaps, giggle at the fact that in just a few short weeks that bus driver you see every single morning won't be apart of your morning routine.

The farther I get from what used to be my normal, the more I miss that season of life. I haven't lived in my hometown since I was eighteen, but I miss the simplicity that came with my drives to high school listening to Kanye West and the coziness of a small town opening its doors to start a new day. I never stopped to be alive in those moments, I was just simply living.

Wherever your next phase of life might be, it will always be there. You will always have something else coming. However, once this moment is gone. It's truly gone. Don't waste beautiful views trying to capture just the right picture for Instagram, take in the moment.

Living and experiencing life can be as simple as trusting that you're exactly where you need to be in life. Cherish each moment as you're in it. The next moment is coming whether you're ready or not.

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