I Don't Want To Be A Doctor

Yes, Doctors Are Important And 'Make Good Money,' But That's Still Not The Right Career Path For Me

I've found what I'm meant to do, not supposed to do.

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"I became a psychotherapist because that's where people unburden themselves, where they will show what is in their hearts."

- Rollo May

At some point in life, it clicked that what I used to believe about careers simply wasn't true: that if you're a smart cookie, you go down one of three default tracks: doctor, lawyer, or engineer. I chose doctor. I checked off all the boxes and headed onto the pre-med track at the University of Michigan, ready for the bullet train to excellence. I did all the hospital volunteer work, took organic chemistry, and had a job in the gross anatomy labs in which I dissected actual human cadavers — I was well on my way to making my dream a reality.

But there was a nagging feeling in my gut that this wasn't right. The life I had set out for myself wasn't right. The classes weren't right, the job wasn't right, none of it was right — I had a sense that there was more out there for me. Ever since I was little I've had a fascination with the mind: how it worked, how it didn't work, how to fix it, etc. I've battled anxiety and depression for quite some time, so I learned the ins and outs of my own — I was a productive writer, I went to therapy, I had deep conversations with myself. Then I learned about other people's minds when I studied psychology, literature, and creative writing, and when I applied that to helping people with mental illness.

"Love is nature's psychotherapy" - Eric Berne

I've worked with a thousand people with these issues so far, and I've never felt so rewarded and in my element. This is where I shine, as part of the healing process alongside those in distress and pain. I've found that in these experiences I've had the most sincere, genuine, and authentic look at the human mind as it is, and there's been nothing else that has compared. These are only some of the reasons I chose to go down the path of a psychotherapist — if you look at the scope of my entire life, or any psychotherapist's entire life, you'll see all the dots connect in this direction.

As I was expected to become some sort of surgeon, I received a mix of responses when I shifted gears: Wow, we need more healers in the world! or You don't make much with that, right? or Why can't you just become a psychiatrist?, mostly along those lines. No matter what anyone thinks, I know that this is what I'm meant to do. And what I will do.

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Don't Be Afraid of Changing Your College Plan

It really isn't THAT bad...

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I can't claim to have any deep wisdom on life, but I at least have some good experience with a highly turbulent college career. I started as a game design major in a tech college in Rochester, NY, transferred to a college in Texas, and now I'm an English major at CofC.

My college life has been something of a roller coaster.

But I regret none of it. Maybe it would have been easier to stick to the track I was on initially, but I would never have been fully satisfied with it. Now I've finally found my place and, even though it may have taken a lot of shifting around, it was undoubtedly worthwhile.

I don't mean to say that everyone who is slightly dissatisfied with their major should transfer all over the country and change their major(I had to sacrifice the ability to get a minor because of the path I took, so I wouldn't recommend it to most people). I just believe that if you find yourself not liking the classes that are vital to your major or if you can't find a place at your current college, then changing your major or transferring isn't as horrible as you might imagine.

When I started college I was completely confident in what I wanted to do and what my future would look like. I thought it would be ridiculous for someone to stray from their initial path. That idea led to me deciding to transfer later than was smart.

I think everyone should know that having to change your plans for the future, sometimes in dramatic ways, isn't a bad thing. No matter how scary transferring and changing majors can seem, many people have done it before you and many will after, you aren't alone.

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