There’s a phase in every pre-med’s life, we call “TOO MANY EGGS. TOO FEW BASKETS”. It looks something like this:
Assignment #2 is due tomorrow, lab report #3 the day after, and exams are just around the corner (the registrar has made an error, AGAIN, and three exams are scheduled on the same day, and they don’t give a damn to even respond to emails). Never mind the MCAT, which is fast approaching.
She’s just turned 21. She works one and a half jobs to pay for school. Not to mention, the research, the volunteering at the hospital and the 17 other extracurricular and club memberships.
Her emotional reserve is on “E” for empty. Emotional support? What emotional support? No one seems to give a damn.
One morning, she has to call in late for work, because an argument with Mom has turned into End of the World scenario. Mom can’t understand why she’s not tidying up her room. She has to tidy up her room NOW or a big asteroid is going to hit Earth and destroy life on this planet, as we know it.
Her friends keep teasing her “Are you in med school yet?” EVERY TIME they meet.
Her professors keeps asking “So why do you REALLY want to go to med school?”
Deep inside, she craves, begs, is dying for… Respect.
From… somebody. Anybody. “I wish SOMEBODY would listen to me. I wish I could see the end of the tunnel already.”
Deep inside she fears. She fears because she knows she’s highly unemployable if she doesn’t get into med school. She’s terrified of getting stuck in a life of re-application, desperation and plan Bs. The horror of getting trapped by something as stupid as a grumpy bored admissions committee member.
My buddy went through something like this while his parents were getting a nasty divorce. He said, “There’s nothing like real pain to light up the fire in anyone. I had hit rock bottom but at least there was nowhere to go but up from there.”
I think everyone has gone through a version of this. Men or women. Pre-med or not. Everyone.
In case you can’t tell… I’ve been through this.
Got me totally spiraling out of control in my fourth year of undergrad and what I wanted to accomplish in my life.
I got myself a mentor and he said to me “Behrouz, [email protected]#$ in, [email protected]#$ out! You have to pay your dues. But if you keep pushing forward, the next stage of your life is going to get a whole lot better. That’s when the hard work pays off, people will start listening to you and that’s when you get a lot of people depending on you so you must be prepared for that stage of your life.”
I can tell you from experience that what comes next is…
A LOT of people respecting you AND depending on you.
More people than you can even count.
You’re not necessarily going to be putting food on their tables but as a doctor you’re going to give them the most precious gift of life…
You know, cowards are everywhere because it takes balls to follow your dreams. (And no, balls are not exclusive to males.)
It also requires courage and a high pain tolerance.
One of my favorite Profs asked in our first year biology class:
“How many of you are going to apply to med school?”
Nearly everyone raised their hands.
Then he said with a chuckle, “Only one percent of you are actually going to get into med school, because it takes a lot of COURAGE to follow your dreams and those of you who either lack the courage or are following someone else’s dream are going to drop out of the race very soon, in fact most of you won’t even want to go to med school by the end of this semester.”
Have the courage to follow your dreams.
Seize the moment.
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About the author:
Dr. Behrouz Moemeni is a co-founder and CEO here at BeMo. He is compelled by a vision to change the education system. He believes everyone deserves access to higher education. Specifically, he is determined to create and provide admissions and educational training programs that reduce the social barriers at professional programs. He is also driven by a mission to create the next generation of admissions/candidate screening tools that are more fair, while technologically and scientifically light years ahead of current admissions screening tools out there.
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