The basics: I’ve lived in Texas my whole live, 25yrs old, Jr. in Biology, Paramedic turned premed.
The nitty gritty: Growing up, I wanted to be a doc. I don’t come from a family of docs, only knew one personally, but I was magnetized to it regardless. However, through low self-esteem, a long-term vampiric relationship, and general self doubt, I decided to become a firefighter instead.
My dad was a fireman and he loved it. So my 17 year old squeamish self signed up for paramedic school. Everything was going great!
Untill… halfway through paramedic school, I realized it wasn’t enough for me. Don’t get me wrong, I was good at it, I loved it, I had friends in it, I was respected by my peers and physicians, but something was missing. I wasn’t doing enough, if that makes sense.
I’ve always pushed myself. I guess these’ll count as my EC’s, but here are some examples… I got a black belt in karate when I turned 18 and competed in national tournaments, was part-owner in a contract of $50k making candles for school fundraisers at 15, self-taught carpentry that ended up being shown on national television, was in a band that toured the east half of Texas.
Being a medic didn’t push me as far as these other things did in their respective fields. I felt like I “made it” in carpentry and martial arts, but not in the medical field. I never felt like I was where I was supposed to be. I knew I was supposed to be in medicine, but not in that capacity.
So there I was, halfway through 'medic school, 19, deciding again that I want to be a doctor. I graduated, passed National Registry, and started working at a local Emergency Room while I worked at the college I originally attended. I worked 40hrs at the college and 24-36 at the hospital. All saving up to go back to school. It took time.
Finally, I jumped back in to my education at 23. I left the hospital and went part-time at the college. None of my medic classes (55-60 credit hrs) counted for anything, so I was starting all over. Online classes, summer calculus, Brit Lit over Christmas, averaging 15 credit hrs/semester while working ridiculously odd hours, 20hrs some weeks 80+ others (I work in an auditorium, our work hours are…weird). My grades suffered a little, but there was no other way to do it.
I’ve been working and/or taking classes at this Jr. College for 6-7 years. I’ve seen so many of my friends move on… It hasn’t been easy.
The good news: Here I am, a Jr. in Biology. I finally transferred to a college about 45 minutes away and will be commuting 5 days a week. I know some people look down on JuCo premeds, but I believe my grit and determination will shine through that. My paramedic classes hurt my GPA (3.2 upon graduating medic school), but I’ve gotten it up to a 3.5. It’s definitely trending up, I just need to keep it that way now that I’m at a university crosses fingers
I know I’m on the younger side of being a “nontrad” student, but I still feel a kinship with y’all over traditional students. I’ve been a blue collar worker since I was 15, had/have ten different irons in the fire, and most premeds my age don’t have another 2-2.5 years of school left. I’ve been lurking for a while, finally decided to make an account.
Well, that was long winded…
I can’t remember how I found OPM. I think I was just randomly searching for premed podcasts on my phone. I’ve since subbed to all of Dr. Gray’s podcasts. In every podcast, he always says to sign up here. So here I am!