Embracing my oldpremed friends

I started my pre-med program this semester and am doing extremely well!! Yeah me!! With all the excitement of my journey into medicine, I thought hey there is a pre-med club starting up, let me see what that’s about and perhaps I can even run for a position and make a positive contribution. Things are looking good, right? Wrong…I had a not so great experience at this pre-med club. I had a lot to contribute and a lot of ideas the club wanted to run with however I was not part of their 20 year old club and did not fit the barbie doll look they were after. Is graying hair not hip enough? All the young kids have multiple colors going through their hair, why can’t they accept my gray hairs? After having 2 children - I’ve learned to forgive my body for it’s flaw and would gain thoses “baby pound” (which I have yet to lose - my youngest being 21 months) again for my children (that is if I had to do it again)- I was completely ostracized for my age and not being a traditional student - I was so frustrated at the end of the meeting. I don’t think I will be visiting that club anytime soon. I am so glad I have you folks, whom I can relate to and get the support I am looking for!
Thank you so much for listening to me vent!

It is very unfortunate that those kiddies did not recognize & appreciate what you bring to the negotiation table. My initial experiences as an Ugrad were not dissimilar. However, as our extant pre-med club was applying for status as an Alpha Epsilon Delta (nat pre-med honor soc) chapter, I was determined to play a role in both the success of the application & the future of the chapter-to-be - I kept on going. Even though I was never an insider & out carousing with them (wasn’t really interested), I was eventually accepted as a leader & looked upon by many as a mentor-figure, which I found quite satisfying. So, while you may never be beer-drinking buddies with all of them, with some perseverence, you may find yourself earning their respect as a leader & mentor.

Hey how are you:
I am not suggesting that you may want to get confrontational with Ken and Barbie. However if this premed club is receiving funds from student fees, they legally can’t be exclusive. They have to admit the X-Men even if they don’t want to. That being said reforming attitudes is always harder than enforcing the rules. Maybe someone needs to be a little forceful with the youngin’s. If (and that’s a big if) they do become doctors, what happens when they have to treat people who have more “against” them than age.

You know, it sounds like you probably intimidated the living crap out of 'em or perhaps came across as their mom. It feels a little weird to be buddy-buddy with folks a lot younger than you, but it IS possible. I agree with Dave, don’t write the group off - but don’t go in there sounding like you want to run it, either. There may have been some group-formation dynamics in place prior to this meeting that you were completely unaware of… hard to know and not worth puzzling over, frankly.
GO to the next meeting, listen, put in a few words here and there and try to strike up some individual conversations. Be enthusiastic but not overboard. You may not realize that a lot of these kiddies have picked up a notion that we OPMs are a huge threat to them, that we are favored by AdComs, and that WE are the reason they don’t get into med school. (Yeah, I know, that’s an interesting concept but read SDN if you don’t believe me.)
Really, give them another chance. I ended up liking my pre-med colleagues and getting along with them just fine, but initially I found them VERY annoying. I had to consciously work not to “be Mom” in that setting, since at the time, they were the same age as my oldest son.
One other thought, and if this doesn’t fit, please ignore it: you are sounding just a wee bit defensive about your OPM status. If so, purge those feelings as quick as you can! It’s easy to feel a little self-conscious when you’re obviously the oldest student in the room. It’s also easy to feel apologetic for being there, or for not making up your mind the first time you were in college like a “normal” person, etc. etc. Fuhgeddaboutit. You are here now, you are going to make the most of this, and you are going to enjoy it! Other people aren’t noticing you as much as you think, and if they are, so what? “Dance as if no one is watching.” Have fun.

Thank you (everyone) for your input - all of you raise very good points and I will give the group another chance. When you are living in yourself and so focused on your goal it is difficult to see how you appear to others. Humbly, I admit I may wear my OPM a little too much on my sleeve and I may be intimidating to them (more like a parent then a peer) - but I will try and strike up conversation and try to work on a peer-peer relationship. Mary your insight about the situation is very good - actually all the people in this group are also in the same Chemistry Club and are all in the same class - so there is prior relationship with all of them.
How do I develop a peer-to-peer relationship while overlooking the annoying, immature behavior? (Side note Quantum Mechanics is way easier for me to comprehend then people and social relationships. My first B.A. was in Anthropology, trying to understanding people within context of their culture and still to this day - people and their ways are such a mystery…sorry just feeling a little frustrated.)

Hello from Londonderry, NH!
I think you’ve already gotten some great advice from people and you’ve got an idea of how to approach this. I’ll throw in my for-what-it’s-worth: try very hard to remember what it was like to be 18-21. Yes, they may appear selfish, yes they may appear immature… that’s what they’re supposed to be going through at that age. Of course they have different priorities from you. They are figuring out who they are, how they fit in the world. I know it sounds terribly cliched, but it’s true. That is a time of a lot of emotional growth. As I get ready for my 5 year college reunion (yes, I’m still a spring chicken myself at 26) I’m amazed at how much I’ve learned and grown since high school and college. Taking college classes now is about intellectually curiousity and growth. College, in the traditional sense, was a time of emotional curiousity and growth. That does not mean that the two are mutually exclusive, but please keep it in mind when you are dealing with “immature, annoying behaviour”. Express interest in what they do. No, that doesn’t mean you want to hear about who hooked up last night or how so-and-so got sooo wasted last night, but that’s not all they’re about, either. Strike up some casual conversations, small talk, etc. with your lab partner or the person sitting next to you at the club meeting. It’s tough to step out of your shell and make the first move (believe me, I am the poster child for turtle-ish behaviour) but you may surprise yourself by forming bonds with some of these “kids”.
Best of luck and keep us posted on how things work out.

arciedee hit it on the head. I did not have any problems when I went back for the postbac, and ended up having a study-buddy that was awesome. In fact, the same thing is happening to me here at med school. Even though I have a lot to contribute, for the most part, I still view this as the ‘kids’ time and lay back and let them grow, just stepping in as needed, or required.
Well, I’m not sure if any of this made any sense – I just got out of a neuroanatomy exam and I’m fried.
BTW arciedee, I too am from Londonderry NH!