I am a 24 yr old mother of a very wonderful 12 mo old. I am a paramedic. This last year since the birth of my child has been very difficult personally, financially, professionally, you name it. During this time I have been taking a good look at my life, what is important and what is not, and what I can do to change the path I am on; and the answer I came to was follow my dreams of being a doctor.
It won't be easy, my past schooling record is horrible. I was the kid in high school who was constantly told I wasn't living up to my potential and my grades reflected that in high school and college. I left one school after receiving a 1.9 GPA and went on to a community college where my grades better but I had frequent withdrawals from courses. Basically, I diddled around for 3 years. I never got a degree, the only schoooling I started and finished was paramedic school.
My plan right now is to re-enter community college, we moved to a different state last summer. I think I am just going to start over with school, with the mindset that I need to start from the beginning and just stick with it. Not denying my past, just hopefully learning from my mistakes. If I can get through a semester with a full load of courses at the community college, then I can get through the next one. If I can complete an Associates degree I can transfer to the university to work on bachelors. If I can do that then I can apply to medical school Small steps and one at a time. Right now, I need to be thinking about reviewing algebra and biology, learning time management and effective study skills.
Anyways, that's my story and I'm sticking to it! Good luck to all of you!
First of all, welcome to OPM!
It sounds like you have acknowledged your past mistakes, the same mistakes many of us have made, and are ready to move forward with your life. Let me congratulate you on having completed your paramedic education and training and let you know that we have a large number of members who are paramedics and EMTs who have decided to further their careers by becoming physicians.
Second, let me commend you on the attitude you have concerning your past academic performance. As our founder, OldManDave, would tell you, acknowledging your past mistakes and learning from them, then going forward and proving that you are now a more mature, responsible person by completing your education in a positive manner, will go far with the admissions committees in proving you are ready and able to handle medical school.
I would suggest that you maintain a good support group around yourself, and you have found that here with OPM. If you can find it possible to attend the conference May 29-June 1, you will find a great deal of extremely useful information on how to best prepare yourself for the medical school application process and medical school itself. But along with that, you will meet a lot of people who are going through, or have already gone through, many of the same feelings, fears, doubts, and excitement you will face along the way.
If you live in the DC area, but can't make the Thursday or Friday meetings, then try to get there for Saturday. I can tell you from my own personal experience that any time you spend with the other members and counselors of OPM will be invaluable.
Best of luck as you begin your studies. Remember to stay focused and learn time management skills as you go. Please let us know if you have any questions and keep us informed of how things are progressing.
Again, welcome to OPM!!!
Welcome to the wild and bumby road called premed
It sounds like you have a great plan. You might want to start off with a little less than a full load your first semester tho so that you can learn and apply those study skills/time management skills…
My experience is pretty similar to yours only without children involved. I was a very good student in hs, but totally unprepared for the college thing. I hated the school I went to right after hs, and was forced into staying for a full year rather than just the semester (the whole tough it out, it’ll get better attitude). I have no idea what my gpa was from there but probably somewhere around your 1.9. I moved back home and attended a CC for the next several years part time. I also had a lot of withdrawals and even F’s from there. I basically wasn’t interested in “normal” classes…I did well in the dance/theater classes I took and concentrated on trying to become a professional dancer. I think my gpa there was around a 2.0. I finally came to the decision that even if I did get accepted into a company my career would be soo short-lived and underpaid that it wasn’t what I wanted to truly do anymore, so I went back to elite figure skating, moved to Colorado to train, and get a degree in kinesiology or at least those were my plans. My money ran out (I had a trust fund that was paying for everything at the time) so I went to work full time in retail for the next 3 years to pay the bills. I considered going into management (after all I’d been in retail since I was 16), but realized I just wouldn’t be happy, and signed up at the CC for a degree in Biology. I went part time for the next year, full time for another year after that and last fall transferred to UCCS to get my B.A. double major biology/chemistry (exercise science emphasis) with the goal of going to med school and going into orthopedics/sports med. The truth of the matter was that in my early life my other interests were more important to me than doing well in school and having the trust fund allowed me to make those mistakes. I could have done well, I should have done well, but I wasn’t mature enough to get it done. Now I am, and going full force toward my degree. My first semester at a university was a major learning experience tho. I was still working 24+ hrs/week, had 17 credits including spanish and A&P (both extremely time consuming) so I only got a 2.5 last semester, but so far this semester I’m doing really well mostly because I’m not working anymore and have learned how to study (I think).
Keep your eye on your goals, don’t overdo it your first semester back, and keep in the back of your head that you will most likely have to make another adjustment when you go from a CC to a 4 yr school (oftentimes CC’s tend to be an extension of hs while universities are the real deal–meaning they expect more from you).
Thank you for the invite, Linda. But I recently started working a job and I do not have enough time in to take vacation days yet. Also, I live in Texas, so I couldn't take a day trip up to DC. I will keep it in mind for next year. And thank you for the encouragement, it really helps!
Skaterbabe, its good to know others have a similar past to deal with. I think a good part of my scholastic meanderings came from a lack of maturity. Having my daughter made me grow up in so many ways, and realizing that I cannot keep starting something and running off to do something more interesting.
Boy, you sound just like me! I've was diddling in CC for almost 10 years before I decided what I want to do with my life. I majored in PolSci, Fire Science, and now am a Bio major. My cum is only 2.7, not counting this semester that will end in 3 weeks (Guaranteed A in Mod Am History, PreCalculus, hoping for a weak A in Chem, definitely a strong B+). My only hope is SUNY Stony Brook for med school, as all of my CC credits will transfer (also SUNY school). I've got two kids, 6 and 3, and a husband that works 7 days a week (5 running a Panera Bread restaurant, and two as a bar manager). My Bio major cum is 3.0. With my past indescretions in school, and my strong achievements in the last two years, am I kidding myself? Or can I make it in medicine?
Jennifer~ Of course you can make it if you really truly want it! Just keep at it…you’ve had a great semester and I assume you still have a while before you get your degree so just keep plugging away and building up that gpa. Definitely start finding some time to do some volunteer work or research and exploring what areas you may want to go into (which I know will be hard considering how much your hubby works), and rock your MCAT when you get there. Keep it up…you’ve got a great start with this semester!