Intro post (of disturbing length)

Been reading for about a week and and figured it was high time to write that an intro post. Be warned, I tend to get a bit…verbose…at times.


My name is Jason Sullivan, I’m a 37 year old divorced father of two teenaged children (14 yr old boy and 16 yr old girl). They live primarily with their mom, but only a mile away and I have an amazing relationship with my ex (who I consider one of my best friends-we always joke that the best thing for our friendship was ending our marriage), so I spend a fair amount of time with them (moreso in the summer). I have spent the last 16 years working in the IT field, the last six of which have been spent working as a field technician with an international company that provides warranty support for the majority of the PC manufacturers.

My first run through college (with an eye towards a mech engineering degree with the eventual plan of transitioning to advanced prosthetic work) back in 1991 ended very early with me partying way too much and not really attending classes. The only credits I have from this time are from dual-credit classes I was able to take in high school (which gets rid of some of the annoying things like History and Speech). I’d like nothing more than to be able to go back in time and smack my younger self upside the head a few hundred times. Soon after I got married and started my family and had to concentrate on building a career with no post-secondary education. Fortunately, that was when the IT industry really came into it’s own and college was often secondary to job experience and skill and I did quite well (in the comfortable, middle-class sense). My plan all along was to return to school in 2000 to pursue my dream of entering medicine. However, as any who were involved in the tech sector about that time know, the tech bubble popped and work dried up-for the IT world, 2000-2003 or so were about as bad as the job market is today. Life and work became about survival and any thoughts of scaling back working to go to school disappeared.

Fast forward a decade and I still found myself talking about how much I wanted to be a doctor until last year I decided it was either time to do it, or to shut up about it. After some careful introspection, I came to the realization that the sector of IT I as involved in likely only has 5-10 good years left in it and, even more importantly, I have absolutely zero desire to return to the corporate world. I’m good at it-I can play all the games and kiss all the proper hind quarters, but I had no intention of putting myself back under that level of pressure (my last long-term corporate IT gig had me experiencing weekly migraines and the start of ulcers, I have a friend that everyone would consider a generally stable guy who’s still in IT that has had to go on anti-anxiety meds to handle the stress) when the only reward was saving some company money. I don’t mind the stress, but I wanted it to be channeled into something important like saving lives.

So, I filled out the FAFSA, blew through the placement testing and started attending the community college nearby. While I know the caveats of that approach, I think it’s important to point out that I’m in Illinois, where our community colleges are generally considered excellent and are guaranteed credit transfer to a state four-year school (assuming you’re avoiding fluff classes like Basket Weaving). I also have the distinct advantage at the school I’m going to of having a Chemistry professor who has written one textbook (on the Chemistry of Forensic Science) and is nearly finished with writing a second (this time a General Chemistry book). He has given us the option of doing research projects as an alternative to some of our lab work. He was also the pre-med advisor at the private college he taught at previously. I’ve spent a lot of time talking with him, enough to consider him a friend and mentor and definitely believe I’ll be able to get a LOR from him when the time comes.

My current plan is to actually pursue a joint degree program of pre-med and pre-law, with an eye towards getting into a program much like the one at Baylor

I’m currently taking 14 CR: Chem 1007, Eng 1002, Ethics and Business Law (after taking 11 last semester: Chem 1006, Stats 1008, English 1001, 4.0 GPA), working my normal schedule (I have a very flexible schedule-as long as the customers aren’t complaining, no one cares when I actually work and I’m good enough at what I do that I can do in 20-30 hours what most techs do in 40-50), spending time with my kids and am starting volunteer work next week at our local homeless shelter. I plan to start looking into shadowing opportunities in the near future (a peripheral family friend is a local surgeon who will likely give me a chance to shadow him and I intend to head to the local hospital to see about volunteer opportunities that I can then use to start talking with doctors I meet there). My rough education plan is to do another year at the CC (with an eye towards taking Physics and some law-orientated classes and a trig or calc class, I’ve heard some very unflattering things about the Physics teacher at the four-year I’m going to transfer to from students of his), then transfer to the four-year school that’s an hour away (and still within my work territory, so I’ll actually be getting paid mileage to drive up there) and then spend two years hitting the hard sciences and advanced classes and then spending the fifth year polishing off any random fine arts credits and other fluff while I prepare to sit the MCAT and LSAT. In 5 years, my youngest will be graduating high school and then, since both my children will be off to college and out of the area, my main impetus for staying here will be gone and I’ll be free to sell my house (which is currently paid off) and head to med school, wherever that may take me.

So…wow…that was a long post, even for me. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking around, I can’t wait to share this journey with everyone.

Hi Jason,

Welcome to OPM! From my experience, this is a fantastic, warm, and helpful community; I hope you find it to be the same.

And congratulations on beginning this journey. I’ve only just started myself (I began a formal post-bac program last fall), but I am loving every minute of it.

Keep us posted on your progress!

Hi Jason! Welcome!

YOu seem to have a very organized and well-thought out plan of action.

Forward momentum!!


Hi Jason!

You are among many friends here. Good luck with your journey!!