This site is very inspiring one and its been my mentor since 2009. About myself, I am 32 and I have finished the following premed coursework so far since 2009 Fall
Chem I and II with Labs
Orgo I with Lab
ENG I and II
Calc I and II
Physics I and II without labs.
BIO I and II with Labs
Being an International student, I need to have 90 credit hours of which I have 41 under my belt. I somehow managed all the above courses with 4.0 GPA. I was very determined untill last semester (Fall 2011), when I took Orgo I + Lab and Physics II. This has burnt me a lot and I struggled to keep up with a full time demanding job, a 4 year old and the 2 hours of commute. It was very stressful and my 4 year old is demanding too much attention and this is making me to doubt myself whether I can ever continue to pursue my dream. I plan to slow down and just taking a physics II lab this semester and trying to fit in a Psychology class. Feeling very low and discouraged. Any encouraging words to keep myself on track and not drop off completely without giving my best shot and at the same time giving enough time and attention to my 4 year old. Kindly appreciate any advice to keep myself focused.
With Warm Regards
Do not despair, no so “oldcrazygirl”, being 32 is like being a newborn in this path.
Stop, breath and consider what you already have: Almost all of your pre-reqs done! If I had what you have already accomplished I would be full of joy, studying like crazy for the MCAT next May or June.
But my case is I have not even started to fulfill my pre-reqs. Feel trapped in a rural area given the lack of academic resources around here. Right now I am thinking about moving to the Greater Miami area just to have the educational opportunities I need to finish my prebacc. That would mean to move my family once again, and my wife is not very supportive of this at this point.
We all have stuff to overcome, please do not let it stop you from becoming what you want to be.
You might have a temporary burn out–it happens to all of us every now and then, but it is not the end of the road…well the road never ends actually but I digress… Give you sometime to recover and sort of regroup internally and after you feel better, push forward with all your might…I assure you, it will be fine.
You mentioned that you are international? Are you a permanent resident? If you are, then you are not an international student, you might have meant that you hold a foreign degree which is a different animal altogether.
Well you are performing well and as was said by Cesar, you are not that old.
With a family, this is a serious challenge and I know the strain this kind of endeavor has on a relationship, physical and emotional state.
Perhaps it might do some good to take a semester off, or simply to slow down a bit. This is up to you.
However, the main area of concern is your status. Do you have a permanent resident status? If not, and without wanting to be discouraging, your chances of acceptance are very slim. Not to mention that the few schools accepting international students requires proof that you have the money to pay tuition for 1 or more years (because you are not eligible for various loans).
Interestingly enough, when I met with adcoms, when I mentioned that I was trained in Europe, the first question asked is about the resident status. So this is a crucial point. It took me close to 7 years from date of entry in the US to secure my green card… So this is a big deal.
- redo-it-all Said:
I believe I read a few weeks ago that Johns Hopkins requires $450,000 in escrow to be admitted there if an international student.
That's $450,000 cash. In their bank account. (Yes, interest earned is the person's but for 4 years, that cash is held by them.)
You know what can help? It’s as simple as self-talk.
Just tell yourself “I don’t HAVE to do this… I WANT to do this” and mean it.
Something as simple as this aligns your mind and can pull you out of a funk.
Because trying to force yourself to do something only adds pressure, which makes it harder, and you punish yourself more, which adds even more pressure, and it turns into a negative feedback loop.
If this is indeed the path for you then… Stop. Take a deep breath, and remind yourself that you don’t have to, you WANT to do this.
Thank you so much for all the advice and the tips. It feels emotionally stressed to balance family life especially a demanding 4 year and, I feel that its not fair for me to pursue my dream as she has more future than me and hence I should be spending my time teaching her rather than me studying…
And yes,I meant foreign undergraduate degree and I am permenanent resident here. I need to do 90 credit hours, so I have a long way to go…
I did a self talk and I would be miserable if I can’t study and if I have to stop for any reason. However, I am at a point where I am confused that if my 4 year old will be missing anything that I will be regretting later and this is too much of a pressure now. I really need to take a semester off or just take one course. I feel very depressed . Just doubt myself, confused and may be this is just new year blues or the famous FUD…
I will keep you all posted on how it goes and hope my stress is just a temporary one…
With Warm Regards…
Well olcrazygirl, anytime you need it, we will be here.
Settled that you are not an international, I would like to ask you a bit more about the 90 credits issue. The reason being, I understood that a bachelor’s degree obtained at a regionally accredited school is mandatory on top of the known pre-reqs + MCAT + extra curricular activities.
Believe it or not, I am still analyzing what could be my best course of action, any info about your own experience would be greatly appreciated.
- oldcrazygirl Said:
Thank you so much for all the advice and the tips. It feels emotionally stressed to balance family life especially a demanding 4 year and, I feel that its not fair for me to pursue my dream as she has more future than me and hence I should be spending my time teaching her rather than me studying...
And yes,I meant foreign undergraduate degree and I am permenanent resident here. I need to do 90 credit hours, so I have a long way to go...
I did a self talk and I would be miserable if I can't study and if I have to stop for any reason. However, I am at a point where I am confused that if my 4 year old will be missing anything that I will be regretting later and this is too much of a pressure now. I really need to take a semester off or just take one course. I feel very depressed . Just doubt myself, confused and may be this is just new year blues or the famous FUD.....
I will keep you all posted on how it goes and hope my stress is just a temporary one.....
With Warm Regards....
Some US schools only require 30 credits from US colleges for those with foreign degrees. Additionally, some have confusing and contradictory info on websites.
- Cesar Said:
We got your back!
When in doubt about the number of courses/units-in-the-US requirement, call the admissions office.
Thanks all for the tremedous support. Really feel a part of the family.
Regarding, 90 credits, this is what the requirement for any schools I am interested in for peope with foreign undergrad degree. I have not started my MCAT prep yet, I want to finish all my pre-reqs before I start my MCAT prep. reading lot on mcat prep topics it is adviced to have all pre-reqs. please correct me if I am wrong.
my case is I have forgien undergrad degree, an US masters degree in a totally unrelated field. Currently work about 45 hrs/wk, I have a very little volunteer work in physical therapy environment and again this experience is
not in US. I plan to get some more volunteer experience.
may be once I get out of my FUD… I will focus on MCAT…
Hi, I want to let you know you are not alone. I am in the similar situation. I am 33. I have just finished all my prereqs (started them in 2009). I have a 6 year old. During my last semester of prereqs my husband decided we should divorce. So I was dealing with 3 finals, searching for an apartment for myself and my daughter( who is also very demanding!) and dealing with the divorce. I intended to take MCAT at the end of the summer 2011. I was so exhausted mentally , physically, emotionally that I changed my MCAT dates 3 times. I decided to take less classes and I had only one class (Biochemistry) in the fall of 2011 and in the spring 2012 I will take only English II ( I also have a foreign degree) +study for the MCAT the rest of the time(plus work). My Chem II professor who is familiar with my situation advised me about the importance of talking to your child and explaining to him/ her the reason why it is so important for you to finish the classes and take MCAT… My daughter knows all about MCAT and how crucial it is for me . I told her that a little sacrifice for a long term goal will make one truly happy .
And as your child grows older, it will get easier in terms of time management. As soon as they start elementary, they are so involved with school work and homework( we are studying together now), they will also be able to understand the sacrifices you are making now on this path. My daughter figured it out herself by saying how great that she won’t have to go to the doctor ever again because I will take care of her after I graduate.
I do regret taking 3 science classes while juggling family life( which I partially failed at), volunteering, working part time. I think it’s important to slow down. I feel that by rushing through in the past couple of years, I have overemphasized achieving of the goals rather than focusing on the true full experience of just living. The journey is just as important as destination…
Thank you soooo much Gala. Your advice is very invaluable and literally brought tears to me as I am in exact same situation. I will try talking to my kid regarding school and studies and hopefully she can understand. I will get on track once she starts the kindergarden this fall, untill then I will take a very light course load in the short term.
Wow! that is a piece of inspiration there Gala. You live life with fortitude! Thank you for sharing part of your story. We all are going through “stuff” while on this road, how we manage to stay on our feet will make the difference. I hope you will keep us posted as you go on to become a great physician.