Thinking of sitting fall quarter out

I think I need a time out. The end of this past school year was a rough one for me. The combination of having a brand new baby, along with my husband having a new job with long hours and a hellish commute, simultaneously ended up creating a recipe for academic disaster for me. Both winter and spring quarters were total crash and burn scenarios. I’ve gotten some terrific feed back from those whose opinions I hold in high esteem. The consensus it that I follow my instinct and pursue a masters in biology before applying to medical school. I’m taking the GRE and will be submitting my application later this summer for a winter start date.

Meanwhile I was planning on keeping my scheduled classes for fall. But in the back of my mind I keep questioning what’s going to make the fall any different than this past winter and spring were. I’m set up to repeat o-chem I (I got a C- in it) and take physics I. With physics, I technically haven’t completed the pre-reqs but the dean enrolled me regardless. It’s soooo tempting to just go for it, but I know it’ll be another bad ending if I do (Gonnif - if you ever need another rule maybe it should be “just because you can doesn’t mean that you should”…lol).

With all that in mind, I’ve been seriously considering dropping my fall classes and sitting out that quarter. My logic is that with the baby still under a year old (and very much dependent on me), plus my husband’s hours about to increase even more at work (7 days a week, 12 hour shifts…he’s planning on just staying near his job and only coming home every few days), on top of not being prepared for physics, that the WISE thing to do would be to cut my losses, sit out a quarter, then start winter in January as a masters student with a fresh start. I’d defer physics for another year while I work on strengthening my math skills. I can finish o-chem II and III over winter and spring. The baby will be over a year once winter starts too, so things will be smoother with her.

So why can’t I seem to just let go? That you’re-never-going-to-fin ish nagging inner voice has really been getting to me. I’ve logged into my school account to drop those classes a few times now and just can’t bring myself to doing it, even though I know it’s for the best. I keep thinking, “what if there’s another way that I just can’t see right now?” So I’m posing the question to all of you: what would you do in my position? Would you take the time off, or try to go for it? I guess that in my heart I do know what to do, but am needing confirmation to get over this FUD issue I seem to perpetually have.

Thanks for your opinions!

Hello. I’m sorry to hear that your spring didn’t go very well. I was following your postings this fall about your baby and organic chemistry. I was retaking organic chemistry at the time too. I’m now expecting my first child and I’m a little bit worried about how much I’ll be able to do once he gets here. I’m applying to med schools now but I am so tired these days from my full-time job that I just come home and sit on the couch like a lump

I don’t have much to add but I think that you should go with your gut. You have a young child and your husband is very busy but it won’t be like this forever. I don’t have any advice about the master’s degree really. If you like research, go for it. I have an M.S. and I learned a lot about how to do research. Ultimately, I’d love to do research and see patients. I was originally a PhD student and it helped me realize how much I love medicine (and that don’t want to spend my life doing only research).

Good luck.

Here’s the way I see it: Getting into medical school is important. Taking care of yourself is even more important.

You don’t want to completely burn yourself out over this one quarter. Wait until things cool down a bit, and then go back.

As far as that nagging voice goes – you sound quite determined. That goes a long way.

Erica -

Ok, I’m going to go for some straight-off-the-cuff advice. When I suspect I am having a REALLY bad idea, or when I have a sinking feeling about both alternatives I’m considering, it’s helpful to ask myself what I’d tell a good friend to do.

You could picture a good friend - someone you really care about - with your exact same circumstances asking you : “what would you do in my position? Would you take the time off, or try to go for it?”.

Then be at least as kind to yourself as you would be to your friend.