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advice needed please!

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by doctorknow, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. doctorknow

    doctorknow New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Long time reader, first time poster here.

    (I apologize in advance for any whining contained bellow)

    A little about myself: I am a first-year student at the #1 law school in the US, and all I can think about is how I might have done the wrong thing coming here. I'm 23 years old and I don't want to keep going forward with this. I was pre-med in my first year of college -- I did well in my courses and generally enjoyed it, but I hated lab and was intimidated by the amount of work that being a doctor requires, so I switched majors my second year to the social sciences. I was pretty much in cruise control after that -- didn't hate it, didn't love it, actually enjoyed about as much as being a pre-med -- and didn't look back much. Then my senior year I applied to law school and to my surprise got in to the school I am attending now. I am about 2/3 through the first semester and for the life of me I don't know what the hell I was thinking. I thought I had solid reasons for going to law school but now I'm not so sure. I'm enjoying my classes but my gut tells me that I won't be happy as a lawyer. I grow increasingly distracted as I find myself daydreaming and thinking of exploring medicine again but it all seems to difficult. Whenever I have floated the idea, my friends, girlfriend, and familty seem to think I am crazy -- they think I would be insane to give up a good thing for something that I might not necessarily like any more than law school. But I don't want to dig myself so deep into a hole that I won't be able to get out of. Any advice, wisdom, short speeches are welcome. Thanks.
     
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  3. Non-TradTulsa

    Non-TradTulsa Senior Member - Resident
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    Your story struck a chord with me - so, I'll share a little.

    People who are attracted to medicine are, in my opinion, smart, driven, talented people who love education. I realize now that, as an undergrad, I could have majored in anything in college and I probably would have enjoyed it. I liked being in class and learning new things. When I was in high school, I really enjoyed an accounting class I took - so, I decided to be an accounting major - and, I never looked back (plus, those were the beginnings of the Reagan years and the business college was a very popular place to be). After I got my Masters' in taxation and became a CPA, I went into public tax practice. And absolutely hated it. A year later, I got into healthcare and found my niche. I loved the patients, the physicians, the nurses, the ancillary care providers - all of it. Even though I was in the finance and administration area, I have always loved being part of medicine - at least in the support function.

    It wasn't until my Dad died two years ago that I realized that, at the age of 41, could either pursue my dream of medicine or I would regret it the rest of my life. For me, it's the right decision and the right time in my life.

    I really admire you for questioning what you're doing. I just set my focus on accounting and never questioned it - and, afterward, I thought for many years that to be in an administrative role rather than taking care of patients directly was simply my fate in life.

    It doesn't have to be that way. Keep in mind that you are very young and, no matter what decision you make now, it doesn't have to mean forever even if it feels like it. Second, you've started law school and it's pretty late to try to get re-admitted and get a schedule put together in pre-med for next semester. I would finish the year of law school - and, for the summer, I would try really hard to get some kind of internship in a law firm, even if it's delivering mail. I would also volunteer at a hospital at night over the summer.

    If you keep your eyes open and your heart open, I bet the right answer would come to you over the summer. Good luck.
     
  4. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
    Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    been there. :) actually, lots of us have been there. i agree with non-trad tulsa that you should complete the year and take the summer to try to figure things out. if you still don't have it figured out by the end of the summer, take a year off. i really wish i had done that in law school when i started to question whether it was right for me. yes, work in a law firm and talk to lots and lots of lawyers. continuing with law might be right or it might not be. one thing to note is that the first year of law school is really miserable, so be sure that whatever decision you make is not based on the [email protected] of being a 1L.
     
  5. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
    Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    i just piping in again to say that i, too, quit being a chemistry major because i hated lab. medicine is weird because it's not really a pure science field, but you have to go through so much pure science stuff to get there. i'm planning on doing some research in school to boost my residency applications, but i have about zero excitement about it.

    oh yeah, auto pilot is also a good description for me, too, with going to law school. i took the lsat, did well, applied and got into lots of places. it just sort of happened.
     
  6. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I agree with what's been posted here. OP- Remember that law school is not the same as the practice of law, and there are a ton of different positions within law. So before you throw away your seat at (I assume) Yale, you really need to do some research and figure out what you want to do. Try to split the summer and work at two different kinds of summer clerk positions - perhaps one in litigation and one in transactional (do it volunteer if need be -- the perspective is worth more to you than the bling, since you are potentially poised to spend hundreds of thousands on more schooling). Perhaps explore taking a year off and working someplace if that's an option. Definitely squeeze some health related volunteer experience in to see if that's at all appealing. Coming from the top ranked school, if you do well you will have a ton of options in the legal field (likely more than a lot of us had), so you don't want to squander that unless you are absolutely sure you are on the wrong track.
    But from your post, I'm not really getting the sense that you have a passion for either law or medicine, and if that's the case, it may pay to stick with law for now -- medicine is simply too hard a road for the unsure. And bear in mind that there are more than two professions on the planet, so you may want to consider whether what really appeals to you about eg medicine is the career or the professional trappings. Good luck.
     
  7. batgirl

    batgirl Student

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    I chose another field as well.I'm in the engineering field.I have one semester left to graduate and I want to switch to medicine after that.It's a difficult choice.I think we should both do what we want,no matter how crazy people think we are.After all,we're the ones who will have to go after our dreams and choose the career we want.
    Good luck!!
     

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