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As a non-traditional student, I want to hear some of your opinions

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by brian9090, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. brian9090


    Apr 5, 2014
    Reno, NV
    I graduated with my bachelor in Civil Engineering this past May and I am now trying to work my way to medical school, so I am taking O-chem 1, and immunology, and cell bio this semester, and in spring, i am planning to take biochem, ochem 2, and A&P, I had some volunteering time back in my junior year, but really now i am starting to have regular volunteering hours going (local ER+a clinic for undeserved community), also started doing basic research with a professor in Aug. Now i am planning to do an EMT or CNA class in January, so hopefully I can get a job to make up some clinical experience...

    So, my question is , should I just wait for another year to apply in 2016 instead of applying next year? My thinking is, why rush if I feel like having more time to prepare? Does anyone feel like I am little rushing it if I try to get everything done by next summer and turning in my application?

    Another factor is my cGPA from my engineering degree is 3.2, so i am guessing if I work hard for a couple semester the GPA will go on to 3.4 (but the GPA goes up very slow now with a large amount of credits I have taken), so maybe a couple more semesters can help me on GPA too?

    I feel like I am just getting a lot of anxiety because of seeing a lot of my engineering peers started their careers, some traditional pre-med friends already in med school, and I even turned down a Junior Engineer job back in June. And I am back in classroom feeling like I am a freshman all over again....Does this ever bother you? How did you overcome ? This sound weird...I feel old. even I am 24.....Not physically, but just you know...mentally lol Time seems to be going super fast now.....

    Thanks for your opinions!!
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  3. TactFR44


    Oct 2, 2014
    Stick with engineering.
  4. brainnurse

    brainnurse Inquisitor, Assassin, High Summoner 2+ Year Member

    Sep 6, 2014
    I'm only two years older than you and, yes, I do feel that way. I have friends making six figures with the two-year degrees we all started with. Granted, they do that by working OT and working in a higher-paying state, but still. Many of them already own houses (one owns three and is now a landlord - she's your age).

    So yes, I feel that nagging urge to rush things. I also have a ton of credits with a GPA a tad lower than yours, so I get the worrying as well. A pre-med advisor very clearly told me that, as a rule, when number of credits hits over a hundred, repair might be better off spent strengthening other areas of the app. But take that with a grain of salt, as it's common wisdom here that pre-med advisors are often wrong/misleading.

    I don't really have any advice for you, but wanted to let you know that I share your worries/feelings. I'm not even trying to get over them anymore. I just come to class embracing the old freshman feeling. I am in the workforce as well, so I enter the classroom with a good amount of appreciation and even a hint of joy that I'm back in school and not at work.

    Oh, and as for getting certified. CNA work is tough, tough, tough! Make sure you're okay with that. I know a physician who did it before getting accepted though, and he's well respected by the people he works with because it's very clear that he knows exactly what each human gear in the system does.
    brian9090 likes this.
  5. AWH79

    AWH79 2+ Year Member

    Sep 20, 2014
    At 24, you are still waaay young...dont feel like you have to rush. When I was 22 and finishing up college, I thought the only way to go to med school was to have a 4.0 and go straight into it after you graduated. Thats just not the case, whether you are 22 or 24. Because I didnt know any better, I gave up too quickly, and pursued another health related career, which has been great, but I now regret not holding out for med school, and making it work. Fast forward to now at 35, and I'm looking into getting back to school to re-take classes, take the mcat, and go for it. So I could easily be 38 by the time I start med once again, you still have a ton of time, provided you want to make it happen.

    And even though you may be watching your friends start jobs, buy homes, car's, etc....more than likely, you will come out of your residency making 2 to 3 times the money your typical friends are making, and get caught up real fast in terms of lifestyle. I've seen it happen with all of my friends who went on to med school. The time and sacrifice they put in was well worth it. But at the same time..its not all about money...make sure you will be happy and passionate about the career as well.

    Bottom line, if you really want to pursue it, realize you have plenty of time, and there is no need to rush.
    silleme and brian9090 like this.
  6. beingandfluffyness

    beingandfluffyness 2+ Year Member

    Jul 24, 2014
    Hi there!
    I am in a post-bacc program, having just graduated summa cum laude in Philosophy in May.
    I feel ya on the fish out of water thing. I have been volunteering in a lab for the past two months in addition to taking 14 credits of pre-med requirements and there have been times where I have felt incredibly frustrated and overwhelmed.
    But, what does not kill you will make you stronger. If your program hits, you've gotta hit back harder. Understand that everybody who goes back is hit with something that is totally unfamiliar to them (unless you majored in a science-related field), and hey, even your professors at some point in their lives didn't know what a first-order reaction was. You can gain this knowledge by studying it thoroughly and thinking through it critically. :)
    If you want to get some work experience I say...go for it. If I came out with a degree in engineering I'd be the type of person to just take the money and run since my degree would have the potential to be financially lucrative.
    Best of luck to you!
  7. ehwhatsupdoc

    ehwhatsupdoc 2+ Year Member

    Apr 10, 2011
    If you liked engineering or didn't mind the work get a job in engineering for the time being. You can take your time to get into medical school, take classes on the side, study for the MCAT while working. You may find you change your mind a year or two down the line. Then working was the best thing you could've done.
  8. Drogo

    Drogo hakuna matata 2+ Year Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Man I would kill to have an engineering degree right now. Why not work for a good year and pile up a nice chunk of money? This'll also give you time to really figure out if it's for you. I'm about to turn 29. I'm poor as hell here trying to finish just a biology degree lol.
    puppylatte, silleme and sunshinefl like this.
  9. BHB2008


    Aug 27, 2014
    You're *so* young. Wait another year and get the best application you can. If you work in Engineering for a while, you do have the opportunity to speak to the question of why medicine over engineering more than if you just ditch the career altogether. So it may look more well thought out.
    silleme and jl lin like this.
  10. Goro

    Goro Faculty 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    My advice is to apply when you have the best possible app. And the only person you should be comparing yourself to, and competing, with, is yourself.

    swimmer125 likes this.
  11. brian9090


    Apr 5, 2014
    Reno, NV

    Thanks for sharing, it is very nice to hear other people who are in the same situation.....I don't know if this is weird, I am in class now and i don't even feel like interacting with my classmates! haha ...I used to like to talk with people in class a lot! but now it's like.....let's just get over this....Although, I enjoy the classes..
  12. AribaGirl

    AribaGirl 7+ Year Member

    Aug 28, 2009
    Hey there. I am a non-trad student myself. I graduated with a degree in psychology and decided to become a doctor during my senior year of college. It will be 4 years between college and medical school for me (I will be 26 when I matriculate) and I do not regret my path.

    If you want to try to get all of your classes done in a year--more power to you. If you can do that successfully and get a good MCAT score then I say go for it. (And also make sure your ECs are solid as well--seems like you are doing a good job with that already.)

    I tried to do the same thing. I ended up doing great in my post-bac science classes but poorly on my first MCAT because I was so busy with classes and clinical ECs that I neglected studying for the MCAT as much as I should have. I ended up taking a few extra years to get full-time work experience in a hospital, study for the MCAT more, and take even more science classes to boost my GPA. It was well worth it to me and definitely made me a stronger applicant.

    Do as much as you can do successfully but don't rush it. If you can do it all in a year, then great but 12 months or 24 months don't make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things, but can make a huge difference in your application. Medicine is a life long journey. If you choose this route, you will definitely be older than almost anyone else in any other career. That's just the way it is--but it's like this for everyone who decides to pursue medicine, even trad students. It's a sacrifice, which is why many people don't choose to pursue this path. But I definitely think the sacrifice is well worth it--especially for someone your age. 24 is super young--you have your whole life and career ahead of you. I don't feel old or out of place at all going to medical school at 26. I feel more mature and prepared for the rigors of medical school than I would have had I started at 22. In my opinion, age shouldn't matter for you since you're in your twenties.

    Good luck to you & keep us posted on your journey :)
    swimmer125 likes this.
  13. brian9090


    Apr 5, 2014
    Reno, NV
    A lot of people have asked that question and I have thought about it A LOT ,especially when I got offered the job in June, in a really good structural design company. But then not only I wouldn't able to do all these classes,ECs, research because of the time-commitment to be a junior engineer (especially that company is going to start the job of building the Tesla gigafactory in Reno, where I am at). And also I think because it will be such a lucrative career that I was 10000% sure that if I embark from my engineering career I would never look back lol I know myself haha....So yeah, you see how much I just so want to be a doctor ! ugh, not sure if I am stupid...
  14. brian9090


    Apr 5, 2014
    Reno, NV

    Thanks for sharing the story!! I will definitely keep you guys posted. This is such a nice community!
  15. darcyisgr8


    Oct 13, 2014
    I'm in the same boat as you, well I will be soon at least. I am graduating with my Bachelor's degree in history in May, and then I will be going back post-bac and do my med school pre-reqs. I think that you just have to do what you want to do. If you don't want to do anything with your engineering degree, then don't. Do what makes you happy. Do what you have to do to make the best grades on your pre-reqs and prepare yourself for matriculation into medical school. It's never too late to follow your dreams! :)
  16. Traumweber

    Traumweber 2+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2013
    I am a research engineer and have worked (and still do) in the energy industry for the past 6 years after my PhD.
    Medicine is not just another job. I suggest not rushing into it. As an engineer, you have great skills and a pretty good career and may even enjoy it (especially with advanced degrees).
    One year (or even more) shouldn't make too much of a difference. Just get everything aligned to get into the program you really want to!
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015

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