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Does anyone else feel this way?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by acetylmandarin, Apr 19, 2017.

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  1. acetylmandarin

    acetylmandarin 2+ Year Member

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    This might sound stupid, but I am graduating from undergrad, and I don't really feel like I accomplished much. I just feel kind of indifferent about it. Since I'm not going to med school next year, and I don't know if I'll get in when I apply, I can't be proud because I haven't reached the end goal yet. Sure, I'm going into an interesting job for my time off, but it's not something I'm super ecstatic about or anything.
     
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  3. longhaul3

    longhaul3

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    I think it's reasonable to feel like you haven't accomplished much when you graduate. Most of the people I know (outside medicine, also including myself) went into a field entirely unrelated to their area of study, so there was no real connection between my body of work in undergrad and where I ended up immediately afterwards. It was gratifying to have made it all the way through, taken the final step into full adulthood, etc., but that was about it.

    College degrees aren't as useful as they once were, but they remain necessary for people entering our field, even though the content of your BA/BS won't be that helpful for you as an MDs when all is said and done. But no US-trained MD is without a college degree (I'm sure some are, but whatever), so you should feel proud that you are crossing that major hurdle off your list, even if it doesn't mean much materially.
     
  4. acetylmandarin

    acetylmandarin 2+ Year Member

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    I think my dad knows that I'm not really proud because I don't seem that enthusiastic. He's very angry at me. This does make sense because he put a lot of work in to pay for my education, but I can't help that I don't feel proud about it
     
  5. longhaul3

    longhaul3

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    I hear you. I was never in the same situation, but I'm sorry you have to deal with that. If you're applying this year, just wait until the interviews start rolling in and savor it. You'll never have felt more proud when you get that acceptance call, and it just gets better from there. It's often frustrating and difficult, but it is a thrill to study and practice medicine.
     
    mwsapphire likes this.
  6. efle

    efle not an elf Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    I felt more sad than proud
     
  7. DrHart

    DrHart 2+ Year Member

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    When you have a family member pay for your entire education, its natural that they would feel pissed at you if you 1) aren't proud of your accomplishment and/or 2) don't utilize your degree directly after graduating.
    I graduated with a degree in microbiology and spent too much time in a lab during undergrad. Currently working a job that requires no college degree and is not science related - and I'm so much happier than I would be if I was stuck at a lab bench pipetting all day. Just remember to try and look at the bigger picture. You aren't climbing a ladder where one rung leads directly to the next. You're climbing a rock wall with many paths to get to the top. The challenge is finding the right path for you - one that you will be enthusiastic about.
     
  8. Nietzsche's Barber

    Nietzsche's Barber

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    What you are feeling is completely normal because undergraduate degrees (even MS/MA degrees) are completely useless (the exceptions may be engineering/architecture/CS degrees). Most of my friends from undergrad and grad school don't even work in jobs that require college degrees...which is why I tell people to stay away from college if they do not want to be architects, engineers, doctors, dentists, or computer buffs (more people need to learn trades, e.g. I have barbering friends who pull in 80-140K/year with no educational debt).

    Now that my rant is over, I will tell you what you need to do: focus on the end-goal and get into medical school. But be aware that once you get into medical school, you will not suddenly feel 'better'. Your end goal will simply and inevitably change to a new end goal.
     
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  9. bananafish94

    bananafish94 SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor

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    Back when I was in waitlist purgatory (fun times!) I felt the same way when I graduated college. As in, I felt that I hadn't achieved my primary goal and thus there was no reason to celebrate or feel accomplished. I think it's somewhat normal to feel this way, but you also need to take a step back and realize that graduating college is indeed an accomplishment.
     
  10. Lucca

    Lucca Will Walk Rope for Sandwich SDN Moderator 2+ Year Member

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    In addition to the science degree I'm going to use by continuing to do science, I got a "useless BA" in the humanities.

    If I had done only science I'd probably feel pretty similarly. But i feel like i grew a lot in college. I remember all of my classes in the humanities fondly, my classmates, and my professors and feel that I'm a better, more well rounded person for following that route.

    I strongly disagree that college should just be like technical school or finishing school for people who want to take over the small family Fortune 500 company. Try to reflect on the non-academic, non-science aspects of college and think about how you have changed. That is also what college is about, not just racking up accolades.
     
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  11. Nietzsche's Barber

    Nietzsche's Barber

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    Easy to say if things work out or if someone pays your way. If they don't, you are left with tons of debt and little/no job prospects. The social/personal/psychological benefits that result from attending college won't mean squat if you are left with empty pockets or remain in a position that you could have obtained without a degree. The reason why this country is experiencing a student debt crisis is because people feel like they need to go to college to grow and 'experience' life. In reality, the large majority will end up making peanuts without a chance to significantly improve their SES.
     
  12. Lucca

    Lucca Will Walk Rope for Sandwich SDN Moderator 2+ Year Member

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    I don't disagree that getting a humanities degree is a poor way to earn a living in the long run. Where you go to undergrad definitely makes more of a difference as to what your earning potential is than what you study, in my opinion. I wish it were different, but a Harvard English major has a better chance of ending up on Wall St, in medical/law school, or at McKinsey than a Kent State Quantitative Finance major.

    I think that people, and that means everyone, should pursue higher education to become better citizens. To understand the kind of society they live in and have a vision of the world they want that has further horizons than the paycheck they earn every month. It's an investment in having a better country, world, etc. you don't need to spend 4 years taking history courses to gain that perspective but the protective womb of undergraduate life is the best opportunity one has in this life to look at the world objectively unburdened by their parents or by the economic demand of the 'real world' to work or starve.

    You're right that while college is so expensive and a good college at that so inaccessible, it's a hard sell.
     
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  13. Gurkhali

    Gurkhali

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    You mature emotionally, mentally and learn a lot of skills that you otherwise would not have if you hadn't gone to college. It's more than the diploma, it's the experience that is invaluable. Definitely not worth the price tag but its what everyone your age does so that's just how it goes. It's hard to see the forest from the trees at this point but you grew as a person and if you don't want to celebrate the degree, celebrate your newfound maturity.

    At least, that's what I'm telling myself....i don't even want to go to commencement.
     
    freak7 likes this.
  14. DokterMom

    DokterMom 2+ Year Member

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    In a sense, graduating college is a "baseline" assumption for many families, so by graduating, you've only reached the starting point, not the goal. So I understand that you don't really feel like you've accomplished something yet --

    And yet you have. Using the baseline presumption, what you have accomplished is laying a solid foundation. You've got a degree with some measure of academic success behind you. You've also got an interesting job lined up while you work toward your next goal. This IS something to feel proud about. How many of your "wanna be a doctor" pre-med classmates can't say that anymore?

    You've laid a solid foundation. That's a good thing -- so own that. Pause for a minute to feel good about that first step. Then keep building --
     
  15. acetylmandarin

    acetylmandarin 2+ Year Member

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    I don't want to feel proud of myself because I did something while other people failed. I want to be proud of accomplishing my goal without considering what others were able to do.



    Something else I've been thinking about---Why should I expect that I get to live out my dream career? I feel like there are plenty of people that don't get to do what they want in life. I doubt my parents did. Why should I expect anything different for myself?
     
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  16. Saifa

    Saifa Carrion Crawler

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    No enthusiasm whatsoever. They could mail me the degree in a creased, grease-stained yellow document envelope and I wouldn't care any less.
     
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  17. DokterMom

    DokterMom 2+ Year Member

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    "Why should I expect that I get to live out my dream career?"

    "Expect?" -- Wrong word. No, you should not expect that you will get to live out your dream career. Living out your dream career is beyond that which you should expect. It's what you should aspire to and work toward, not what you should expect. You should expect to work hard. To give it your best shot, failing some times and succeeding other times. You should expect to have to work harder than you've ever worked before if you want to reach higher than you've ever reached. You should expect discouragement, boredom, fear, exhilaration, frustration and impatience. You should expect to fall down occasionally, and to pick yourself up repeatedly. Because the one time you stop picking yourself up is the time you stay down. Don't let yourself become the guy that stays down.

    You've got a whole series of goals ahead of you to make it to your dream career. You've just completed step one. There's still the whole medical school preparation, application and acceptance cycles ahead of you. Then successfully completing your pre-clinicals, your STEP 1 and 2 exams, your residency applications. Then your residency. All of this is still ahead of you and should not be underestimated.

    But one step at a time Grasshopper.
     
  18. kb1900

    kb1900

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    I'm sure ppl already said this in the thread but here it is:

    I felt like I hit a goal when I got a great SAT score. That lasted all of 12 hours. My first day in college made me feel like the sky was the limit. Lasted a day or two. Continue through getting a good GPA, good MCAT, and getting into medical school. I still feel like I haven't accomplished anything.

    What I'm trying to say is that, every BIG "A" accomplishment in your life is going to instantly be followed by your telling yourself that the field goal line has moved forward a few yards. So don't expect to get longitudinal satisfaction from getting into med school, doing well on the MCAT or step exams etc., because the happiness won't last.
     
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  19. DokterMom

    DokterMom 2+ Year Member

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    Well said! :claps:

    And yes, the next goal is ALWAYS looming ahead of us.

    Or worse - it isn't, and you get "destination syndrome" whereby you've reached your ultimate goal and are then left to ponder "Is this it?... Is this all there is?" Lots of physicians seem to struggle with this last part once they settle in as attendings and aren't magically happy. "All that work for this?"
     
    kb1900 likes this.
  20. kb1900

    kb1900

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    Are you a physician?? The first physician I ever shadowed told me this verbatim and it has stuck with me so closely with regards to keeping perspective
     
  21. Flying Penguin

    Flying Penguin є(・Θ・。)э››

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    GO BLUE!
    I don't think med school should be the "end goal." It's not like med school is some rose garden - once you get there there will be more work, more goals to accomplish.
    You only graduate from undergrad once. Enjoy the moment.
     
  22. mistafab

    mistafab

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    Excellent username to post correlation here.

     
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  23. P0ke

    P0ke Step 1-dedicated

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    We got to keep our graduation gowns and I remember walking around the house in it just for the hell of it. That is... until I realized I had to stop being Jack Black from Orange County, and buckle down for the MCAT. That's my post-undergrad sense-of-accomplishment story.
     

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