monsterbrain

Drinking for sanity.
10+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2008
237
1
corn country
Status
Pharmacy Student
Here is my situation:

1. I am twice as old as most students (age 40).

2. I have spent the last year taking prereqs with many of the same students I’ll be attending pharm school with.

3. Many think they are the sh** because they are intelligent, many times treating me like I am dumb through comments like:

“I don’t study for organic, I won’t lie.”
“I am just not being challenged at all in this class.”
“Oh, I’m not worried about getting into pharmacy school because I have good grades and got a 90 on the PCAT.”
“I don’t know what to tell you about your difficulties in organic class.”

4. I’ve only been able to join study groups when I overhear about them and invite myself. Otherwise, I am never invited to study, party, or participate in school activities with these people. I have also tried asking individuals to study - never successful.

5. I am ignored by 95% of these students. I have been in all the same classes with many people and yet they will not even say “hi” as they pass me.

About me: outgoing, friendly, sense of humor, still like to party (a FEW times a year,) still listen to rock music, wear stylish clothes (but not too young). In other words, I’m a generally happy person who doesn’t come off as a stuffy, prudish, frumpy mom, and have never had this problem in other universities. It is not my intention to be best friends or hook up with these people: I would just like to share the experience with others who understand.

What can I do differently to enjoy the next 4 years and not feel like a freak among this group? Imagine how miserable it would feel for you to go to school everyday and not have one person speak to you, even when you speak to them (I usually get one word answers).
 

twester

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 3, 2004
1,389
11
54
Denver, CO
Status
Pharmacist
I was 41 when I started pharmacy school. I've not had any trouble making friends. In fact, I'm sitting here with three people who are all in their late 20s. I tend to not hang out too much with my really young classmates, just because we don't really have much in common (and, honestly, a few seem to have the social deficits that you mentioned noticing in your classmates).

It sounds like you just don't have anything in common with this particular group of people. I'm sure you'll find a group of people to hang out and study with. Get involved in some extracurricular groups that are doing things you are interested in. And don't worry so much about fitting in. By standing out, people will notice you and some may even seek you out. Just because you feel like a freak doesn't mean that you are one. And pharmacy school is very different from undergrad.

Good luck!
 

tellsarah

10+ Year Member
Feb 10, 2008
151
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
While finishing some of my pre-reqs and a CC, my only friends were 30+ years old. (I was 22) Like the previous post stated, I sought them out to be my study partners, lab partners, etc. We would meet outside of class and study for exams, I would go over to their houses, play with their children etc. I find that older students know what they want and sacrifice a great deal to get there.

Are most the students at your school young(18-22)? The community college I attended has 3 campuses. I purposely went to the campus that was farther away, but has less right out of high school(18-19yo) students. Could that be the problem?

Do not worry, pharmacy school can only get better:D
 

loo

Always Sleepy
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 16, 2002
1,082
23
Where It Is Always Cold
Visit site
Status
Veterinarian
Don't worry!

Everything will be fine! These feelings are quite normal...but don't let them get to you! You're there because you worked hard and deserved to be there, just like everybody else.

They probably don't wave to you 'cause they may think you're faculty! :D

Take it easy and enjoy this next phase of your life...
 

RxWildcat

Julius Randle BEASTMODE!
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 25, 2008
1,406
2
Status
Pharmacist
Thats really odd, it must just be your school or something, I dunno why all the younger people would be so snobby towards you. Do you have a friend you study with now?
 

FruitFly

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 20, 2007
3,590
5
Monaco
Status
All you need to find are a few folks you can relate to. It's tough sometimes, but they're there. I have a TON of acquaintances, but a few go-to people if I need something (or they need something).
 

JSK PharmD

Accepted Pharmacy Student
10+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2008
22
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
Those people are mean. I'm sorry to hear about that. In pharmacy school, you're supposed to help each other study. I mean it's not like you compete against one another. In the end, you guys will be colleagues. And I don't get how future pharmacists can be so snobby and not helpful to others when they need help. Pharmacists are supposed to have compassion and empathy. I'm 22 years old, but I would be ashamed to have them as my colleagues.

Don't give up on finding the people you can relate to. There must be someone mature enough to talk to you... I mean you're a pharmacy school... I'd be very worried if the entire student body was mean and snotty. I hope you'll find someone you can study with!
 

rxlynn

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Nov 16, 2005
917
5
Atlanta, GA
Status
Pharmacy Student
I'm not sure where you are going to pharmacy school, but at my school once the whole class got there in the fall, there was quite a bit of diversity in ages and stages, etc. There will certainly be a lot of people that you haven't met before, and hopefully you will find some other people that you fit in with better. I'm also an older student, and I have found that I have sort of a core group of really good friends (just a few) who have some or all of the same challenges I have (spouse, kids, etc.). Then, I have another group of people that I consider to be more than just acquaintances - I wouldn't necessarily hang out with them all the time, but I would certainly be comfortable spending time with them at school. Then there is a large group that I have nothing in common with, and don't really even speak to, and that's ok.

You will probably also find that you are thrown together on group projects whether you want to or not with a wide variety of people. That can be a good way to meet other people as well. My advice is to do whatever you can early on to scope out the scene and figure out who you might fit in with - the groups and cliques tend to form very early in the first year. You should pretty readily be able to see who might be the older students in the class, although you shouldn't discount anybody because of age - some people are more flexible than others, and I have several good friends who are MUCH younger than I am.

Also, I don't really think it is necessary for you to have a study group. I personally almost never study with another person. I do have one good friend who is a pretty even match with me in terms of temperament and grades, so every once in awhile we will get together before a test.

And, I agree with the other poster - once you are in pharmacy school, hopefully your school will foster more of a mentality of we're all in this together and we want to all make it through. I've found almost all of my classmates to be helpful and positive, even if they aren't my type of person for a friend.
 

DoctorRx1986

10+ Year Member
Feb 11, 2008
388
20
Florida
Status
Pharmacy Student
Here is my situation:

1. I am twice as old as most students (age 40).

2. I have spent the last year taking prereqs with many of the same students I'll be attending pharm school with.

3. Many think they are the sh** because they are intelligent, many times treating me like I am dumb through comments like:

"I don't study for organic, I won't lie."
"I am just not being challenged at all in this class."
"Oh, I'm not worried about getting into pharmacy school because I have good grades and got a 90 on the PCAT."
"I don't know what to tell you about your difficulties in organic class."

4. I've only been able to join study groups when I overhear about them and invite myself. Otherwise, I am never invited to study, party, or participate in school activities with these people. I have also tried asking individuals to study - never successful.

5. I am ignored by 95% of these students. I have been in all the same classes with many people and yet they will not even say "hi" as they pass me.

About me: outgoing, friendly, sense of humor, still like to party (a FEW times a year,) still listen to rock music, wear stylish clothes (but not too young). In other words, I'm a generally happy person who doesn't come off as a stuffy, prudish, frumpy mom, and have never had this problem in other universities. It is not my intention to be best friends or hook up with these people: I would just like to share the experience with others who understand.

What can I do differently to enjoy the next 4 years and not feel like a freak among this group? Imagine how miserable it would feel for you to go to school everyday and not have one person speak to you, even when you speak to them (I usually get one word answers).

I understand how you feel because my case is similar, but just the opposite. I don't get ignored at all or mistreated, but I have always understood and gotten along much better with people much older than me, 20, 30, or even 40 years older. I am turning 22 in two days and my entire life I have never really been involved in many social activities with young people. In my experience, and i'll repeat that again to deter any reader from misinterpreting and feeling insulted...IN MY EXPERIENCE, the MAJORITY of young people lack the maturity to discuss a variety of issues on more profound levels...they are all too focused on the superficial such as appearance, style, and many times unrealistic standards or expectations about life...many times they appear to be relatively naive in believing they can have anything they please without working for it. On top of everything, some of them curse older people and treat them as inferiors...this is unfortunate and absolutely absurd because it's not as if such individuals will never age...one day they will be just as "old-fashioned", "stupid", "ugly", "decrepit", etc... as the "old folks" they feel superior to. Once again, this has all been in my experience...i just don't have the connection with the young. Many have told me it appears as if I have the soul of an older person in a young man's body. So, when I begin pharmacy school, I'd really like to meet the mature, older adults. I'm not saying I will disregard the younger crowd, but I'm just not as open to them. Chances are, if i get married one day, the woman I marry will probably be 10 to 15 years older. So, if i'm 26, she might be 36 or 40. But to the OP...don't worry about those people, disregard them...relish the fact that you have more wisdom and life experience by this point and find those you can have something in common with. And always keep in mind that there are young people out there, such as myself, who truly appreciate and respect older adults and not 20-year-olds in diapers. :laugh::love:
 

firefighter9015

It's not THAT kind of study hour...
10+ Year Member
Mar 10, 2007
312
1
Status
Pharmacy Student
You will find a group of people that you feel comfortable with once you get into pharmacy school, no matter what the ages are!
 

The Fargoan

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2006
120
1
Status
Pharmacy Student
It took me a few weeks but I definitely found the group I wanted to hang out with once I was actually a P1. During my pre-reqs I only talked to my lab partners. Now, there are definitely some who aren't afraid of talking to the "older" students. But there is still a group who don't have time for anyone not wearing Hollister. I can only think of one far older student who seems to struggle a little more. But I think it may have more to do with personality than people unwilling to hang out with a 40-something. Good luck in the fall!!
 

hope2Bdoc

10+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2008
27
0
Status
" I don't know why you're insecure, I'm not" "perhaps you have some personal issues you need to resolve before pharmacy"
:)
I responded to your similar post on prepharm. Personally, I wouldn't worry about it too much. No matter what path you took to get there, what matters is you are there. Thus you have a very real commonality with your classmates. And the slate is somewhat clean, doesn't really matter if your were a nobel prize winner before pharm school, you're still taking the same classes, side by side with the guy that squeaked in.
You'll find someone/group that has similar interests. And there will still be those that you have only pharmacy in common... but I would imagine a better atmosphere in general.
are you sure the people you were referring to weren't premed gunners? :)
 

Pharmavixen

foxy pharmacist
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 20, 2008
1,043
14
Canada
Status
Pharmacist
Sounds like some of your would-be classmates are silly and immature, but most of them will get past the age difference once they get to know you.

As for those self-described geniuses in organic chemistry, my heart goes out to them. They are pathologically deluded.

On a personal note, in September I'll be starting the post-graduate PharmD program that we still have here in Canada. We only need the BscPHM to practice--I've been a pharmacist for 22 years, and would like to move on to the intense high-end therapeutics this program gets into. As far as the age thing goes, at 44, I'm two years older than the head of the department. I've met a couple of the students, and they were very nice, though the generation gap was definitely there.
 

zohaibab

Senior member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 9, 2005
130
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
Wow, you need to hang out with a different group of people. Sounds to me that you are dealing with a bunch of A-grade, A-hole keeners. You will be fine. Have fun!
 

Allure

10+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2008
353
0
Status
I don't even know why you would even really care to hang out with those people. You're just there to learn and get your degree. You're not really there to make friends. If you make some, that's great. If not, it's not gonna kill you. That being said, the oldest guy in my class seems to be one of the most popular guys. People like to hang out with him, go out drinking and stuff, but it didn't start out that way. I thought he'd be all by himself since he sits in the first row, first seat. I guess it really depends on you too, not just your classmates.
 
OP
monsterbrain

monsterbrain

Drinking for sanity.
10+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2008
237
1
corn country
Status
Pharmacy Student
I don't even know why you would even really care to hang out with those people. You're just there to learn and get your degree. You're not really there to make friends. If you make some, that's great. If not, it's not gonna kill you. That being said, the oldest guy in my class seems to be one of the most popular guys. People like to hang out with him, go out drinking and stuff, but it didn't start out that way. I thought he'd be all by himself since he sits in the first row, first seat. I guess it really depends on you too, not just your classmates.
I said in my original post that I wasn't looking to be best friends with these people; however, it is extremely difficult for me to attend school 6 hours a day surrounded by people who won't even talk to me. Certainly you can relate to that? Humans are designed to be social beings, some moreso than others. I have always enjoyed going to school in part due to the social aspect (some people are only able to tolerate their jobs because of this). So daily life becomes a bit depressing under silent circumstances.

On a positive note, everyone is right about pharmacy school diversity. The demographics of my school indicate there are students older than me and several students are beginning their second career; one guy even has a PhD. I think once these "brats" are thrown into that mix, their bravado might disappear. And since I only have one day left of school (finals), I don't have to worry about it for 3 more months!!!

I appreciate everyone's response.
 

IBU

10+ Year Member
Apr 30, 2008
54
0
Status
I think you may be thinking too much. Your belief may be based on your insecurity and you may be too self conscious as to what others think about you.
 

mattc_85

Call me Jeffrey
10+ Year Member
Sep 19, 2005
134
1
Status
Pharmacist
I am sure there will be at least a couple of people that you will click with. I find everyone in pharmacy school to be pretty nice to everyone. You will find that group of people that you hang out with, don't worry about it.
 

117296

Guest
10+ Year Member
Oct 3, 2006
595
1
Status
Pharmacy Student
I said in my original post that I wasn't looking to be best friends with these people; however, it is extremely difficult for me to attend school 6 hours a day surrounded by people who won't even talk to me. Certainly you can relate to that? Humans are designed to be social beings, some moreso than others. I have always enjoyed going to school in part due to the social aspect (some people are only able to tolerate their jobs because of this). So daily life becomes a bit depressing under silent circumstances.

On a positive note, everyone is right about pharmacy school diversity. The demographics of my school indicate there are students older than me and several students are beginning their second career; one guy even has a PhD. I think once these "brats" are thrown into that mix, their bravado might disappear. And since I only have one day left of school (finals), I don't have to worry about it for 3 more months!!!

I appreciate everyone's response.
If I may point out a few things...

First, have you thought about the effect that you may be placing on the situation? If you are upset about a perceived slight, other people may be able to see your frustration and feel uncomfortable.

Second, given that the average age of a student is usually around 25 in professional school, it's tough to make a blanket judgment on a student your age just because there are fewer of you. (Also, making these sort of blanket judgments may be indicative of a majority of your classmates, but is unfair to the minority who are not "brats.")

This is only my opinion, but I believe there's just as many a**holes in their twenties as there are in their forties and fifties.

In the end, however, you will not be able to change the demeanor of your classmates, you can only change the way you feel and act in the situation. I feel for you, it's great to vent sometimes, but I don't know that our advice is particularly useful. ;)

Honestly, there are some classes that I don't study much for, but everyone is different...that doesn't necessarily mean that these people are trying to make you feel dumb. I am 20...so I'm in that "brat" age group...but I know I'm not the "s***".

I hope I helped, and I don't intend to flame...
 

b*rizzle

Master of Useless Info
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 25, 2004
548
1
Status
Pharmacist
Relax and enjoy your time before pharmacy school. You will find your niche in pharmacy school, I promise. Find activities that you really enjoy and stick with them. There's so many diverse personalities and backgrounds that you will certainly find at least a kindred spirit or two.

And FYI, I rarely believe anyone that says they never study or that nothing ever challenges them. They're full of crap. Granted, some people are much more efficient studiers than others, but I can tell you for sure that every last one of my classmates studies for exams, at least if they want to pass. It's really easy to get Bs on stuff without studying quite so much, but that attitude sort of disturbs me, since you're there to learn the material anyway.

In any case, some of my classmates came in first year and didn't think they had to study. And now they're repeating pharmaceutics or pharmacodynamics (which screws you at UNC since you can't complete the kinetics sequence without it).

I am also sorry to hear of the lack of professional behavior that these "children" exhibit towards you. Rest assured that they won't get very far in a professional degree program with that kind of attitude, and if they do, they won't last in the real world.

Keep your chin up and don't let these idiots bug you!
 
OP
monsterbrain

monsterbrain

Drinking for sanity.
10+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2008
237
1
corn country
Status
Pharmacy Student
This response is for IBU and Beav: No I don't in general have insecurities or self-esteem issues; those days are far behind me. Nor do I believe that I originally contributed to the situation; but now I am somewhat defensive and probably a bit unapproachable (on purpose).

I want to reiterate that I have never had a problem getting aquainted with younger people at any other college. That's why this situation has been so odd, and why I have been "thinking too much" about it. My theory is that the majority of these students come from very small midwestern towns (think farm country). This university is comprised mainly of young, white students, who might not be accustomed to socializing with a diverse group of people. The colleges I attended previously were in a large metropolitan area, and the student body was varied in all categories.

I don't want to dwell on this anymore; there are more important things to worry about - like my organic final.