Drogo

hakuna matata
Jul 13, 2011
243
14
Michigan
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Hi non-trads, so here's my story:

My mother has suffered tremendously with her ulcerative colitis and I was always fascinated and touched when meeting some of the physicians who helped her out. I was very curious about her condition and found myself reading peer-reviewed medical journals in my spare time. I originally had set out to try and become a PT, but I found SDN one day many years ago which compelled me to ultimately pursue an MD or DO.

I'm a high school dropout who got his GED and after busting his A** recently transferred from a junior college to his dream school UMich at the age of 28.

I'm a URM who grew up in a very low-income family, so I'm beyond grateful to be pretty much getting all my school payed for. I've fought hard and have sacrificed a lot just to get to this far and I'm losing some faith in myself at this point.

Things didn't go that well my first semester and I completely bombed calc based physics 2 (C-, B in lab) and had to withdraw from my Calc 3 course. I was originally going for the ChemE program with a pre-med track, but have realized my sanity and maintaining a competitive cGPA/sGPA is more important for me because getting into med school is where my heart truly is. So I've decided to switch to General Biology with a business minor or double major Business/Bio to have at least some extra skills to use if I need some income while applying later on.

It didn't help that I had started my first semester off sick as a dog with bronchitis. Overall though I have been a bit burned out lately as a non-trad having to work many labor-intensive jobs while doing typical EC'S throughout school for the last couple years to be able to transfer here.

On August 16th my father who lives out-of-state (parents are divorced) passed away after a long battle with lung cancer and I had to miss work and help pay for my mom, sister and me to fly out out there so we could help my younger brothers setup the funeral and cremation services.

I've been left very financially and emotionally drained. I feel as if I have been living that 'borrow from peter-to-pay-paul' lifestyle that has me in a bit of credit card debt on top of other expenses I have to pay, like car insurance/car payment/food among other things.

It doesn't help that me and my girlfriend of 2 and 1/2 years had a major falling out, she was my main support system at school as we both transferred there together. But now I lost that after she started dating another man recently.

What adds the most amount of stress is that I basically have a full-ride through all the scholarships/grants I get because of me transferring in with good grades and having very low-income. If I don't go to school this fall it means me missing out on $11,500 or $23,000 for both terms combined. It's devastating to me just thinking about it.

I feel as if I just can't concentrate at all with all this financial and emotional stress. I just recently picked up a second job to help pay off some of this CC debt ASAP in the next 4 months and hopefully get back to school this winter and have decided to pull out an unsubsidized stafford loan if I must to cover extra expenses. But still there's that possibility I won't be financially/emotionally ok to go back in the winter.

I've already contacted a financial aid administrator about my situation. Hopefully she'll pull some strings and I'll be able to keep my scholarship if I go back in the winter or next fall.

I really could use some advice on what to do. To add insult to injury, UMich did not fully accept (only departmental credit granted) my General Biology 1 and 2 courses that I did at my CC. So I have to retake intro bio courses at UMich to move up in a Bio concentration.

I have Gen Chem 1 and 2 done. Obviously I have to retake the calc based physics 2. I'm trying to figure out how I should set up my semester when coming back in the winter (hopefully). I have to start my Orgo series. So I was thinking of just taking Orgo 1, Physics 2, and an intro Bio course.


What should I do? Just take the year off and get my financial situation in order and have a nice savings built up? With all this I would also plan on volunteering the whole year at a trauma center with some shadowing thrown in while also doing some community service.

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. I've been on this forum for years and the advice here has always been so helpful and encouraging.


Best regards,

Drogo
 

kraskadva

...
7+ Year Member
Apr 28, 2011
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First, I'm sorry for your loss. Losing a parent and then a girlfriend in close succession like that just sucks.

Second, you've been around long enough to know the standard advice. So consider that given. For you in particular, it sounds like you need some time to regroup. Don't worry about it taking longer, that's not a concern at this point. Doing well is the main concern, so if you'll be too distracted/grieving/etc. to focus on school, then you absolutely should take time off. So keep on it with your school's FinAid people and hopefully you can defer the scholarship for a year (or at least for a semester).

As for getting the bio credits counted- I have a couple of suggestions, but you'll have to talk to people at your school to see what would fly there.
-Go talk to the Dept. Chair (or whoever is the program coordinator) to see if they will make an exception for you. Chairs often have the power to override Registrar decisions.
-If not, and you have to retake bio, talk to the individual profs (or whoever handles this) to see if you can take Gen Bio simultaneously with whatever class is requiring it as a pre-req. If you explain the situation, they may let you in those courses, so the process could be sped up a bit. I did a lot of this at my school and have been out of sequence for most things during my post-bacc.

Best of luck to you.
 
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Drogo

hakuna matata
Jul 13, 2011
243
14
Michigan
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Thank you very much. I'll make a drive out there soon to meet up with a Dept. Chair. It'll be depressing because I had really looked forward to going back to school this fall and the campus looks really beautiful this time of the year.

Again thanks for the help.
 
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