In the middle of a difficult family situation - I don't know what to do

FutureMD2014

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Jul 11, 2006
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Hi Everyone,

This is my first post - I'll try to keep this as short and detailed as I can - but I really need your input.

As of now, I am on medical leave from UNC-Chapel Hill (Fall 2009 and Spring 2010). I have a 2.991 cum GPA (Yes, I know that's low - but I will explain). I am College Senior, Out of State Student (currently at home in NYC Metro Area).

I am on medical leave due to anxiety issues and I to take care of my ill grandmother; I am an only child and my mom cannot afford to leave her job. The anxiety has been present for a year (grandma's frequent hospitalizations); I was constantly going back and forth from NC to NY; the pressure got to me and I just had to leave :( I am seeing a LCSW for my issues.

There's alot more to this story - but I won't go on - just detailing the important bits.

So, here is where a decision needs to be made - I am 'set' to go back to NC for Fall 2010; but now I'm not so sure - my grandma and I are REALLY close (she raised me; she's practically my mom and the only one I have as true family). I don't think I can deal being away if something worse happens.

I know transferring as a senior is tough; plus my financial situation is terrible - CUNY and SUNY is what I would select from (in-state tuition).

I am just worried about how I would be perceived when it comes time to apply (already low GPA, and going a step down from UNC-Chapel Hill to a SUNY or CUNY - I know this is a trivial reason; but it worries me).

What should I do? should I just bear down and finish or should I transfer?
 
Mar 4, 2010
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Because your so close to your grandmother, I would advise you to transfer. However, you'll need to make sure you do really well in your remaining time. You've been through a very rough situation, which seems to be the cause of your low grades. I'm sure if you can explain this in your personal statement or somewhere it you application, you should be somewhat okay.

Your have a reason for taking a "step down," has nothing to do with your capabilities of a student, so hopefully some schools understand that. Honestly, your probably going to have to show a lot of improvement GPA-wise and do well on your MCAT (Did you take it yet?). If you transfer, your life should be a bit more stable (hopefully) and therefore you grades should go up. If you stay in UNC-Chapel Hill nothing will have changed and you'll still be worried about being away from your grandmother.

Good luck, I hope everything turns out okay and your grandma gets better.
 

willen101383

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Jul 22, 2004
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Hey there. I would go for transferring. It will make you feel more secure, and will likely positively impact your GPA. I graduated undergrad from a SUNY school undergrad. If you want to stay close to the NY metro area you have New Paltz, Stony Brook, etc. Binghamton is well known for graduating pre meds and you can shoot down rt 17 if you need to. I wouldnt worry about that. I would worry about getting that GPA up before I worried about how your transfer will affect you....
 

illegallysmooth

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May 21, 2008
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I'd transfer. Don't worry about the "step-down." I think the transfer will also help evidence your story when you eventually have to explain this to an adcom. I think making this difficult decision and carrying it out, thinking of your grandmother rather than just thinking of yourself, will be an example of maturity and character later on.

Good luck.
 

MiniMoo

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Jan 20, 2010
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Hey I'm really sorry to hear about your grandma. :(

Do whatever you need to in order to simplify your life and get yourself back on track - emotionally, academically, etc. - even if that means taking a little more time off.
 

IDoIt4Love

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Dec 18, 2008
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Hi Everyone,

This is my first post - I'll try to keep this as short and detailed as I can - but I really need your input.

As of now, I am on medical leave from UNC-Chapel Hill (Fall 2009 and Spring 2010). I have a 2.991 cum GPA (Yes, I know that's low - but I will explain). I am College Senior, Out of State Student (currently at home in NYC Metro Area).

I am on medical leave due to anxiety issues and I to take care of my ill grandmother; I am an only child and my mom cannot afford to leave her job. The anxiety has been present for a year (grandma's frequent hospitalizations); I was constantly going back and forth from NC to NY; the pressure got to me and I just had to leave :( I am seeing a LCSW for my issues.

There's alot more to this story - but I won't go on - just detailing the important bits.

So, here is where a decision needs to be made - I am 'set' to go back to NC for Fall 2010; but now I'm not so sure - my grandma and I are REALLY close (she raised me; she's practically my mom and the only one I have as true family). I don't think I can deal being away if something worse happens.

I know transferring as a senior is tough; plus my financial situation is terrible - CUNY and SUNY is what I would select from (in-state tuition).

I am just worried about how I would be perceived when it comes time to apply (already low GPA, and going a step down from UNC-Chapel Hill to a SUNY or CUNY - I know this is a trivial reason; but it worries me).

What should I do? should I just bear down and finish or should I transfer?

I would move home and go to a NY school. That would solve your money problems, as well as the problems at home. You will likely have to spend an extra year in school, as most schools require you to take at least 40+ credits at their school to earn a degree from them, but this is probably for the best, as it will give you additional time/opportunities to raise your GPA. Plus, med schools could care less what college you went to, and in these hard times, nobody will question your choice due to money.
 
Feb 17, 2010
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Maybe you should consider taking a year off?

Then you can spend a year off with your grandmother, maybe do some volunteering, be able to improve your emotional health, take a break you so you can decrease your stress levels, etc. It sounds like you would have too much on your mind even if you transfered to put in the effort needed as a premed for school especially since you seem to need to boost your GPA a bit.

I hardly doubt adcoms will mind if you take a break if you explain to them. It shows maturity understanding that sometimes you can't always handle everything and that you're able to know your limits and take a break.

Also this given year will help you decide whether you truly want to transfer or not. Just because you're not actively attending Chapel' (I can't quite remember the name of your school) doesn't mean you're not enrolled you can take a break and still be considered a student there. I'd recommend talking to an advisor about their policies on this.

Whatever you do it's your choice and don't be pressured into doing something you don't want to do. I wish you luck and I'm sure you'll make the right decision.
 

AbbyNormal

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Mar 11, 2010
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I agree with transferring or taking a year off. Nothing can replace time with your family and when your grandmother is gone you will treasure memories.

I believe that character is at least as important as scholastic ability. Good luck to you and your family.
 

FutureMD2014

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Jul 11, 2006
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Thank You so much for all the advice - you all don't know how much I appreciate it :)

I am currently volunteering twice a wk for a non-profit program: Girls on the Run in Manhattan; it's a running program for young girls and along the way we teach them healthy lifestyle habits and positive self-esteem habits as well. For me, its one of the ways to maintain some connection with the outside world and gives me joy and peace to work with kids (love kids alot! :) ).

I am currently looking at SUNY Stonybrook; it reminds me of UNC-Chapel Hill (similar environment, same type of activities/programs, etc.). I made an appt. at the NYC SUNY info center for next week to talk to an admissions rep. Of course, I will apply to other schools: I was accepted @ SUNY Bing + Buffalo for freshman admission (but Buffalo is too far).

I will update along the way; but I feel better now about weighing my options and making a decision :)
 

sewcurious

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Apr 18, 2008
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Thank You so much for all the advice - you all don't know how much I appreciate it :)

I am currently volunteering twice a wk for a non-profit program: Girls on the Run in Manhattan; it's a running program for young girls and along the way we teach them healthy lifestyle habits and positive self-esteem habits as well. For me, its one of the ways to maintain some connection with the outside world and gives me joy and peace to work with kids (love kids alot! :) ).

I am currently looking at SUNY Stonybrook; it reminds me of UNC-Chapel Hill (similar environment, same type of activities/programs, etc.). I made an appt. at the NYC SUNY info center for next week to talk to an admissions rep. Of course, I will apply to other schools: I was accepted @ SUNY Bing + Buffalo for freshman admission (but Buffalo is too far).

I will update along the way; but I feel better now about weighing my options and making a decision :)

Good Luck! You seem to be a very strong person that is able to look at their problems and make a mature decision. AdComs will be able to see that just like all of us do. I think in the end this experience will make you stronger, not many people have the ability to go through something like this with grace
 

riverjib

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I would definitely transfer. This unfortunately means you'll probably have to finish 45-60 credits at a SUNY/CUNY school. This may work to your benefit, since your GPA has suffered.

I've been through a very similar situation, and I'm currently at Stony Brook. It's definitely very different from Chapel Hill in terms of atmosphere and student life, but it's really fantastic for academics (especially sciences) and research/EC opportunities. PM me if you have questions about Stony Brook, or even just about juggling emotional/family crises while trying to keep your head above water. You might need a break from school, but this bump in the road won't keep you out of medical school! Best of luck to you :)