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I overcame my fear of the future

Joined: 6/1/2011
Posts: 1
For as long as I can remember, my only goal in life has been to become a doctor. And in my second year of college, with “the future” right around the bend, that thought terrified me. I started discovering other interests and realizing that medical school, just getting into medical school, would be much more intense than I had anticipated. The neat picture I had created for my future was beginning to come apart and still I couldn’t bear to let go of it. In that frame of mind, I drifted, panicked, struggled, and somehow persevered through my sophomore year of college.
The idea of being a physician was so simple when I was a kid: I want to make other kids feel better when they’re sick and give them lollipops. And over the course of my adolescence, nothing really challenged that simple motivation. I started learning a little more about what it meant and what it took to be a physician, but all of the difficulties sounded like something I could deal with when I was older and more mature. Suddenly I was 19, I was supposed to be older and mature, and according to the traditional timeline, I would be applying to medical school in a little over a year.
I don’t remember my reaction to that realization exactly, but it was something between a horrified scream and a cold sweat. After that initial shock, though, I sat down to think and plan and question. How am I supposed to get into medical school? CAN I get into medical school? Do I want to? Of course, at the same time, I was doing the sort of growing and exploring that college students do, and I realized that there are classes I enjoy a lot more than integrative biology, my intended major. I want to be a doctor; aren’t I supposed to love biology? Then I did a little more digging and found that being a doctor isn’t at all what I thought it was. It was more: more strenuous but also more exciting.
Over the course of a year and amidst the daily routine of classes, homework, friends, clubs, and YouTube, I found a growing conviction pulling me further on the path I’ve always been on. I do want to be a doctor and I intend to pursue that path. And I now have some idea of what that means. My immediate plans have changed, however, as a result of this difficult and strange year. I plan to major in linguistics, which I’ve discovered a passion for, and take a year off between college and medical school to grow up more and get adjusted to the real world before diving into more schooling. I’ve learned so much from this year about dealing with the confusion life throws at you: sometimes you have to question and wrestle and even despair a little, only to end up in the same place, but you’ll definitely be the better for it.
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Comment by mcoly618

Joined: 5/2/2009
Posts: 472
Hi, I'm the PR Coordinator for Stage of Life. I'm leaving you this comment to let you know that your essay for our Teens and Overcoming Challenges writing contest was one of the finalists. Congratulations!

Here's the link to the contest summary page. We'll be formally announcing the winner soon.

Feel free to share this news with your friends and family. To be named an essay finalists in our national writing competition is a big deal. Our previous winners have been talked about on and other media outlets.

Congrats again. We look forward to seeing more of your essays/writing on Thanks for helping us in our mission of creating the world's largest pool of cross-generational stories.
Posted: Monday, June 6, 2011 6:44:14 PM
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Comment by kmorri11

Joined: 5/17/2010
Posts: 23
I feel like most people panic during their sophomore year; I definitely did. But I'm glad that you figured out what will make you most happy in the end. That's all that's important!
Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 6:58:25 PM
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