Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Follow-up To Yesterday - Working & School

Many times I wonder how much "easier" younger students have it when they just have to worry about school, eating, and studying.  Then I remember how easy it is likewise to mismanage time, to drink and party with new found friends of all varying interests, and slack off on the studying.  I was there once.

What I also remember is that it is easy to learn when younger.  Retaining knowledge is different.  Not sure when that changed for me but I notice it a lot now.  Things that would just come *snap* in my 20s, now take repetition and more repetition and more repetition before something finally sinks in.  Yes, initial concepts are easy to remember but when those same concepts get *kludgified*, I get hung up.  Stuck.  Then I have to repeat the same sequences over and over again before they stick in my wee brain, like glue board, stick-um, or packing tape.

What I also remember from my youth is how easy it was to forget a bad test score, or a bad grade.  Now, they haunt me like a bad dream (like the one I had last night with a HUGE snake in it attacking my dog who is dead - Abby, the dachshund - check Feb 2009 for the post on her).  Anyway, bad grades linger like skunk spray and yet being older allows me to likewise remember them so I don't let it happen again.  How badly do you think I want that one and only "B" from 2010 to be the "one and only" B?  And why is it that I'm exhausted all the time??  :D

Financially, I'd rather be older and doing this my way without the hindrance of parents.  Yes, I'm remembering that with my own.  My parents were not thrilled that I wanted to be an MD/PhD in biochem when I was 18; "What in the Sam-hell are you going to do with a ... what is it called?  Biochrap? degree??"  Yes, I'd heard that one and so... it became easier to party and forget what my parents wanted me to do.  Graduate.  (That is not a ding on my parents; I am 1st generation college student from my family, and was the first to graduate from college, even before my 12 and 14 year older brothers who went back after I was done.  It is merely stating that my parents were putting their savings to my education and wanted to have a lot of say in what I did with their money.  Somewhat like I do with my son now - only it's related to gas in the tank, Chipotle, and books, not his career aspriations).

The drinking thing... one of my best friends called me today.  Asked how I was doing.  Asked how I was holding up with working and school.  Asked how school was going this week.  Asked when I'd be free.

December 21st, I said.  My last final would be at 8 that morning, I'd be done by noon and ready to let loose that night.  He is game.

He asked if I ever just had a down time at night.  "No." and then words that made him laugh out loud, "John, I'm boring" words neither of us ever in a gazillion years thought would come out of my mouth about my life.  They did, however, and that is the sacrifice I make now to try and finally, make this venture to med school work out.

Is it easier being younger?  In some ways, but in others, not so much.  Would I rather be younger?  Ya think? Tighter facial skin?  (know any good dermatologists or plastic surgeons?)  Maybe.  However, I do know that time management is definitely a strong point for me and if given the choice over younger/brainier/worse time management or older/wiser/harder working and great time management, I'd choose the latter.

So,putting that older/wiser thing to good use is easier, despite that I'm tired all the time (good training for med school and residency, I hope).  Studying is easier thanks to the stoked passion and of course, Concerta (would not have the grades I do without it for I'd get lost in all the very cool medical books on the floor where I study and like a fly, I'd flit and fleet all over the place; and if you have not noticed, sometimes the ADHD shows up on my blog!).

Last, it helps to have a great manager who fully supports the pathway onto MD.  With her, P=MD and we all know, in med school, P=MD.  She's just being my segue to the last one and pushing me along to get it done.

So, come December 21st, I'll remember what it's like to finish a semester out.  I'll remember what it feels like to have put a whole lotta energy into making something work, until then I'll focus on o-chem and biol and my job, forgetting to eat, and lacking sleep.

Something has had to give and grades are not going to be it this time!


Slamdunk said...

The Mrs. and I were just laughing about this topic last night. Like: "Why did we think life was so difficult when we were young and just had school, some work, and ourselves to worry about?

It seems that life is always tough when you are in the trenches.

Keep up inspiring us and we hope that late December arrives soon for you.

Erin said...

I would say I am in the top 10 oldest students in my pharmacy class of 145. The span isn't even that large and yet, we are miles apart. Sometimes, I think it would be much easier if I did not have a husband and just had to worry about studying and eating, but then I remember the path that brought me here and my amazing support system (mostly my husband) and realize that my marriage and my family, not school, are the most important things in life. =)

Allison said...

(new reader) I can't imagine going back and doing pre-med all over again, but with a full-time job and family. Kudos to you for pursuing your dreams.

A Doc 2 Be said...

@ SSS - if I had a husband, I think I'd swoon; given that I do not, I applaud you for yours and him for having you!

@ a - it's not that bad :) I had a great career that I hated, and now am doing something I love; hopefull, it will work out!