In Defense of Being Pre-Med/My Grass is Green
I transferred to Columbia University last year from Washington University in St Louis. Not surprisingly, almost every person who I tell this fact about myself to will ask “Why did you transfer?” The answer might seem odd because I am pre-med after all but Wash U was “too pre-med” and I could feel myself become professionally tunneled-vision during my time there. Don’t get me wrong, I want to become a doctor but I didn’t want my undergraduate experience to be defined by a pre-profession. I wanted a place where I can meet people from a variety of backgrounds with opinions that would challenge my own.
With that being said, I entered a university with the exact kind of diversity that I was looking for but with that diversity came the problem of staying focused. I was comfortable at WashU because being a doctor seemed like the right thing to do; being pre-med was the thing that everyone was doing. The success was clear. But now in a city where almost anything seems possible, with so many opportunities in business, finance, government, the arts, etc etc, it’s easy to drift off in to moments where I can’t help but ask myself “Is this what I’m suppose to be doing?”
What a loaded question. To be frank, I’ve always been a very impressionable person, consistently concerned with how others view me. I know it’s important to stay true to yourself and not to worry about what people think, yada yada yada. I can’t help it though, I like having other peoples’ approval and it felt weird being in a place where my goals didn’t seem up to par with everyone else’s because being pre-med was too generic or too bland especially for an asian girl.
However, in the process of being pre-med, I’ve discovered a lot about myself-my strengths and weaknesses, my successes and failures. I don’t want to do something for the sake of being different or for the sake of fitting in. There really is no “winning” in life, there’s only doing and trying one’s best. In the end, I know that being a physician is what in my heart I desire. I see myself as a prideful person and I know that there would be nothing else that would make me prouder than to be serving people using the skills and knowledge that I’ve spent years honing as an undergraduate and eventually in medical school. People who are pre-med should be proud of what they are doing and the goals they are striving for. Sometimes we get lost in the difficult science classes or the seemingly impossible exams but it’s important to step back and take a look at the big picture: the impact that physicians have on society as a whole, the excitement of doing something only a few can handle, the satisfaction from helping others and the ability to personally change lives. It’s easy to say the grass is greener on the other side but it’s more worth it to say my grass is the best green in my eyes.
(Note. Recently inspired to actually publish more of my Tumblr posts. This is something I wrote a few months ago and am now making public. Maybe if I practice what I preach, I can make it past these next two weeks…)