Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Second Thoughts

Hmm, it's a funny thing. I'm not IN med school yet and already it's intimidating me.

The M1 year starts on August 17th and goes until May 28th. Wow, I haven't been in school for that long since high school! From what I could tell from last year's M1 weekly schedule, classes usually go from 8am until 5pm most days, Monday through Friday. At first I was like, "Wtf, that's A LOT of class time!" Especially since my friends at other med schools go from 8am to noon or 1pm. But in retrospect, it's not AS bad as I thought. Last semester in grad school I went from 8:30am or 9am until 6pm or 6:30pm most days (see post here); and, I would have to leave for class at 8am and not be able to get back to my apartment until about 6:20pm or 7pm due to the buses. So yeah, it's not going to be too bad (but it's still a heck of a lot of class time).

Now, the other thing that's a kicker is my financial aid, which I got in the mail today. It's really confusing but let me attempt to explain. I can get up to about $45K awarded in loans; however, the med school is only "allowing" me to borrow $20.5K. How am I supposed to make up that difference?! Neither my parents nor I have that much money. Granted, the above amount doesn't include institutional aid (like grants and scholarships) but I won't know how much I'll get until orientation in August. And it seems I have to make an appointment with a financial aid counselor to "unlock" the rest of my loans. Grrr, this doesn't make much sense to me. Why's financial aid always so confusing?!

All this has caused me to have second thoughts, however brief. I mean, I could've just graduated from the school of public health with my MPH (Master's in Public Health). And a really good MPH at that, coming from one of the top 5 public health schools in the US. In addition, I would graduate essentially debt-free if I held a GSI teaching position for the remaining 2 semesters (which should be easy, as I was really great at it before). Okay, so yeah, I have to return about $10,000 in loans - but really, that would be super-easy with a GSI position. And an MPH is quite valuable and helpful, so I'd be making decent money (not great, but not bad). And of course, I would be helping people.

So I wondered: is this all worth it? The grueling class and time? The possible (likely) hundreds of thousands in debt accrued over 4 years? The LONG hours and crappy pay of residency? For a moment I doubted it all. Before I knew all this was coming but now that it's here, it's really scary to think about. But of course I've already committed myself, there's no backing out now. I just need to tell myself that everything will work out in the end.

And of course, if you actually read all the rambling above or just skipped to here, I shall reward you with something I came across on someone's blog a while back (I forget who's).

This song was stuck in my head for a day. I really like it, and I love the violin playing.

I LOVE the jazzy style of this song. I've been looking for something like this for a little while.


Jeremy said...

That's....weird O.o

I can't see how the school could possibly bar you from borrowing money? I mean, there are plenty of places you can get financial aid for school, I know some banks do it. Granted, it's probably harder in the current economy, but it is still there...

Good luck with the med school though :)


Anonymous said...

They should call it "financial kick in the shorts."

Jonathan said...

As hard as it is, and as frustrating it can be, stay with it because soon when you're making 250k a year, you'll thank yourself.


Landyn said...

I guess itss doubly tricky with the economy being what it is right now...

My suggestion is to take a day or so and weigh out the pros and cons. I would stick with it, but that's just my quick opinion. (let's be honest, what do I kno? haha)

I think that it will pay off in the long run, even though it might be a struggle for right now (kinda the motto im living my own life by at the moment)

anyway, take care man. you are so smart, you are of course gonna end up doing the right thing, no matter what you decide.


Aek said...

Jeremy: Yeah, I know right?! So weird. I'm not sure what's going on, but I'm willing to bet most other med students are going "Wtf" as well.

James: Yeah, tell me about it. :-/

Jonathan: Well, of course I'm staying with it. I've committed myself and I see through what I commit myself to. Though, I highly doubt I'll ever reach $250K a year. I'd have to work soooo hard and trample so many other students to get there. Just not willing to do that.

Landyn: Hahaha, don't worry about me. I'm fully confident that things'll work out. There's no way I'm backing out of med school now, especially when it's so damn hard to get in in the first place!

Thanks for your vote of confidence. ^_^

tracy said...

My niece's husband will be M-1 come August as well...! (Which confuses me as i always thought the medical year started in July...but, whateva!). i wish you all the best and from what i know of you so far, you will be great, not just will all that "scienciey stuff",(the technical term!) but especially with the people. (Niece's M-1 will be in Galvestan... Yay, hurricanes! Was hoping for MCV or of V. i know you can't tell us where you will be!)

i loved the video...cute boy! ;) i loved the violin playing too-i almost called it "fiddle"...guess what part of the country i'm!

Hugs and love,

PS i really love that vid!

Mike said...

I don't know what to say... financial aid is something that bothers me so much. It just never seems to work in students favor! HEHE

Tyler said...

it may have been my log you came across it on, i posted it the day he won eurovision... but meh, perhaps not

and i would say when you finish school and get a job, i think all the schooling now and what not will pay off.... or at least thats what im telling myself, lol

Aek said...

tracy: Most med schools start in August. There are a few that start in July though. Thanks for the vote of confidence!

Mike: Yeah, I know right?! :-/

Tyler: Maybe it was, I can't remember. Sorry. I usually like most of my classes - what can I say, I love learning. :P Trust me, classes get more interesting and more relevant the further along you go (well, usually).

E said...

It seems to me that you are prepared to do the work that it takes to do well, and I think that that is the most crucial part. Nearly everything that someone has never tried before intimidates them. Then you do it and realize that the fear made the task seem much harder than it really is. More power to you!

tracy said...

Hi Aek,
i love, love, love this video!