One day, I packed my bags, moved to Gainesville, and started my first day as a freshman at UF. And seemingly, the next day, I’ve somehow ended up at St. George’s University School of Medicine. How did I get here? Where did the time go? Have I just been asleep for the past 4 years? But, it has finally, seemingly out of nowhere, dawned on me– I am an adult. I’ve ignored all signs pointing to this conclusion as I slacked off and did pretty much nothing throughout college and now, I’m this 22 year old adult who is supposed to know exactly what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. I am not ready to make that decision. I am not. There are so many other things out there waiting for me to discover and explore.
How did I trap myself in this niche? Med school. That was the plan all along. That was what it’s always been since I was a kid and everything in my life has been molded around that. I never left this circle. I talked big game of how I wanted to change the world and make difference, but I’m too scared to actually pursue that. No,– med school. That is the plan. That was always the plan.
And so, once again, I packed my bags and went off to Grenada last January and (barely) got through my first term. Thoughts of doubt and panic crept into my mind. “What am I doing here? WHY am I here? Why didn’t I ever purse anything else?” But I brushed those thoughts aside and pushed forward. After all, what else could I do with my life? Leaving school would mean coming home and then what? Would I be happy then? What is happiness, actually? Am I happy now? Am I unhappy? My parents keep telling me that even if I’m unhappy now, this too shall pass, and I’ll have a good stable job soon and will be able to provide for a family one day. That’s the ultimate goal, right? I’m not really sure what the answer to those questions are. Well, actually, I do. But again, what difference would it make?
So a few months into my 2nd semester, I had it. I decided that I wanted to leave and possibly repeat the semester next term. Though this might have been the dumbest decision I could have ever made, it’s the one I’m most proud of. This decision was my own. I didn’t do it for my parents, for my friends, or because I thought it was expected of me. I realized I wasn’t happy there, so I decided to come home to figure things out.
You know what I discovered? I discovered that I am a coward. I am insecure. I am a child. I was not at all ready to start med school in January, but I did. After all, that was always the plan anyways. I don’t blame that decision on anyone but myself. Yes, my parents wanted me to go, but they didn’t force me. They motivated me and supported me as parents should, but I couldn’t think for myself or do anything for myself.
I have so much more to learn and grow, but now I’m trapped pursuing a career that I can’t remember why I chose in the first place. My only reason is that med school has always been the plan. My reason is that I am vain and proud, so being a doctor would give me the respect that my insecure self so desperately yearns for. My reason is that I have no fucking idea.
I sometimes wish that I failed my classes last term and got kicked out, so I wouldn’t have to make a decision. It would already have been made for me.
But then again, what if med school has always been the plan for a reason? What if I leave, get a job, try some other things out only to discover that I really do want to be a doctor. Will I have to take classes again, waste more time, and apply to schools in the country hoping they give a Caribbean med school drop out a chance? Where do I go from here?