One step at a time.
This photo challenge could not have come at a more appropriate time.
Today, I finally took the MCAT. I took a prep course for it this spring semester, and it had been on my mind since… the day I decided to go pre-med. It has been a rough journey, and each day I doubt myself, wondering if this is really the path for me.
I have always been a studious daughter, striving for A’s on every exam, staying up late to get in that extra hour or two of review, never even contemplating skipping class.
I felt so relieved when I finally graduated from college, glad that, at least for a while, I didn’t need to go through the repetitive process of always working towards the next letter grade. However, although I had completed all of my pre-requisites, I still had one last exam: the MCAT.
When I began to study for the exam, I still embraced every ounce of motivation I had to hopefully push through one final test. As the days of pure studying and attending class passed by one by one, I began to question myself again. Why am I even doing this? Why am I going down this path? Would I be happier doing something else? Is it too late to turn around? Do I want to keep studying…forever? Truthfully, I had never sat myself down and pondered these things in my heart. I just kept going and going, one exam after the next, keeping my eyes on the grand prize. Now that I actually have time to stop and think, it struck me, maybe this isn’t what I want after all. The end goal of becoming a physician sounds grand and impressive, but if I despise every second of the journey, what is the purpose? Where is the meaning?
Despite all of these self-doubts, I nevertheless decided to go ahead and take the exam. I had stopped studying two months prior to my exam date and just started relaxing, something I hardly did as a student. My happiness level soared. I gave myself the possibility of not becoming a physician. It felt as if a huge burden was suddenly lifted off my chest, my shoulders, my entire body. I continued to think, I’ve never felt so relieved before. Am I asking for too much if I want to feel this way…for the rest of my life (at least the majority of the time)?
For the very first time, I went into an exam knowing that I did not study enough for it and purposely not studying enough. I still wanted to give it a shot. I was curious as to know how I would end up doing.
It was a wonderful feeling going into the exam feeling absolutely stress-free, when everyone else clearly had a look of panic. I still didn’t understand all of the passages and questions. In fact, I guessed on so many questions, I finished almost every section ten minutes early and left earlier than I anticipated. Might not be good for my score, but oh well. What’s done is done. I will think more about my career trajectory at another time. After I left the testing center, I wore a smile that hadn’t looked this genuine in a long time. The skies have cleared. I truly felt jubilant.
Questions: How did you figure out what career you wanted to pursue? Was it something you knew all along, or did it take many twists and turns?