As I begin to execute parts of my exit strategy from my current job (engineer) to points unknown (med school), I thought I might start to chronicle on this site my journey out of the desert.
It all started with an informational session at Northwestern University for their pre-medicine professional development program–well, to be really honest I guess it started back when I was still applying for the job I have right now. I was pretty up-front then when I said I intended to stay only for a couple of years before transitioning to med school. Now…it’s been five years (six since graduating) and I figure I’ve put in my time (woot–three weeks of vacation!) and can move on now. Only problem is those pesky prerequisite courses I need to get into med school, and the question of whether my undergraduate credits still apply. (Do I really need to take physics all over again? I aced it back in college, and I’ll do fine it if I have to take it again… but that would be such a waste of time and money.) So I figured the program at Northwestern was the best option as it is structured and offers guidance for a career-changer like me.
Knowing that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel (for this stage of my life, at least) and seeing that light have an effect on one’s outlook in life. Admittedly, I’ve gotten myself into a comfortable rut, but I could definitely do without corporate politics and the general malaise that accompanies life in an office. Were the years I’ve spent working a waste? I don’t think so. I think I’ve grown and matured a lot since I started and has given me a bit of perspective. But I can’t help but think… when I finish my prerequisites, I’ll be close to 30, then in my mid-30s when I finish med school… a part of me thinks that that seems so… old. (I know it’s not necessarily old, but still.) Shouldn’t I be settling down and raising a family by then? It’s trains of thought like that that give me pause as to whether I should be doing this at all, but deep down I am confident this is for the best.
So, here I am today, in the middle of taking a biology course at Northwestern (I’m a student again! Haha. STUDENT DISCOUNTS, BITCHES.) and trying to juggle work at the same time. Challenging? Definitely. The long commute from WI makes things interesting (and makes me question whether I shouldn’t just quit my job right now and move to Chicago) and is a strain on my wallet, to be sure. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to pull this off without too much financial hurt.
If nothing else, the trips to Evanston have infused a part of my weekly routine with the environmental stimulation you can only get in a big metropolitan area. And it’s made me remember how much I miss living in a big city.