The College Years, Part 5: Summer-Fall 2012 (Start of Junior Year)

We left off with me feeling pretty dejected at the end of my sophomore year – awful grades, no summer plans, demolished self-esteem, and way too much adipose tissue. Although I was pretty sure I’d accomplish SOMETHING of worth in life, I had reached the conclusion that – though I was sure I would be a great doctor someday, there was no way in heck I would ever possibly get into med school. And with med school being 4 years and residency being 3+ years after that, and me being as exhausted as I was, I just couldn’t see myself going through all of that. Whereas medical physics: I was actually good at physics, unlike orgo and biochem, and I could get a Masters Degree in 2 years, and then a 2 year “residency” before going into practice, if I wanted to give myself an extra edge. Less expensive, earlier independence, all that good stuff. And when my dad lost his job that summer, I got even more panicky and desperate to make good financial decisions (med school debt can be pretty crippling, I hear).

Anyway, that summer was basically just me chillaxing, volunteering at the therapeutic riding barn, and visiting various friends and relatives around the country. And exercising. A lot. I lost 20+ lbs that summer, and went back to college in the Fall with a new-found confidence. I wasn’t back to my high school weight (yeah, I gained a LOT of weight during my first 2 years of college) but I sure felt good about my accomplishment.

But then Quantum hit me. Omfg, quantum physics. I now have the Schrodinger equation tattooed down my left side to commemorate the stage in my life that I devoted to physics, but not because I actually enjoyed the class in which Schrodinger was key. Because I was cocky about my math abilities, I was certain I would be a-ok with skipping the Differential Equations prerequisite class, but here’s the thing: even though the math itself wasn’t necessarily hard, the fact that Quantum is just so freaking weird meant that the unfamiliar math didn’t make things any easier for me. Yes, my other two classes were “Intro to Literature” and “Evolution, Ecology, and Biodiversity” (both 100-level classes), specifically to give myself more time to devote to Quantum but, well, I still tanked Quantum anyway. And with that point I figured, “well, I’ve finally had major struggles with a physics class. Medical physics would probably still be easier, but it probably won’t end up being a slam dunk.”

Pre-Health Club was great! I don’t really remember what speakers I brought in during Fall Term, but I do remember that Robyn & Josh & I were establishing ourselves as an exec board “dream team” of sorts. Robyn was President and Josh was Treasurer/VP (and Robyn’s bf), so they were obviously running the meetings – but as I eased my way into sitting up front with the “big dogs” they offered zero resistance and welcomed me into the fold, so to speak.

Chamber was less and less fun, Colorguard was just bogus by this point, and Physics Club really didn’t do much. But Pre-Health Club made up for it all. As I continued learning and mingling with my pre-healthers, I knew I was back on the pre-med train. So what if I had failed my EMT certification exam in October? It’s not like I wanted to be an EMT anyway! And my failure really just came down to the fact that I knew nothing about babies or vaginas, which didn’t bother me in the slightest. And now that I was learning more about DOs, I liked the idea more and more – and since the entrance stats (ie gpa) tended to be slightly lower, I thought I might actually have a shot of making it in somewhere (My sister was disappointed that I was considering becoming a “glorified chiropractor” – she had apparently done her research on DOs through the British lens, where DO means “Diploma of Osteopathy,” which is a lot like a chiropractor – unlike the American Doctor of Osteopathy, which is a full-fledged physician with a slightly different philosophy, and an extra tool in their bag. Spoiler Alert: It took a couple years, and me actually attending a DO school for her to come around.)

I was terrified of the freshmen I lived with. (My very first roommate was an RA during Fall Term and had worked out an arrangement with the dean of housing to get me in a single in her suite). They were wayyyy more social than me, and liked to throw parties in the suite.

That was the first time I saw Roman.

Finishing with Fall term, I had done awesome in Lit and Bio, and I had survived Quantum (which had really been all I was hoping for with that one.) And I was so excited to sit down to 6 weeks of intensive MCAT studying, in preparation for Winter Term’s MCAT prep class!


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