Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Future

This is such an overdone topic for anyone my age. Do we ever live in the present, or are we continuously mapping out what's down the road for us? I've been aware of this tendency for awhile and have tried hard not to dwell on the future too much, but it's impossible or at least highly impractical not to be impacted by it just a bit. The people living or spending much of their time on what I refer to as our campus community's Bourbon Street probably don't give a great deal of thought to their futures beyond where their next bottle of vodka or fix of a more potent variety is coming, but for the rest of us, if we're even semi-serious students, it's tough to dwell on the present and not to let our thoughts be taken up with what we'll be doing next semester, next year, four years from now, or in ten years.

It's not a phenomonon unique to university students. People beginning their careers but looking to move upward, young parents trying to financially plan for their children's educations, middle-aged mid-life-crisisers [I know I just made up my own word there], those approaching old age who wonder how best to ensure that they will be cared for whe they can no longer care for themselves, and those facing imminent mortality who wonder what comes next -- people at every stage of life dwell upon the future. Neither is it a tendency new to humanity. I think it was the twelfth chapter of Luke that discussed the lilies and their beauty "though they toil not" and other aspects of not worrying so much about the future.

Still, I'm at a critical juncture in my life. I didn't want to jinx anything by discussing it, but I've already taken the MCAT. Much of the time I was supposedly lolling around on the beach, I was taking prep courses and studying. My brother took the test on the same day I did. We should have results in October at some time. Medical school is my first choice, but I'm hedging my bets by taking the law school admissions test as well. I'm still not certain I'll go to law school (even if admitted to one of my choosing) if I don't get into medical school this time. It does give me one more option. I may, instead, get a masters in a science-related field, possibly take the MCAT again, and throw the dice one more time. I feel as though if I give up on medical school even if I'm rejected this time, I'll be settling, and I really don't want to settle.

My LSAT is scheduled for December. I'm taking the prep course and I am studying. How much I study depends upon how prepared I feel for my violin recital. I can't see jeopardizing something that's been documented as a major factor in medical school acceptance for something that I'll do only if I have no other options. Still, it isn't entirely unwise to hedge one's bets.

I'll begin scheduling medical school interviews as soon as MCAT scores are reported. My current plan is to attempt to stay in California for medical school, but I will not put all my eggs in that basket and end up gaining acceptance nowhere. I'm also looking at U. of Nevada - Reno, a place in east Tennessee, and University of Washington, which actually covers about five states, including Idaho, in the city where my aunt and uncle live. Between the three out-of-state schools and the seven California schools to which I apply, if I'm not admitted somewhere, it wasn't meant to be. Ten is a large number of interviews. I have a very light courseload in anticipation of the interviews, but ten is still a considerable number. If I have any dead time when waiting around before or after interviews, I'll probably hike or take a cab over to the main university with my violin and find a practice room. Most of the interviews will take place before my recital, and I'll have to make any spare minute count.

Soon enough, this portion of my life will be history, and I'll have some new aspect of my future over which to obsess.

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