This most certainly was not the post I had planned for this week. But, I was perusing A Wanderer’s Adventure (it’s such a great blog!) and came across Amelie’s post about being in control of your own life and I had to respond because it’s something that I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. Seriously stop reading this and go read that post, then come back. I’ll wait.
Yay, you came back! I told you I’d wait.
First off, I have to thank Amelie for being so open in her post. It was definitely #RealTalk. And second, I’m glad that she was able to put this feeling into words because I feel like it’s something that college students experience the most. Seeing these words on paper got me thinking about the ways in which you can take control of your life mentally to pursue your passions even when everyone has something to say.
I’ve been planning to be a doctor for basically my entire life and, as I’ve gotten older and advanced further in my education, I’ve seen that my path is pretty much set for me. It’s all very formulaic with little to no experimentation allowed. Equally as problematic is the sheer number of people who want to offer their advice and tell me what I should be doing exactly to get into med school and beyond. And quite frankly, a lot of their advice has been rather useless.
For example, I’ve been told that I need to spend all of this time researching. That I need to be interning in a lab for at least two years in order to be taken seriously by any medical school. Literally everyone I’ve talked to about it has said that I should definitely do it. Unfortunately for them, I can’t stand the traditional lab research setting, called bench research. I just don’t find it even a little bit interesting. And while there are a ton of research opportunities, I don’t find what they’re researching to be interesting enough for me to devote hours of my life to it.
But everyone says I should be researching so I can pursue my dream. And it’s demoralizing to think that I’ll have to subject myself to something I’m not passionate about because it’s expected of me. Especially because there hasn’t been a single person I’ve spoken to in person who has given me any other options.
Here’s the truth though. There is absolutely no need to do research prior to medical school. I’ve done my research and while it may give you a certain edge, I’d rather be passionate about what I talk about during interviews than be a researcher. I’d rather get international clinical experience than spend my time doing lab research.
// Live Fiercely
Don’t do things that you aren’t passionate about or that won’t definitely get you closer to the goals you are passionate about.
We as college students are extremely blessed and lucky to even have the opportunity to go to college. It’s something only a small percentage of people will ever get the opportunity to do. We are even more lucky to live in a world of choice, where you get to be the person to determine where your future will go.
Take these lucky chances and pursue the things you’re passionate about. Make the choice to not waste your own time and realize that you don’t have to do life the same way that everyone does or the way that everyone tells you it should be done. Take a risk and if you fail, at least you’ve tried and you can go back to doing it like everyone told you to. But if you succeed, you’ve succeeded in your own passion and by your own path.
// Listen to Advice and Evaluate its Value
Everyone is going to give you advice. Everyone is going to have something to say given the chance. But they’re speaking from their perspective and what they’ve seen. So listen to their advice and determine, for yourself, if their advice also applies to you. If not, don’t use it and go about your life.
// You are the Only One Looking Out for You
That’s a phrase that’s been sticking out to me for several months. And it’s true. Everyone else has an agenda with their advice, regardless of if it’s good or bad. Everyone is telling you advice with the intention of persuading you in a specific direction.
You are the only person who truly knows you. You are the only person who is looking out for your interests and priorities. Other people may not be.
So put yourself first. Take every piece of advice with a grain of salt because there is always a way that that they are trying to sway. Look out for yourself because you’re only agenda is you.
Be unique in your life. You don’t have to do what’s always been done if it doesn’t satisfy you. Life is far too short to be stuck doing things that you really and truly hate that aren’t ultimately going to get you where you want to be in the future.
Have you been pursuing your passions? How are you planning to pursue your passions?