In the last part of this dreary saga, I recounted my high school days in clinical rotations including my best and worst experiences shadowing doctors with my socially anxious personality. One of the best things of that experience that I didn’t mention was how close I got to eight of the girls who were in clinicals with me. Though each one shadowed a different doctor/area we rode in the same car and had lunch together. It was my first friend group in a long time and it was beautiful. So, when 12th grade came by, though I had already decided to pursue a career as a neurologist and knew I’d benefit most from the EKG and EEG class, I followed my friends to a pharmacy technician class.
Let me clarify that I had absolutely no interest in memorizing medicines or anything that went along with that class. But I had my friends. And that was better for me. Thing is, I have no idea who wanted to take this class. None of us five (the rest either graduated or didn’t take anymore clinical classes) seemed to have great interest in the class. We spent most of it taking dismal notes and goofing off. The class was one of those easy to pass classes that required minimal studying. So, I got through the class and told myself it was okay. I’d just study once I graduated and then take the certification exam during the summer to become a pharmacy technician and get a well paying job while in university.
Well… that’s clearly not what happened, or I wouldn’t be telling this story. Before 12th grade I was an excellent student. Though I procrastinated all throughout high school, I don’t think I turned in a single thing incomplete or late before 12th grade. I always gave myself just enough time to finish assignments well enough to get an A. But, I was going through some stuff.
Stuff too lengthy to get into right now. 9th grade to 11th I coped by making my life about my school work and grades. I didn’t have friends. Not a single friend in 9th grade. I sat alone every day at lunch. It was miserable. Then in 10th grade, I joined AVID (the class that helps students apply to university) and I gained a social circle of sorts (I personally didn’t have a friend, but I had a group of people I felt safe with). 11th grade I clicked with (as I call them) my clinical sisters. 12th grade I was still struggling, but I had friends: my clinical sisters and a friend from AVID. I tried something I’d never considered before. I stopped making my grades a priority. I wanted to do poorly.
So, naturally I learned nothing in my pharmacy course and became a mediocre student. I failed my first exam that year. Got my first C, I think in all my years of school. This whole change began in 11th grade (same time I began writing poetry) but it really exploded in 12th grade. It dropped my GPA noticeably. I still graduated with something around a 3.5, but haa. I hate emotions. Okay, so now you guys know, I screwed up my GPA if I had any hopes of being accepted into a medical school like Johns Hopkins or an Ivy League like Harvard. (I’ve got a story on that for later…) And on top of that, by not taking the Pharmacy Tech exam, I also screwed myself out of an entry level job that would have paid me between $12 to $15 an hour. That’s really good coming out of high school where the minimum wage is $7.25!
Without the money to afford an out of state school, I was left with public schools in my home state (Texas). (Or an all girl’s school in Pennsylvannia… but that is also another story…) I ended up going to the university my AVID teacher, Ms. Dar, went to. She’d taught me so much and I trusted her, so it seemed like a safe place by proxy.
But, I made a mistake when applying. I was the first person to go to university in my immediate family and while I could have asked Ms. Dar who would have, very willingly, helped me, I didn’t ask for help. Understatement of the year: not asking for help when I clearly need it is a theme in my life. By not asking for help, I cluelessly chose the wrong college at my university. Majors are divided among different colleges at universities. I didn’t know that at the time. I applied considering studying to be a neurologist. But… that wasn’t the question I was asked when I enrolled.
I was asked what college I was enrolling to. I skimmed the little drop down list momentarily debating if medicine would be under the arts and sciences college or the human sciences college. Well, medicine is the study of human anatomy and physiology, so I deduced I must be applying to the college of human sciences. I am a procrastinator. I must have been rushed. Or maybe I was too lazy to look it up. Or maybe I did look it up to no avail. I didn’t know how to navigate my university’s website at the time (I think I still don’t 100%).
Thing is, I made an educated guess and it was wrong. I ended up with the soft sciences that have something to do with humans like addiction and recovery, nutrition and dietetics, human development and family studies, and assorted human related careers like personal financial planning, restaurant, hotel, and institutional management, and family and consumer sciences education.
OOPS. That wrong click changed my life. And it’s why I’m here in Puerto Rico as part of a dietetic internship instead of in med school.
Well, that was a long part 2, but I’d forgotten how life changing that last year of high school was for me. I hope you enjoyed reading about my teenage blunders and I hope you come back for part three. I may write it for next weekend, or the one after that. Depends if I get inspired by something else. Let me know if there’s a particular topic you’d like me to write about or if you’ve ever been through a similar experience in the comments below. I can’t be the only one who has gone through all of the educational portion of a career or certificate and just thrown it away by not taking the exam. …right?
Either way, I’d love to hear your stories and ideas for future blog posts from me. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internet!