Choosing a degree in the medical field for college can be easy for some, as it’s always been a dream or they’ve had role models close to them growing up. But for others, it might seem like a whole new challenge to try and take on. Either way, it’s something most of us find challenging and—to some degree—a rough path to take.
ALSO READ: How Much Will It Cost You to Go to Med School?
To clear some misconceptions and to shed light about what it’s like to be in the medical or health-allied field, we’ve rounded up some things to consider before writing down that BS degree on your college application forms.
1. Your Calling Should Be As Strong As Your Passion
Discovering your passion sounds like a tough task, especially when it feels like everyone around you has their life sorted out and you’re still stuck on trying new things to feel a *spark*. The medical field is not for everyone. It’s a rigorous journey that may involve memorizing for hours on end and quizzes that keep you up at night. It requires you to put your big–girl shoes on and be tough. One advice you may hear out there is that you should have a “calling” to survive in this field.
If you don’t know what that is, the fact that you opened this article is already a start. Something “called” on you to check it out, perhaps? Take this a sign that maybe, just maybe, saving lives is something you’re suited for.
2. Your Social Life May or May Not Be At Risk
Getting into the medical field is something that takes time. And when we say that, we mean staying home instead of going out for a party. It’s not something that makes you antisocial but it does put you in situations where decisions are harder to make because an invite to hangout and a 148-page document are staring at you at the same time. If you want to keep your social life AND that degree, here’s a quick insider tip: We bring our notes and highlighters with us wherever we go!
3. Building Your Habits Goes a Long Way
When we say that a health-allied degree is time consuming, we mean it. As early as your first year, you will find yourself trying real hard to make the most out of your day — and that would sometimes mean studying at least three subjects at a time. In other situations, like if you’re planning to pursue Nursing, you have to alot time in the morning to get ready and be as presentable as you can. Different fields will come with different priorities, and all of it requires discipline and good habits for you to succeed not only in your college years, but in the workforce as well.
4. You May End Up Redirecting Your Goals Along The Way
A tough wake-up call for a lot of us in the medical field is that there are some dreams you may end up letting go of. That brings us back to our first point: Your calling should be as strong as your passion. The amount of stress and sleepless nights can push you past your limits at some point, and we’re here to tell you that there’s nothing wrong with that.
What we’re trying to say here is that you need to accept what’s not for you, and that may be the harsh truth for some. Being in this field makes you manage your expectations day by day. Your dream job may change over the course of your degree, and it will keep on changing. It may burn you out or it may shape you to become tougher to take on medical school! Letting go may be hard to do in the end, but take it one step at a time and just keep swimming.
5. Consider Your Financial Capacity
While the medical field is already hard as it is, it can get tough on our budgets as well. For instance, pursuing a Medical Technology degree may require you to buy needles, tubes, and cotton balls every other week, plus a book for almost every subject. That is on top of your semester tuition fees.
Side note: Research on your school’s financial aid options as universities often offer multiple opportunitiesto those in need. As for the school supplies and books, reach out to seniors! Some of them may lend you notes and share the cheapest places to buy equipment. Getting around is the way to ease the financial burden on some of us.
6. You Will Be Risking Your Own Health For Others
In a nutshell, being a healthcare provider is all about saving lives and providing healthcare for everyone around us. But the challenge can come when you’re exposing yourself to different diseases. Even as a student, you’re already exposed to a lot of infections. Some degrees actually require you to get a Hepa-B shot before your internship, while others require you to come face to face with different microbes in the laboratory. Aside from exposure, the amount of stress you’ll be going through can also have a significant impact on your own health.
Although it’s tough being in this field, this is also where you can find people to back you up and understand what you go through every day. Once you find the right people, you will form ridiculous mnemonics no one else could understand, joke over countless cups of coffee the night before exams, and even cry together over some of the most nerve-wracking tasks.
My advice: Find your people. That alone goes a long way.