This will be a weird post, but I’m going to do the best I can to help you in your decision making because I know I always have trouble with this one. There are three things to consider:
- Other people
- Everything else
First, come up with a list of dilemmas. Let’s take the one I had written about in my last post: to take on my 6+ jobs with the MCAT or to take on no jobs besides studying for the MCAT next semester. My apparent decision was the former, although after picking up a Barron’s MCAT test prep book at the library I think I might reconsider, especially after reading the part that said “ARE THESE OBLIGATIONS SABOTAGING YOUR EFFORTS? Work, school, travel plans, family obligations, extracurricular activities and volunteer positions all take time. Cut back for success.” Then, I read a part that said, “You should take on no more than 20 hours a week of work or school obligations and keep all other activities to a minimum.”
Now, as much as I like to pride myself in having intense time management skills that gives me the confidence to do well in my classes and the MCAT on top of my bazillion jobs and extracurriculars, let’s be realistic. I think I am becoming more and more delusional about my strengths and confidence as I continue doing better in school. I have not had a 4.0 since my freshman year. That’s not good at all. BUT, I really do think I may be able to pull off a 4.0 this semester if I study really hard in all of my classes. I think I’ve finally hit the tree with this one!
So, what do I do? That was me, and this is them.
“Them” includes: family, friends, co-workers, employers and err’ thang. I know I said to put them in two categories, but I guess in the end you can mush them together because that’s what it’ll feel like when you’re trying to make a decision (you against the world!). What do they say? “Don’t be dumb.” “Be real.” “You’re crazy.” “Get out of here girl.” “I understand that you are a student and you should really consider what you want and what you need to do. Just let me know.” “Hey, I know this is last minute but we really have to meet tomorrow at this time and this place. Sorry for the 16th time.” “Hey, I’m a test prep book and was written by many smart people and you should really take my advice.”
And here’s the last bit of it all: what do you feel now and what do you THINK you’ll feel later? Here’s my response when I tell people I want to take on all this work: “Yeah, I’m just going to do it all. I’ll probably regret it later and hate myself but I really, really, really want to keep everything.”
The solution? It’s probably obvious: COMPROMISE!
I know a lot of my employers would be totally cool with me not working so that I can study for the MCAT (or maybe not if they really need me…it’s nice to be valued at work!), so it’s all up to me and what I want to do. How the heck do I make up my mind? Well, here’s what my brain is going to try and logically work things out and maybe you can apply it to whatever decision you’re trying to make.
Answer these questions:
- What is your goal? Like really, why are you in college or x, y and z? To put it simply, I had intended to come to UIC to earn a degree so that I may be eligible to apply for medical school in hopes of becoming a dermatologist (and saving everyone from eczema by conducting research on the side).
- How does what you are doing right now work with (or not work with) that goal? Um, let’s see…I guess research is relevant because I’m working with skin (in a diabetic realm)…as for all of the other jobs it’s more indirect if anything. Grades were declining but I’m feeling good about this semester.
- What can you do to achieve your goal in the next few minutes to even a couple of years? Do well in school and do well on the MCAT. Get more clinical experience to affirm that the medical track is right for me and that others are not (or maybe they can be but I am more drawn to medicine otherwise).
- With your dilemma, what is holding you back? I want to be able to work to gain experiences that I may not otherwise have in medical school and I want to earn money so that I can pay off my student loans before entering medical school (since THOSE loans are going to add up to be a lot).
- Is there a compromise you can propose and stick with? Yeah…I could at least cut off three jobs and say no to any that arrive. I would tell my employers that I would be on hiatus, or only able to “pop-in” if I have time…okay fine maybe I’ll just simply say hiatus. Grrrr.
- Have you made your decision yet? UM….um….I think so. I forgot to include talking about my club, but it’s my duty as a leader to stick with it! Okay, yes.
And there you have it. I just basically made a long comment to my previous blog post. I know it’s weird to talk to yourself, but it can be quite effective! Now to just inform my employers…poop.
If you have any hardships or things that are really out of your control, I would make an appointment with the counseling center. I don’t think my method works for everything, but if it does that’s awesome. Best of luck! December is on its way and I hope everyone studies hard for their finals! =) GO UIC!