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24 Years Old And A Terrible Gpa. Should I Try It?


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Hello everyone, this is my first post on this forum, so I'd like to say hello to everyone who's reading this.

 

Here's my story. I started undergrad right after high school in a biology program with the intention of applying to medical school. Got excellent marks first term, but decided that the whole med school application process was too daunting. I transferred to computer science for the next term. Bad idea.

 

I did very well in my first term of computer science, but from then on I crashed and burned hard and was required to withdraw from the university. Part of it was laziness, I admit, but part of it was probably the fact that I just wasn't cut out for that kind of mathematically intense program. On top of that, about a year into the program, I started experiencing severe depression, suicidal thoughts, and committing self harm. I almost attempted suicide before I finally went in to seek treatment.

 

Fast forward to the present, and I am now in far better shape in terms of mental health. I am taking medication and seeing the doctor regularly, but my condition is as close to stable as it has been in a long time. I have been studying a skilled trade at a college and have been doing phenomenally well on the theoretical aspects, but very average when it comes to the practical aspects, which are themselves far more important. I have been working in the field this fall term and have realised that this industry is really not suited to a skinny, nerdy bookworm like myself.

 

However, the way back into university is a difficult one. I left uni with an average of about 65%, and though it seems like I'll probably get back to being a full-time student easily enough, I am now faced with the possibility of resurrecting my old dream of attending medical school and becoming a doctor. So my question to you guys is: Should I take the chance?

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Not sure what you are really asking. I know it says "Should I take a chance?" but you are probably already aware that the only person who could possibly know if this is that important to you is you.

 

Is it possible? Yes. You know your grades are crap but you could probably start at the bottom (community college) and transfer to a university after you prove yourself for a year or two. Everything else is logistics, money, student loans, work, moving back home, etc.

 

You state that you are capable of getting high grades so taking that at face value it is just a matter of motivation, something that appears to be 99% of your "problem". I won't get sidetracked on a rant about how many people who come on here claiming that they could get a 4.0 if they just put in the effort. Personally I believe that 90% of the population can get a 4.0 with enough motivation and drive but that is precisely why most people don't and it is precisely why they chose GPA as a marker of selecting people. I don't know if you are both capable of maintaining that kind of motivation for 10+ years or if medicine is a sufficient carrot at the end of the stick for you. Without wanting to read too much into the limited information you have provided it sounds like at the wee age of 24 you have already had 3 major changes in direction in your life, none of which you have seen through. I'm not saying you are not capable but that definitely remains to be seen.

 

Is this worth the incredible amount of effort you would have to put in/is medicine really worth it? I don't know, that is an incredibly personal question but I think you have already answered this with this line: "but decided that the whole med school application process was too daunting". I think if it meant that much to you, you wouldn't be so quick to abandon it. From my experience people don't just throw in the towel on their life's goal especially when they "Got excellent marks first term". Now maybe you are a different person and at a different place in your life, that is totally fair. I came to medicine (very) late so I can relate. I didn't even start undergrad until I was 28. 

 

Sorry if this sounds a bit harsh but I don't think anyone here is qualified to give you an answer to your question and I think if anyone tells you to "just give it a shot" they are giving you poor advice. You have a lot to lose and I am not getting a sense that this is worth the risk for you. Maybe I am wrong, I hope I am. But I wouldn't give up a good job that you have just spent X number of years training for for a half-hearted attempt at a very remote chance at something you don't seem to be very serious about obtaining until you are 100% sure that this isn't some passing fancy and that the only way you can be happy in life is if you are a doctor.

 

I wish you luck with your decision.

 

 

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I don't think anyone can tell you if you 'should'. It all depends on your financial circumstance at the moment, other life plans for the next few years and your willingness to delay those plans while in additional years of undergrad + potentially med school, and whether there is an alternative path with less resistance that you could be happy with. Depends on your personal risk tolerance as well. Good luck!

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Hey all, thanks for the replies.

 

@Fresh fry:

To ask a more specific question, I guess what I really want to know is how med schools view applicants that have had very poor academic performance in the past, but have been able to recover academically in more recent years. I've researched this online, but I still don't think I have all the answers. My understanding is that, obviously, students that have been required to withdraw are looked upon negatively. However, I am also aware that some med schools consider only recent GPA, while others look at the most recent degree obtained. This leads me to the question of whether I would be considered to have started a second degree program if I was required to withdraw from an institution and then readmitted.

 

As for what you said about the fact that I seem to have changed direction a lot in my life, I appreciate the criticism. I feel that way myself, but the experience that I have had in the HVAC trade leads me to believe that I am very ill-suited to work in this industry. I'm just not the 'handyman' type, so I believe a career change is almost inevitable. Also, not to be rude or anything, but my 'good job that I spent X years training for' is really just an unpaid helper position that I spent 8 months in school for. But, as you said, it is a very personal decision at the end of the day, and one that I am devoting a lot of time and effort to making.

 

Honestly, I really wanted to focus on the more technical aspects of how med school admissions work with my question, rather than on the more personal question of whether medicine is the right decision for me.

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Thanks for the resources. I've had a look at them, but I'm still not sure if being readmitted after withdrawing from university would be considered a second degree. Do you know how that works?

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You absolutely can do it, there is absolutely a path for you (or at least as much as anyone has a chance). Calgary for example doesn't include marks ten years old or older. The choice however is up to you. I know it means positioning yourself in a place where you have opportunity, and being able to overcome challanges other students wouldn't have. Only you know if the path is one you want to go down. A word of caution though. If you choose to try for medicine, choose a path that allows you to feel fulfilled and will position you for an alternative career path if you don't get in right away, or decide part way through that it isn't for you. Be wary of people that tell you exactly how to do it, where to volunteer etc. Instead reflect on your values, and engage in things that allow you to explore yourself in a meaningful way. What ever you do, be committed, and do it well. Good luck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the resources. I've had a look at them, but I'm still not sure if being readmitted after withdrawing from university would be considered a second degree. Do you know how that works?

The only school that formally cares about something being a true second degree is McGill. Because your first one was interrupted, it is possible that McGill would include those grades in an eventual GPA. The others (Western, Dalhousie, Queens, Ottawa) would simply use your most recent X grades so it does not really matter how they view that first degree.

 

You did ask "should i try?" in the subject, which is why people are commenting on that. It is somewhat unclear to me from your post why you are interested in medicine. Med is in many ways a very practical profession as well... Before you embark on this project, please be sure this is the route you want. There is of course no need for you to answer this question here, as long as you can answer it for yourself. :)

 

That said, it is doable. My stats:

First degree GPA 2.92

Second degree 3.95

Now second year med. It took me 5 years to get here though from the day I decided. Absolutely worth it, but make sure you are sure.

 

Best of luck.

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The only school that formally cares about something being a true second degree is McGill. Because your first one was interrupted, it is possible that McGill would include those grades in an eventual GPA. The others (Western, Dalhousie, Queens, Ottawa) would simply use your most recent X grades so it does not really matter how they view that first degree.

 

You did ask "should i try?" in the subject, which is why people are commenting on that. It is somewhat unclear to me from your post why you are interested in medicine. Med is in many ways a very practical profession as well... Before you embark on this project, please be sure this is the route you want. There is of course no need for you to answer this question here, as long as you can answer it for yourself. :)

 

That said, it is doable. My stats:

First degree GPA 2.92

Second degree 3.95

Now second year med. It took me 5 years to get here though from the day I decided. Absolutely worth it, but make sure you are sure.

 

Best of luck.

 

Actually, above mentioned post tells everything. 

- It's absolutely doable. 

- Be prepared that it might turn into a long journey, so don't rush. 

- If you think, you are financially and academically not ready to do well in your second degree, take time off. 

- Many of us don't want to waste a year and jump into doing something that is not feasible for us at that stage.It's not a smart strategy. 

 

In a nutshell,  if you can work hard to make yourself academically competitive and have patients, I bet you will make it.  

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Oh anybody reading this thread--> don't study computer science if you ever think of going to medicine. It's a total different world. In the entire four years program, you won't take a single course that would help you prepare for mcat or medical school. 

 

I know people will tell you that it teaches you logical and mathematical reasoning that is at core of medicine. Oh well, you can learn it counting stars too. 

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