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Why I Don’t Want To Be Pre-Med Anymore

I first decided to be a pre-med student while I was a junior in high school, still caught up on ideas of changing the world one person at a time. When I told my mom, she was ecstatic that her daughter was already reaching for the top. She told anyone who would listen about how proud I had made her. When I came to Kenyon, that was all I was thinking about: how I would be able to pack in all the requirements to be able to go to medical school? I saw my four years here not as a completely separate and new experience, but rather as another checkpoint that I needed to pass through if I wanted to be successful.

I walked into the pre-med session with absolute certainty that it was what I wanted. Medical school was what I wanted to dedicate my four years to. When I walked out of the session, however, I felt like I was in a daze. It was so much, and I wasn’t entirely sure that I was ready for it all. It wasn’t the workload that terrified me, it was the finality of the decision that weighed heavily on my shoulders. I realized that I didn’t really want to be a pre-med student. I had no idea what this meant for me. I felt like a liar. Years of telling people these grand plans for the future, waiting for their approval, felt wasted. I went back to my dorm and stared at my blank walls, already having my token college existential crisis within the first few days of orientation. I took to the internet, trying to find articles that would back up my decision not to pursue this path. I found features calling the much-revered profession miserable and humiliating; however, I didn’t feel reassured. I wanted to make the people who supported me proud, and I believed that I was disappointing them.

A few days later, I was texting back and forth with a friend from back home, trying to get my feelings in order. In the midst of talking about homesickness and excitement for the new year, I realized how I wanted to spend my time at Kenyon. I wanted to better myself, wanted to spend more time writing and drawing, wanted to be more open to any unusual opportunities awarded to me. Worrying so much about my future was only going to cause me grief in the long run.​This trail of thought grew into my new resolution for the year: make myself proud of the person that I become. Realistically, I know that I won’t always be happy with myself. Sometimes I’ll be disappointed when I inevitably turn in a bad paper or make stupid choices. I’ll make mistakes. But, I’ll also do great things at Kenyon. I can feel it in my gut which is almost never wrong. I don’t really know what the future holds, but then again, no one else does either. And I’m trying my best to be okay with that.


Image Credit: Feature, 1, 2


Johanna is a writer for Her Campus Kenyon. She is currently a sophomore International Studies major at Kenyon College. While she has zero coordination, she loves to dance and can often be found dancing to Taylor Swift in her dorm. She loves to travel and wants to see more of the world.
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