Here's a different take on how my age as affected my mindset. I am now 37. In my 20's and even early 30's I was more readily influenced by naysayers and people who thought I should be living life in a specific manner. About the time I turned 30, I began to have the confidence to disagree with those that would limit my life and what I could accomplish to the goals that they believed appropriate. The results: A year so far of undergraduate work taking heavy loads, working and going through family crises and taking tough courses (not remedial) and carrying a 4.0 pt. a full scholarship for next year, and because I dared to initialy believe in myself, I find that I am surrounded by new people that are happy, willing and able to believe in what I can accomplish and who are willing to stick their necks out and help me get there.
Further results: I know longer feel frustrated like I am not going anywhere, I feel like I will be able to make a difference. Like you my goals are not the BMW and a 400,000 house. A classic convertible, a decent home and lots of travel ie new experiences are the material things I seek and being able to help my children pay back their student loans. I look forward to life where I have the skills and means to help others yet take care of my family.
The point is age gives the time to figure out what is really important in your life.
Check out the National Health Service Corps,
There you'll find information on loan repayment and scholarships for those willing to work in underserved areas. It includes programs for nurses and NP's, not just physicians. Looked like there were opportunities outside the continental US (I noticed Micronesia). Good Luck~
I'll add my 2 cents, even though I'm a relatively young 32!
It is my experience that I am more sure of myself and more adventurous now than I was in my 20's. I was so afraid of getting in over my head and timid when I was younger. Now I see more of the potential in myself and my talents and it has given me the power to pursue my dreams.
Yes, I was more "idealistic" in my 20's, but I would say that I am more able to accomplish important things now. I have the family stability, the long term relationship (marriage), and the experience to put my thoughts into action. Before, I had ideals but no idea how or where to implement them.
As for having kids (3), yes they make me think twice about what I do (thus the prolonged premed approach), but they also inspire me to reach beyond my comfort zone.
I say life gets better as you get older! Huzzah!
By the way, i keep this quote taped to my computer, it applies to motherhood, medicine, missionary work, or whatever else it means to you.
"Vocation is 'where your deep gladness meets the world's deep need."
Don't listen to naysayers, they may be having a bad day!
"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you."
Like other posters, I suffered from a serious case of self-doubt in my 20's. Now at 36, I'm much more confident and assertive where my career goals are concerned. I also maintain contact with people like me (through this web site and oldpremeds), who want to pursue medicine as a career in their 30's which goes along way in keeping me motivated. I do have moments of doubt, but not of my ability to achieve my goals but of how I'm going to manage it with a child. I've decided that if I have to reduce my courseload in medical school I'll do that.
I've tried other careers, now its time for me to do what's in my heart.
Wow, ladies! Thank you so much for the informative and encouraging responses.
Theresa, SpiritDoc and DesertScholar, I find it interesting that so many woman I speak with say this same thing about being more ambitious/able/confident in the 30's than in the 20's...it is enormously comforting. When I was younger and even more impressionable, barely 20, I had some older women who were married with children tell me that if I didn't do what I desired to do when I was young, I wouldn't end up doing it at all. This was profoundly discouraging to me. I guess when you are young you look for mentors, and those women around you that you look up to end up becoming a mentor of sorts, whether they know it or not. I always felt rushed to do something before I turned 30, as if at 30 life ends with marriage and kids! Six years later and a few trips around the world, I feel that my desires are growing stronger, not diminishing. I guess those ladies were wrong. I am beginning to belive that it is about how badly you want it, and not so much about circumstances around you. I have become more determined to live life as I have imagined.
That quote Theresa gave about your deep gladness meeting the world's need is inspiring. Interestingly, I read that quote recently out of a book called "Finding Your mission in Life"...(highly recommended by the way).
Cynthia, thanks for that link, I am looking into Medsend possibilities. I am a Christian, but I am not affiliated with one of the sister organizations. I assume that it would not be too diffucult to become a part of one. It looks like there are some very cool opportunities available through them, I will keep that in mind.
Val, I wanted to thank you for that link to. I am going to research that today. I am getting so excited finding all these opportunities!!! It makes it seem more possible to become a doctor and go, rather than having to wait to pay off loans.
This forum is like some kind of support group, I am so thankful for everyone's comments!
hey reading the other posters and i am happy to say that i gained the confidence to tell my parents that i was pursuing medicine (Im 26 too). Hither to i had been persuaded by my father, who thinks that this is not the course of life i should be leading - that teaching is just fine for me. But I was just like - i value your opinion dad, but i am going to do this and i would like to have your support in doing it, because im going to do it with or with out your support, but I would like to have your support. He, as Dad's do, looked at me and said well I still think you're barking up the wrong tree, but if it's really what you want to do. So I start in November which is cool. Im one step closer to the reality.