Thanks for the responses. It is good to hear from others who've had similar experiences.
It's also good to hear from those of you who were the youngest in your classes. We have 2 20-year-olds in my class, one male and one female. It's interesting, because I am great friends with the women. She and I are at opposite ends of the pole. She's the youngest; I'm the oldest.
I've been very fortunate to make a number of friends, mostly women, at school and I find that most of the students are very supportive of each other, which is one of the reasons I chose this school. I think my feeling of isolation comes mostly from feeling abandoned by the administration. That may sound strange. I never expected them to play much of a role in my med school life, but then they kept saying how supportive they were and how we should come to them if we needed anything. So I was completely unprepared for the negative response I got from them when I applied to go part-time (at the suggestion of a great anatomy prof who had previously been on the committee).
To respond to an earlier question, I'm pretty sure I'll have to repeat the year based on the criteria set out in the handbook. One of my grades is in the "repeat" category. It's so embarrassing for me to feel like a failure. I've based most of my life on academic success (a substitution for parental attention/love), and now I'm having a hard time accepting even a temporary academic deficit.
However, I do think that things happen for a reason, and I've been talking to everyone I know about their significant personal, career, spiritual, and family experiences to see what similarities there are in recognizing life-altering events.
Enough rambling. Thanks for listening.
And I'm sorry to hear about the negative comments made to the younger students. People who are not secure enough in themselves sometimes find it necessary to put others down. Too bad they don't realize it's only to their own detriment.
people are bound to find out how old you are if you can't go to bars/clubs even as a 2nd yr medical student to join in on the post-exam celebrations. word gets around.
i'm happy for you that you're experience has not been as bad as mine but that doesn't negate the degree to which i had to withstand discrimination.
my objective in bringing this to light at this site for those mothers who are going thru medical school is that there is no such thing as an ideal medical student irrespective of age, family responsibilites, financial circumstances...
in med school you have to be dedicated to medicine. learn to see your weights as boons. Family is a great source of distraction from the black hole that medicine makes life seem.
it helps you prioritize things in life and is a daily reminder that there are things that are bigger than the temple of medical school.
i refused to give up everything that i cared about, sacrifice the people that were important in my life, the time i spent with my loved ones, or let my character deteriorate in the way i treated others just b/c of the pressures of school.
if passing was all i could do and still maintain my integrity and values and things that made my life worth it and circumstances/relationships i had worked so hard to build then i would settle for a simple-scraping-by-pass anyday.
in the end it's not the grades that make you the better doctor, it's the kind of person you are, i sincerely believe.