Things change, things stay the same

by Lorien E. Menhennett

Note: This post was written 5/29/2010, while I was on a plane on my way to Hawaii. I had no Internet access on the Big Island, so I am just now posting this.

In no time at all, I launch my official pre-med journey.

T-minus 3 months … 

Yes, that “3 months” refers to the beginning of school. Hard to believe that in a short 90 days or so, I’ll be a student again, after a 7-year stint as a grown-up.

So much feels the same, and yet, so much has changed.

I have yet to finalize my course load — so far I’m registered for Chemistry, Biology, Calculus, and a 1-hour “Topics in Medicine” class (it’s a requirement for me). I’m also trying to get into Physics, which my advisor has assured me will be a non-issue. That would put me a 17 hours – a pretty heavy load for someone who hasn’t been a student in nearly a decade. So I’m in the middle of a debate with myself: do I take all of these classes? Take Physics next year instead? But I’ve heard taking Physics with Organic Chemistry (a so-called “weed-out” course I have to take in the 2011-2012 school year) is a nightmare. Then there’s the issue of my wanting to take as many of the “fun” upper-level electives as I can, which means getting the basic pre-requisites out of the way ASAP. *sigh*

This reminds me of when I was preparing to start my freshman year in high school. The debate then was whether to take a 2-hour accelerated science course, or just take the 1-hour basic (in my mind: “dummy”) science course. I remember being at my grandparents’ cabin in Colorado, sleeping on the pull-out bed and obsessing over this dilemma. (In the end, I took the easier class because the harder one just didn’t seem worth it; plus it didn’t fit in my schedule very well. It turned out to be a good decision.)

However, this time around, I am not obsessing. Actually, I am very calm. My approach? Sign up for all the classes, start off the semester, and see how things go. If the classes are too much, I’ll drop one of them before the “drop” date and no one will be the wiser.

In these 15 intervening years, between the ages of 13 and 28, I have learned to have faith in myself, and in my decision-making abilities. I am more flexible. I have learned to handle change. I believe things will work out, and work out well. The thought of the unknown, of uncertainty, does not leave me panic-stricken.

Some things stay the same. Thankfully, other things do change.