Stress, stress, and more stress. Not just because of my classes. I'm actually not hugely concerned about them right now (which is probably bad). Something I didn't realize until a few months ago was that if you want to go to medical school without taking a year off, you have to be prepared to apply the summer after your junior year. I don't know why I didn't realize this, maybe it's because I was focusing on my coursework more than my goals after graduating, but for whatever reason I didn't. That was a huge stress addition because I don't think I'm anywhere near prepared for taking the MCAT, and I haven't done any sort of research (which is also a problem in terms of graduating).
To deal with the preparedness, I applied for research (which I didn't get), and I signed up for an MCAT prep course. This started last month, and everything was going relatively smoothly. I had partially gotten over the stress of having to prepare so quickly for the application process (although there are more issues with that that are freaking stressful). But very recently I had started looking at medical schools that I could apply to. Based on my GPA alone pretty much, since I haven't taken the MCAT. This causes a problem, because in terms of GPA I'm not super excellent. I'm not terrible, but I'm also fantastic in that department. Also, having taken a practice MCAT and getting a super terrible score, my hopes of getting into a top-notch med school were not that high.
Looking at medical schools in California, I realized that my chances of getting into a school in the state were very low. California schools are pretty top-notch, and they also have a low acceptance. At first I didn't think this was a huge problem, I could just go out of state, what's the big deal, it's four years. But then I started factoring in my other life concerns/goals. I have always wanted children, and I don't want to be particularly old when I have them. I was hoping to be ready to have a kid by the time I'm thirty. In my previous life plans I figured this would be fine since I likely wouldn't meet someone suitable until medical school. But I didn't think about the possibility of meeting that person before medical school.
Now I've had to consider what moving out of state would mean. It would mean four years (at least) apart from my partner. I think it would be a possibility that our relationship would survive the long distance, but how does this factor into my life goals and family planning? Sure, I might still be ready to have kids by the time I'm thirty, but those four years will likely change the dynamics of the relationship and maybe even ruin it. And then there's the additional factor that I'd have to move again for my residency, which for an OB/GYN is three years.
I've considered other options, such as nursing or becoming a physician's assistant, but I'm not sure what to do. I've wanted to be a doctor for a pretty long time now, but do I really want to give up that much time (not to mention money!) when I might not be happy with the end result? And if I do decide to pursue something with shorter schooling, will I regret my decision later?