I was born in a very typical Chinese family, and what ever luxury my family is able to afford today was no short a hard work and persistence, I'd rather say my mother have made for the past 2 decades I was under her wings.
To her, education was everything, and being able to score in public examinations totally make it even more reasonable for me, her eldest son to take up medicine as my life long career.
As a child I wasn't sure of what I wanted to do, and when I hopped on to secondary education, I thought medicine was the way, no thanks to Grey's Anatomy and some in born affinity for biology instead of physics. Then it came to Pre-University, after which I've realized my passion was to deal with people and events, or rather almost submerging myself into stardom by allowing everyone to know of my existence, hence I thought of Public Relations.
Being a typical Chinese parent, my mother was hardcore against it, and I ended taking bio-science.
The drama was, I took A levels first, before I succumbed to the pressure of financial burden I cast on myself, instead of my parents. The wrong choice was to not enroll in the January program, but the March program, which was accelerated by 3 months, compressing a 18 months course to a 15 months' instead.
Being yakked by the parents of how much rm30k can afford wasn't as easy, especially for a teenager with ego and pride. My 1st semester test was so so, the grades was not as good as I thought they would be, taking down to 1A and 4Bs, the pressure was immense. From there, I took off with STPM, and my sail was a breezy one. At least I wouldn't need to deal with financial constraints because the 18 months in STPM summed up to less than rm7k inclusive of tuition and living cost.
As dominating as my mum was, and still is, she never failed to say "I told you so" when I did well in STPM. I was stubborn when I was 18, and I made a mistake by taking A lvls. STPM was certainly a good course and I enjoyed thoroughly, much better than I thought I would.
Along STPM, I told my mum I wanted to take up pharmacy instead of medicine. I told her if she wants to see an insane son coming into the house one day, fine I will take up medicine. Then onwards she wasn't that pushy. That was when I built up affinity for chemistry and the rest was just bla bla blas. In end of STPM, I've realized how easy people can get into pharmacy and how redundant it is to take up medicine, dentistry or pharmacy with so many Tom Dick and Harry taking up these courses as well. What happened to the prestige medicine courses required before? So when I graduate I will need to associate with people like these as doctors? What if people just treat me like they are, the sub-standardized doctors? Seriously, people have been telling me how bad doctors these days can get, and the image patients see doctors is totally discard-able. Nevertheless, I couldn't draw, I hated physics and history, architect, engineer and lawyer is out of the list, I'm down with medicine. Since medicine is the only course available for me to branch out to more sub specialities, I've stuck with it. However, this never stopped me from hesitating to enroll in a med school, or taking up med as my career due to the hard work and pressure I will need to deal with behind those white gowns. Overtime, on calls for 36 hours, lifeless anatomy or physiology memorizing nights, doesn't sound that inviting or glamorous to me. I was always finding a substitute degree, and at one point I was seriously considering linguistics for example a degree in latin or german would be better because I'm so good with languages!(Or rather I like languages. I bought 5 dictionaries in the last Big Bad Wolf sales and I am full time veterinary medicine degree student. How crazy can I get?)
Then it comes to UPU. Medicine is no cheap course. 5 yrs in private institutions sums up to rm250k the leastt and being ambitious as I was forever I only aimed on top-notched universities like IMU, Monash, NUMed and so on. Mahsa, Aimst, UTAR was out of the question. I did try my luck with the public university. with a CGPA of 3.85 in STPM, getting into a medicine program in local institutions is probably by the percentage of 0%.
However, I have no idea what jolted across my brain when I was making the application and I've put Veterinary Medicine as my 5th choice in the UPU application. I have had no intentions, no ideas nor clues that I would want to pursue a degree or career as a vet before this. It was something , totally out of the blues.
I've successfully obtained admission into IMU and Monash, and the intake is on Feb of 2012. With a long break from september to february, I'd probably cocooned at least thrice till my next intake after a 9 months' break from STPM. Henceforth, it was a deal that I enroll in UPM for vet, one semester, just to have a taste of what it is like, and hopefully the experience can make me a better doctor. Too bad things turned out to be worst. I totally loved my experience as a vet student! The events, the practicals, the prospects, the outings and the company, staying as vet would be so much more rational than to invest another rm450k on a medicine degree, and after 5 yrs I still have to suffer for another 5 yrs before I'm a certified GP. How many GPs will there be by the time I've graduated? Tonnes.
Yet, my mom have her own agendas behind her mind. Taking up a 5 yrs mbbs does not mean I should be a good doc. I shall just take up dermatology and start a skin care enterprise instead. There are so many beauty salons doing that right now. Doing the same thing would allow me to make a fortune out of my degree, and a few more years of masters.
The best of all, my son's a doctor! Not an animal one, a human one!
She did ask me not to disappoint her and embarrass the family by taking up vet instead of med.
I was really unhappy about that. The thing is she is so dominant that she always render me speechless in the mini-debates I have and my rationals only kicked in after those sessions.
As for now, people would ask me to follow what I like.
I might have some phobias in making decisions like this after what I've went through in the A lvls-STPM fiasco. It was no fun. Selecting another wrong route would just devastate me. I did think about it. I have grown, and people DO make mistakes. I might have made one, but it doesn't mean that the ones I've made subsequently are going to be wrong decisions either. My mum said she couldn't trust me anymore with my decisions because of the fiasco.
After experiencing vet, and me making a point that I'd wish to stay, my mum too said that she wouldn't trust me anymore, because the deal was to experience for 6 months, end of story, dot.
I know the speech behind about what I want and not what my parents want. I have the power to make a decision, the choices are there and I even have a backup plan ready just in case my mum totally forbids me to take vet. I can just apply for PTPTN loan. The loan is rm35k, my 5 yrs course in rm20k, I'll just have to starve along my way throughout the 5 yrs. At least I'm doing something I'd want by my own plea, not under others'.
I think it's because my family's wish for me to take medicine that I had this weird vibes against medicine. My reasons for not taking medicine are:
1- Overflow and loss of prestige. Being a vet is much more exclusive.I'm the only person in my school taking vet while another 50 of my friends are taking med. Hello? Competitions!
2- The hard work and time behind it. After the killer year in STPM, going through it for another 5 yrs seemed really demotivating
3- The amount spent behind it. Rm450k? Kill me. I can earn rm20k back in 8 months after I'be graduated. The income generated by vets in the future might be even more. It might be childish to look at the figures these way, but I need more to time find the economical projection of a medical officer's income for the next 50 yrs till I'm 50 yrs old to tell my family off.
4- The passion for it has dried out. I no longer seek the excitement to be in OT. I have this empathy for all, human beings and animals alike. Since there are less people dealing with animals, why not I go for it instead?
The values my family, including my relatives have about being medical officers are they are much respected, earns more, and have the potential to earn more in the future compared to the rest. Plus, docs are much more reputable than vets. They want me to be able to generate more $$$ and live a wealthy life.
I do understand where they are seeing this from. They wouldn't want to push me to a abyss of demise. They want the best for me and I'm really appreciative of that. They came from a poor family background and they've worked really hard to be as established as they are today. Being able to see me as a doctor, the first doctor in the family is totally worth the rm450k.
I'm just done being the burden of the family. I was okay with doctor, seriously I was. But telling them that I want to continue with vet, seemed to be really childish. It might be just because vet is something so new, I'm just being attracted to something new like how people are attracted to new toys and phones.