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    Excuse me for this but I'm about to depress you all.
    I had been debating between law and medicine for about a year. I always wanted to go into law but last year took a keen and profound interest in medicine. It isnt shocking since I have always been an all rounded person - I achieved 12 A*s at GCSE and A*A*A in Chemistry, Maths and History (with an A at AS Level in Geography). I undertook work experience in both, hated my legal work experience (to be fair it was all administrative) and thoroughly enjoyed my hospital work experience. I thought it was fulfilling and I envisioned myself as a doctor.
    I never acted upon that instinct. I had an offer for Law from Cambridge and took it. Everyone told me I was crazy to reject it and not even I couldnt find the courage to reject it. It was always my dream but I was not 100% happy. I just thought I would get bored of the reading and writing and tired of a legal profession. I became very pessimistic; I wanted to be a human rights barrister but when uni all became real I realized how ambitious and unlikely that was and that, if I was to enter law, i should enter as someone prepared to work as a solicitor in another specialization (you cant enter a profession and think I will only be happy as X and not anything else).
    This decision was eating me alive and eventually I chose the Cambridge offer. I was ecstatic on results day and was so happy about it. But over time in the holidays, when the euphoria was over, I started having breakdowns again. Something was off.
    Right now, my course is good and in fact my uni experience is amazing. Nothing is at fault. I have amazing friends and I live somewhere beautiful! It is all positive. Even my course is likeable; im not miserable or upset. Yet, finally, after battling my thoughts, I know the truth: medicine was for me. It really was. The work experience, the excitement the thought of it brought me, the diversity of the degree with the rotations and PBL etc, the prestige of a doctor, the very fact that I enjoyed Chemistry and Maths more than history (by the end of history a level I was sicking of the nature of the study; research, reading and writing. I just wanted to memorize a bunch of stuff!) - all of these were signs that I was too scared to act upon.
    I was also scared id never get into medicine since
    a. didnt have biology (even thought it wasnt a requirement in many unis)
    b. I didnt have enough work experience. I had some volunteering and experience but I heard of medics with like 2 years worth of it and thought I can never compete.
    Basically, I never took the shot because I was scared of getting 4 rejections and then regretting turning Cambridge down. That is what held me back.
    Now Im doing a course and im devastated. How does someone like me, who works their ass of in education and does their best, end up in a uni doing a course they actually dont want to do? I thought I did everything needed to get to where I want to be. And yet, i know this is really not where I am meant to be.
    I know postgrad medicine is an option but it is so competitive. Im left with the thought that because of myself (lack of courage to apply, lack of research), I chucked away a chance to get into med as an undergrad. I cant live off the idea that 'oh maybe i will get in as a postgrad.' I'm heartbroken basically. It feels surreal that Ive done so well and come so far, yet im in a situation like this. It feels surreal that I out of all people ended up like this. I hate to say this, it makes me sound elitist (I'm not! I came from a State school in a disadvantaged area), but many postgrads apply because they miss their grades. I wasnt even in that position. Its just gutting.

    Im a first year btw and before people say "oh it gets better", let me remind you that I dont hate or even dislike the course. I just know that this is not what I was made for. It took me a year and for me to go to uni to realise this and now im living in guilt, wishing I could go back in time and pursue what I really truly wanted to. Med schools dont accept dropouts.
    I dont know what to do anymore. Im so upset. I just wish I could go back in time. I ruined things for myself and now I have to live with the consequences and its eating me alive.
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    I literally have a medic friend with 100% exact history. Always wanted to do law, then had some hospital work experience and loved it. Got into law school, was scared to reject her offer and went for it.
    She's now GEM student.

    I am not sure if lack of biology will not impede your application so I suggest you stick to law, get a 2:1 or a 1st while getting as much medical work experience as you can and then go for the GEM course.
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    (Original post by mirabella555)
    Excuse me for this but I'm about to depress you all.
    I had been debating between law and medicine for about a year. I always wanted to go into law but last year took a keen and profound interest in medicine. It isnt shocking since I have always been an all rounded person - I achieved 12 A*s at GCSE and A*A*A in Chemistry, Maths and History (with an A at AS Level in Geography). I undertook work experience in both, hated my legal work experience (to be fair it was all administrative) and thoroughly enjoyed my hospital work experience. I thought it was fulfilling and I envisioned myself as a doctor.
    I never acted upon that instinct. I had an offer for Law from Cambridge and took it. Everyone told me I was crazy to reject it and not even I couldnt find the courage to reject it. It was always my dream but I was not 100% happy. I just thought I would get bored of the reading and writing and tired of a legal profession. I became very pessimistic; I wanted to be a human rights barrister but when uni all became real I realized how ambitious and unlikely that was and that, if I was to enter law, i should enter as someone prepared to work as a solicitor in another specialization (you cant enter a profession and think I will only be happy as X and not anything else).
    This decision was eating me alive and eventually I chose the Cambridge offer. I was ecstatic on results day and was so happy about it. But over time in the holidays, when the euphoria was over, I started having breakdowns again. Something was off.
    Right now, my course is good and in fact my uni experience is amazing. Nothing is at fault. I have amazing friends and I live somewhere beautiful! It is all positive. Even my course is likeable; im not miserable or upset. Yet, finally, after battling my thoughts, I know the truth: medicine was for me. It really was. The work experience, the excitement the thought of it brought me, the diversity of the degree with the rotations and PBL etc, the prestige of a doctor, the very fact that I enjoyed Chemistry and Maths more than history (by the end of history a level I was sicking of the nature of the study; research, reading and writing. I just wanted to memorize a bunch of stuff!) - all of these were signs that I was too scared to act upon.
    I was also scared id never get into medicine since
    a. didnt have biology (even thought it wasnt a requirement in many unis)
    b. I didnt have enough work experience. I had some volunteering and experience but I heard of medics with like 2 years worth of it and thought I can never compete.
    Basically, I never took the shot because I was scared of getting 4 rejections and then regretting turning Cambridge down. That is what held me back.
    Now Im doing a course and im devastated. How does someone like me, who works their ass of in education and does their best, end up in a uni doing a course they actually dont want to do? I thought I did everything needed to get to where I want to be. And yet, i know this is really not where I am meant to be.
    I know postgrad medicine is an option but it is so competitive. Im left with the thought that because of myself (lack of courage to apply, lack of research), I chucked away a chance to get into med as an undergrad. I cant live off the idea that 'oh maybe i will get in as a postgrad.' I'm heartbroken basically. It feels surreal that Ive done so well and come so far, yet im in a situation like this. It feels surreal that I out of all people ended up like this. I hate to say this, it makes me sound elitist (I'm not! I came from a State school in a disadvantaged area), but many postgrads apply because they miss their grades. I wasnt even in that position. Its just gutting.

    Im a first year btw and before people say "oh it gets better", let me remind you that I dont hate or even dislike the course. I just know that this is not what I was made for. It took me a year and for me to go to uni to realise this and now im living in guilt, wishing I could go back in time and pursue what I really truly wanted to. Med schools dont accept dropouts.
    I dont know what to do anymore. Im so upset. I just wish I could go back in time. I ruined things for myself and now I have to live with the consequences and its eating me alive.
    Contrary to how it feels at 18, this won’t have ruined your life. You still have options and it’s never too late (well not at 18 anyway) to make changes.

    The way I see it you have a few options.
    Your best one is to finish the law degree. As you’ve said, you actually are having a good time. And that makes you lucky. I say make the most of these three years. Ok so you might not want to be a lawyer at the end (but not everyone who does law will end up being one anyway), but you can enjoy the journey. Enjoy the experience at Cambridge. Enjoy being a student. Get at least a 2:1 to keep your options open.
    Yes, graduate entry is competitive. But, whilst you’re not doing a science degree you have an A* grade in chemistry and this will keep doors open for you. It may take more than one application but that’s ok. You will still be in your early twenties and that is still plenty of time to be able to work as a doctor after. Working for a couple of years would also make you more financially secure and just make life easier when you go back.

    Your other option is to apply for undergraduate medicine. You’ve missed the boat for this year, which makes things trickier. You can’t apply part way through so you would either need to drop out now, or finish the year and then apply next year. But that is going to mean two years of not working towards anything solid (you won’t come out with anything from Cambridge even if you complete the year. And if you consider you might not even get in next year, I think this would be far riskier (and potentially the longer, harder route as you may end up having to do another degree anyway).

    Whilst it isn’t common to recommend aiming for GEM, in your case I would. And please, give yourself a break. It’s hard to know what you want at 18 and you made a sensible decision. And you enjoy it, which is the main thing. It certainly hasn’t meant you can never do medicine. But for now focus on enjoying being a fresher.

    Next year knuckle down and get good grades and start getting some long term volunteering and some work experience under your belt. Then you can apply in your third year, if that’s still what you want.

    It will be ok
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    (Original post by Nottie)
    I literally have a medic friend with 100% exact history. Always wanted to do law, then had some hospital work experience and loved it. Got into law school, was scared to reject her offer and went for it.
    She's now GEM student.

    I am not sure if lack of biology will not impede your application so I suggest you stick to law, get a 2:1 or a 1st while getting as much medical work experience as you can and then go for the GEM course.
    Thankyou for this. Its very reassuring. If you could put me in touch with her/him e.g. her email, I would be so grateful. If not, just know that this reply is very comforting
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    I recently started at uni, thought I was doing the right course for me, but couldn't think about anything except how I'd rather do economics, and in the end I withdrew due to this. Part of that was because I really disliked the course though. This probably isn't the answer you want but getting into Cambridge for law is an incredible achievement, and it would be a shame to waste it, especially if you don't dislike the course. The best option in my opinion is to do graduate medicine. If you leave now, you're too late to get in for undergrad medicine this year, and there's 0 guarantee you'd get a place next year, resulting in wasted time and giving up on an amazing course. Focus on the law degree and look into doing postgraduate medicine. In no way whatsoever have you "ruined things for yourself" as you say - you're actually improving it. If you go and do it postgrad, you've then got plenty of options - you can go and try and do medicine, or you have an amazing degree at an amazing uni should you be unable to go and do postgrad medicine. Hope this helps.
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    (Original post by ForestCat)
    Contrary to how it feels at 18, this won’t have ruined your life. You still have options and it’s never too late (well not at 18 anyway) to make changes.

    The way I see it you have a few options.
    Your best one is to finish the law degree. As you’ve said, you actually are having a good time. And that makes you lucky. I say make the most of these three years. Ok so you might not want to be a lawyer at the end (but not everyone who does law will end up being one anyway), but you can enjoy the journey. Enjoy the experience at Cambridge. Enjoy being a student. Get at least a 2:1 to keep your options open.
    Yes, graduate entry is competitive. But, whilst you’re not doing a science degree you have an A* grade in chemistry and this will keep doors open for you. It may take more than one application but that’s ok. You will still be in your early twenties and that is still plenty of time to be able to work as a doctor after. Working for a couple of years would also make you more financially secure and just make life easier when you go back.

    Your other option is to apply for undergraduate medicine. You’ve missed the boat for this year, which makes things trickier. You can’t apply part way through so you would either need to drop out now, or finish the year and then apply next year. But that is going to mean two years of not working towards anything solid (you won’t come out with anything from Cambridge even if you complete the year. And if you consider you might not even get in next year, I think this would be far riskier (and potentially the longer, harder route as you may end up having to do another degree anyway).

    Whilst it isn’t common to recommend aiming for GEM, in your case I would. And please, give yourself a break. It’s hard to know what you want at 18 and you made a sensible decision. And you enjoy it, which is the main thing. It certainly hasn’t meant you can never do medicine. But for now focus on enjoying being a fresher.

    Next year knuckle down and get good grades and start getting some long term volunteering and some work experience under your belt. Then you can apply in your third year, if that’s still what you want.

    It will be ok
    Thankyou for spending your time writing this. I just hope I will get there one day. You never know with life! My only option really, the only sensible option, is to continue with the degree and just accept the guilt and learn to deal with it which is easier said than done, but its the bottom line. Its a shame I have to take such a long winded path to get to Medicine, when i spent the summer debating it and had an opportunity to apply then. I feel like I will always resent myself for putting myself in this position when all my friends are doctors and I get there 4 maybe 5 years after them, when I was always on the same footing as them, just as smart and hardworking.
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    Maybe my experience could help you a little.

    I got 12 A*'s and 2 A's at GCSE, A*A*A FMaths, Maths, Physics and then a Cambridge Offer for Maths. I was going to turn down my offer because I lacked passion for the subject. I accepted because everyone said I was crazy. I actually missed my offer cos of STEP (Cam Entrance Exam) and ended up at Durham. I got more depressed as time went on and said f*ck it at the end of the year. I dropped out 6 weeks ago because I felt so stuck! I felt so disillusioned with the path I was on!

    I recorded my feelings at the time in this video:
    https://youtu.be/XZJbdxXUtks

    Now I am doing my own thing, my advice to you would be find something like this:
    https://youtu.be/hSb_gRIrxQo

    I am happier than I have every been in my life. Why? Because I for once have taken control!

    Hope this helps, PM me if you fancy a chat,

    James x
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    (Original post by mirabella555)
    Thankyou for spending your time writing this. I just hope I will get there one day. You never know with life! My only option really, the only sensible option, is to continue with the degree and just accept the guilt and learn to deal with it which is easier said than done, but its the bottom line. Its a shame I have to take such a long winded path to get to Medicine, when i spent the summer debating it and had an opportunity to apply then. I feel like I will always resent myself for putting myself in this position when all my friends are doctors and I get there 4 maybe 5 years after them, when I was always on the same footing as them, just as smart and hardworking.
    Please forgive yourself. People come to medicine at all stages in their life, that is the great thing about it. It is rarely too late (particularly when you have a strong academic background). Please enjoy your time and for the first year try and focus on just being a law student at Cambridge. And then start working on your application next year. Medicine will still be waiting, I promise.
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    (Original post by RallySPORT)
    I recently started at uni, thought I was doing the right course for me, but couldn't think about anything except how I'd rather do economics, and in the end I withdrew due to this. Part of that was because I really disliked the course though. This probably isn't the answer you want but getting into Cambridge for law is an incredible achievement, and it would be a shame to waste it, especially if you don't dislike the course. The best option in my opinion is to do graduate medicine. If you leave now, you're too late to get in for undergrad medicine this year, and there's 0 guarantee you'd get a place next year, resulting in wasted time and giving up on an amazing course. Focus on the law degree and look into doing postgraduate medicine. In no way whatsoever have you "ruined things for yourself" as you say - you're actually improving it. If you go and do it postgrad, you've then got plenty of options - you can go and try and do medicine, or you have an amazing degree at an amazing uni should you be unable to go and do postgrad medicine. Hope this helps.
    Thankyou for this I really value it. I'm someone who just likes a path in front of me, everything in place. it didnt work out that way for me which is a shame. But what you said about trying for postgrad was very comforting. I'll have 2 options so much greater security. Best of luck with your econ application, I hope you end up exactly where you are meant to be!
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    (Original post by mirabella555)
    Thankyou for this I really value it. I'm someone who just likes a path in front of me, everything in place. it didnt work out that way for me which is a shame. But what you said about trying for postgrad was very comforting. I'll have 2 options so much greater security. Best of luck with your econ application, I hope you end up exactly where you are meant to be!
    Thanks!
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    (Original post by ForestCat)
    Please forgive yourself. People come to medicine at all stages in their life, that is the great thing about it. It is rarely too late (particularly when you have a strong academic background). Please enjoy your time and for the first year try and focus on just being a law student at Cambridge. And then start working on your application next year. Medicine will still be waiting, I promise.
    This is really beautifully put, thankyou. Im really appreciating all of the kindness that I'm receiving on this thread. Its uplifting me and encouraging me to keep going and give my best shot at this degree
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    (Original post by mirabella555)
    This is really beautifully put, thankyou. Im really appreciating all of the kindness that I'm receiving on this thread. Its uplifting me and encouraging me to keep going and give my best shot at this degree
    Good luck and well done for getting into Cambridge! Its a great achievement.
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    (Original post by JSSB)
    Maybe my experience could help you a little.

    I got 12 A*'s and 2 A's at GCSE, A*A*A FMaths, Maths, Physics and then a Cambridge Offer for Maths. I was going to turn down my offer because I lacked passion for the subject. I accepted because everyone said I was crazy. I actually missed my offer cos of STEP (Cam Entrance Exam) and ended up at Durham. I got more depressed as time went on and said f*ck it at the end of the year. I dropped out 6 weeks ago because I felt so stuck! I felt so disillusioned with the path I was on!

    I recorded my feelings at the time in this video:
    https://youtu.be/XZJbdxXUtks

    Now I am doing my own thing, my advice to you would be find something like this:
    https://youtu.be/hSb_gRIrxQo

    I am happier than I have every been in my life. Why? Because I for once have taken control!

    Hope this helps, PM me if you fancy a chat,

    James x
    Thanks a lot for writing. Its nice hearing about someone who is in a similar position. So glad to hear you are happy now. I admire your courage - the lack of it is what held me back from applying to medicine in the first place! Good luck with your new path x
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    (Original post by mirabella555)
    Thanks a lot for writing. Its nice hearing about someone who is in a similar position. So glad to hear you are happy now. I admire your courage - the lack of it is what held me back from applying to medicine in the first place! Good luck with your new path x
    Thanks, I really appreciate that. Courage is something you develop over time. Its a muscle that needs exercising. I think its the reason lots and lots of people are depressed. Its not because they don't have the balls. Its cos they're afraid of what will happen to them if they fall...

    J
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    (Original post by mirabella555)
    It feels surreal that Ive done so well and come so far, yet im in a situation like this. It feels surreal that I out of all people ended up like this. I hate to say this, it makes me sound elitist (I'm not! I came from a State school in a disadvantaged area), but many postgrads apply because they miss their grades. I wasnt even in that position. Its just gutting.
    In my year I'd say literally 40% of the grad-entry students were ex-Cambridge Natsci, and I think 75% were ex-Oxbridge. GEM is very much not for 'failures' - its for people who decided later on. Nothing wrong with that.

    Gradmed sounds like your best shot. I do caution though:

    (Original post by mirabella555)
    I undertook work experience in both, hated my legal work experience (to be fair it was all administrative) and thoroughly enjoyed my hospital work experience. I thought it was fulfilling and I envisioned myself as a doctor.
    It sounds like you had some very interesting medical work experience. You probably didn't get much exposure to the admin side of things though. You say law was "all administrative" - if you include writing in notes for seniors on ward rounds (and you definitely should) then working as a junior doctor is like 90% administrative. Writing referrals, writing discharge summaries, filling out forms, requesting routine blood tests, tick box after tick box... please don't think its all assessing patients and saving lives. Its not.

    If there is any doubt get some more work experience.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    In my year I'd say literally 40% of the grad-entry students were ex-Cambridge Natsci, and I think 75% were ex-Oxbridge. GEM is very much not for 'failures' - its for people who decided later on. Nothing wrong with that.

    Gradmed sounds like your best shot. I do caution though:



    It sounds like you had some very interesting medical work experience. You probably didn't get much exposure to the admin side of things though. You say law was "all administrative" - if you include writing in notes for seniors on ward rounds (and you definitely should) then working as a junior doctor is like 90% administrative. Writing referrals, writing discharge summaries, filling out forms, requesting routine blood tests, tick box after tick box... please don't think its all assessing patients and saving lives. Its not.

    If there is any doubt get some more work experience.
    Hello. I did shadow a junior doctor and they showed me all the admin work, I completely understand. But lawyers read write and draft for a living whereas doctors do it to a lesser extent (based on what ive observed on my work experience and also my dad is a doctor). I love how they have greater human contact, even if its not always saving a life, but the continuous interaction with patients seems like a much less boring job than a lawyers job
 
 
 
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