Career Advice From Mom

My brother called me tonight before work. He’s frustrated by the stresses of medical school, so much so that he’s considering quitting. He doesn’t feel like he’s absorbing anything from his long hours of studying. During his breaks, he reads online about people who quit medical school. He keeps thinking about the long, difficult path ahead of him, which only makes his studying more stressful and unproductive.

There isn’t a whole lot I can do to help him. All I can do is support him and try to lift his spirits. I told him that he can’t focus on how difficult the medical path will be. If he dwells on his doubts, they will affect his studying, and his choice of staying or dropping out will already be made.

That advice is actually from my mom. The actuary path is filled with constant studying for exams, and I don’t know if that’s really the path I want to take. I had doubts when I was studying for the first actuarial exam. My mom told me that if I have doubts while I’m studying, I won’t do my best on the exam. I will have already given up.

My mom also told (my brother and) me that every career path has its own challenges and difficulties. No path is easy. I’m trying to keep that in mind while I’m thinking about what I should do for the rest of my life.

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