Money on my mind

Yesterday we started small group and I can already tell that this will be the main forum in which I’ll be learning. I realise how much better I like fleshing out ideas with a bunch of other intelligent people and it makes me wonder why I never studied in groups before. Probably because I didn’t know enough intelligent (and willing) people, and because undergrad wasn’t exactly conducive to learning anything worth fleshing out.

As we were doing introductions, somehow one of the required questions became what your parents do for a living. I think 7 out of 9 people had parents who were professionals. Many of those were physicians; one girl’s parents were both subspecialists. What’s more, no one seemed fazed by this, and instead my case (and the one other guy) seemed to raise more eyebrows. How did a girl whose parents both work in technical positions get to this position? (Even more impressive for the guy whose entire family works on a farm.)

If anyone tries to tell you that medicine is an equal opportunity field, know that that’s a load of crap. Even now as I sit in a lecture hall (paying full attention, of course) I’m surrounded by MacBook Pros on literally all sides of me… 12 out of the 15 students in my vicinity. Those laptops don’t come cheap, man–I’m still heavily resistant to buying one until 3rd or 4th year, despite living at home and having tons of financial support from my family. What’s weird is that I know for a fact that almost everyone in my class is taking out some form of loans. It makes me wonder how they’re so willing to splurge when they’re in debt, which must mean they are accustomed to living by those standards from the lives their families gave them when they were living at home. Not that it’s a sin to invest in a good laptop, but you definitely have to be used to having nice things in order to feel like you deserve that buy.

What I’m getting at is that it’s no secret that most medical students come from upper middle class families. With the number of fees, trips, parties, and other expenses not accounted for in tuition, I find it would be near impossible to be living on a tight budget of tuition + rent when these spontaneous costs show up all the time and expect to be paid.

Maybe the world is just changing and people are more comfortable with credit. Maybe no one cares about being in debt anymore. But this just feels like yet another way in which I’m an exception in this class–not sure whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

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