Dreamer Profile: Laura Heineman

1 Dec

Detroit Night - Photo by Laura Heineman

(Editor’s note: Laura is not only an aspiring med student, she is also a talented Graphic Designer and photographer who writes the blog DetroitByBike, which details her bike trips around the Detroit area. She is also a true artist – as evidenced by the way she reshaped the questionnaire – and I love that!)

NAME: Laura Heineman

WEB ADDRESS/BLOG SITE: detroitbybike.com, lauraheineman.com

Mary,

You gave me this questionnaire to fill out. But I’m just not to good at filling out questions. So… here is my dreamer profile:

I don’t believe in regret in life. But I also believe that you need to be able to recognize when higher powers are trying to tell you something. About 2 months ago I randomly told a Doctor that if I could live my life over again I would have gone to medical school. I then told her that I was too old to go now. Her response was, “Just do it. I was 28 and a single parent when I went back to school and I did it. It’s hard but it’s worth it.” I had already committed to going back to school so I started looking into it. It turns out medschool was only going to be an extra 2 years of education when I broke it all down. Not a huge difference in the long term view of life. I talked with a few other doctors that I knew and they all told me the same thing. It’s hard, I’ll be putting my life on hold, but in the end it is worth it and I should do it. (It’s funny because I got exactly the same speech from all 3 of them, they also weren’t focusing on money, they all seemed to be happy and fulfilled in their careers.)

Detroit Lives! - photo by Laura Heineman

The things I would tell someone in this (especially if they were your students) are below:

-Get good grades. It sounds so trivial and stupid at the time but grades are a way of tracking your success and work ethic. It’s your proof to people. I didn’t always focus on my grades because I knew that I knew the topics so I was ok with working just hard enough and getting B’s. Fast forward to 10 years later and those B’s may be the thing that stops me from getting into medschool. Even though I believe I am smart enough, I didn’t put in the effort into the “society approved” way of saying that I’m intelligent.

-Believe in yourself. When I first started telling people that I was leaving a good job to go back to waiting tables so I could go to school I got a lot of really bad looks. This isn’t something we do in our society. Especially in our parents society. You sign onto a job and you work it for the rest of your life. Hopefully you work your way up. But since I have left my job, many random things have happened that I cannot believe are just chance. I like to believe this is life’s way of telling me I’m on the right track.

-Lastly, surround yourself with intelligent, inspiring people. Spend your time with people that lift you up. When I first told my family that I was going to attempt medschool at 31 they basically didn’t talk to me. I’m lucky that I have such good friends that pushed me to go for it. They gave me the little boost of power I needed to be able to believe in myself.

Detroit night park - photo by Laura Heineman

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