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Ask HN: Advice for a failing medschool student/freelance web dev
1 point by febrilian 3 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 6 comments
I'm 22 years old, currently studying medicine in Jakarta. It's been rough, I currently have the lowest GPA in my class and I'm failing a lot of classes. I've been taking a few months break and got in web development, gaining some amount of money there as a freelancer. I'm really used to the working life and it's hard to go back to medical school where I'm so mediocre there and still got a long way to go. I don't want to make my parents depressed knowing that I'm considering dropping out of the medschool but it makes me suffer to stay there.

Anyone has the same experience? What kind of advice would you give to me? Thank you very much




Following someone else's vision of what you "should" be is soul-crushing, and it won't ever become less soul-crushing even if you did become what they wanted.

Generally, parents want their children to become doctors for monetary and security reasons, which is understandable albeit terrible if that's not what their child really is.

Have you considered switching majors to computer science? The argument would be that you can do it, you have some industry experience already, and there's money to be made in computers.

Don't drop out; change majors. Even in computers where people can just jump right in and build things, there's a HUGE advantage to having a proper education.


I proposed the idea of changing majors to my parents 2 years ago, they did not allow it so I did not change majors. Now it's too late to change majors and would cost me a lot of money which is also probably going to stress me out even more and give more burden to my parents. Do you think a postgrad CS is worth the time? I think changing undergrad majors is just impossible in my case


Yes, the optimal time to stand firm would have been 2 years ago, but all is not lost. The most important thing is the knowledge CS gives you. There are many computational theories that are becoming more and more important in recent years as our insatiable demand hits harder against the limits of our machines. Do whatever it takes to learn them, even if you have to get creative and do it in an unorthodox fashion.

Many employers like CS degrees, but then again many don't place much importance on it. Use that to your advantage during your journey to a degree (which is really for YOUR sake, not theirs).

You're going to come into conflict with your parent regardless, so it's better to do it on your own terms and prepare them for the life you intend to live. They love you and will eventually come around, even if it's going to be painful and stressful in the interim.


> Many employers like CS degrees

This is true in my country, I agree that the best way to be employed as a programmer is through CS degree in Indonesia

> You're going to come into conflict with your parent regardless, so it's better to do it on your own terms and prepare them for the life you intend to live. They love you and will eventually come around, even if it's going to be painful and stressful in the interim.

Now that I reflect on this, my situation is actually 90% caused by my relationship with my parents.

In all honesty, I'm still too afraid to make my parents feel that I'm a failure. Thank you for your advice, I will consider to prepare them the life I want to live. Sorry for the possibility that I couldn't look at their eyes and say the truth.


My favorite piece of life advice: It's never too late unless you're dead. So long as you still breathe, you can still do something and make your mark.

No matter how shitty things get, no matter how low you're brought, you can always choose to fight you way back up, and there are many creative ways to do so. It won't be the same as before, but you'll be stronger and people will respect that strength in you.

You can be down, but never allow yourself to be out.


Connect the boths. Take some special topic you learned till now and use your new skills to represent it.. as a example. You could do something for the doctors in your country. Like some database access as Webpage.. With that you may earn a little bit and do CS.

In the end, I see you developing machine vision for analyzing XRay and making it simpler for the doctors to interpret them :)

Stop. Connect. Make new. Revert. But Never stop learning!




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