Harvard Undergrads Defect from Sciences and The Berlin Wall
“In addition to the impersonal nature of many science courses, students also report that being a science concentrator is difficult because of the rigorous work required for the discipline and the competitive nature of other students.”
“I felt like no one really cared about actually learning—they were just focused on beating everyone else and were worried about what the curve was going to be,” Younger says of her experience in Life Sciences 1b last spring. “I was really turned off by the whole environment.”
“Younger, a sophomore who chose English over molecular and cellular biology, cites the difficulty of scheduling “huge chunks of lab time” while “trying to have a life” outside academics.”
This article tells us nothing new but I actually like the author’s choice of the word “defect” to use in the title of this article. Just as East Berliners risked their lives to “defect” to the west via the Berlin Wall, these Harvard students are escaping the harrows of the long pathway to entering the “highly esteemed” medical professions. We all are aware of the competitive cut throats that populate these science classes. If you confine yourselves to this warped circle of future physicians, you will hear the word “weeded out” used instead. Supposedly, those who can’t hack it are “weeded out”. But are they really? Perhaps these drop out weeds are in fact the smartest of all…wise enough to foresee the dismal future that lies ahead. So those of you having doubts out there (which are 100% warranted), don’t see yourself as being “weeded out” but rather as a “defector”. Why live in some horribly oppressive regime, when you can live a way better life elsewhere?
There is no Berlin Wall with guards posted on top of towers to shoot you if you choose to make an escape at this early stage. There is a wide open green field that lies right before you and all you have to do is walk across it.
However, choose to wait and the walls will start to build around you and the German guards( aka attendings, evil nurses, Sallie Mae, HMO’s, malpractice lawyer leeches) will be lurking making an exit most definitely difficult. Run away while your balls are still free (if your a guy that is…..girls just run!).