The Liberal Arts & Pre-Professional Tracks

I was in my Nutrition class the other day at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing overhearing one of my classmates talk about the other nursing classes she was taking. Nutrition, Anatomy & Physiology, Pharmacology, and Spanish. Another classmate complained about dealing with difficult patients during her nursing rounds at the hospital. Pretty much my entire class is in Penn’s undergraduate nursing program towards a Bachelors in Nursing (BSN) degree. As a liberal arts students, sometimes I cannot help but feel a little lost in my post-undergrad nursing track.PennNursing_Fagin-3-High300

What have I done to work towards my goal of becoming a nurse?

Why am I so caught up in non-nursing activities?

Have I shown enough “interest” to get into graduate nursing programs?

How does my liberal arts education fit into nursing?

I spend most of my days building an analog temperature control on a breadboard, contemplating the socioeconomic consequences of Chinese Communist Party policies for a market economy, learning to build and design technical theater elements, advocating for Asian American awareness on campus, going back and forth between jazz and hip hop dance rehearsals, etc….  Sometimes I feel very “liberal artsy” because I take a nice mix of science and humanities classes —  a student leader, even — but other times I just feel unfocused. I design posters for concerts and culture shows on campus… that has NOTHING to do with nursing. And then there’s my GPA. Let’s not talk about it. (I confess to stalking the Reddit thread on “What are my chances of getting into Nursing School?”)

Would I have done better at a university in an undergrad nursing program?

Why do I feel so attracted to nursing despite my lack of experience?

Much to my mother’s constant nagging and disappointment, I do not volunteer at my local hospital shadowing nurses. I am not EMT certified. My mother ALWAYS texts me about my life goals and my summer plans. I honestly have not been super proactive in finding a volunteer position either. I admit that many of my internships I find and apply to are thanks to the internet and my mom, not Bryn Mawr’s resources. Am I under qualified for this? Why do all these summer jobs require computer coding skills? Will I feel lost after Bryn Mawr? What about my gap year when I have to take Anatomy & Physiology and maybe Microbiology because it didn’t fit into my schedule to take it at Villanova and I got lotteried out because I go to a small liberal arts school where upper level biology classes give priority to biology majors?

The summer between junior and senior year is the most important time to get a prestigious summer internship or job. So far I’ve only applied to 2 summer programs. My mom just sent me 6 more this morning to apply to. I think I am going through the junior equivalent of sophomore slump. I am half-way through college and looking into the future is a little scary.






Vox: 10 things not enough kids know before going to college

NYTimes: How to Raise a Creative Child. Step One: Back Off

Forbes: Why Getting A Liberal Arts College Education Is Not A Mistake

(This post was inspired by fellow Banter Bloggers Devica Bhutani’s Finding Your Niche piece and Maeve White’s Becoming a Person.)

2 thoughts on “The Liberal Arts & Pre-Professional Tracks

  1. Be glad your mother texts you. It means she cares and she knows how to text

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