I was going through some of my vintage pre-medical archives and I stumbled upon some articles that I think needed to be published once again. I used to have way more articles on The Rejected, but lost it all when I decided to upgrade my blogging software to a newer version. At least I was smart enough to save most of it on an external harddrive. After reading some of it again, and reliving the nightmare that is pre-med, I can totally see that I’ve changed quite a bit in just a year. Anyway, this one’s called “Heroes Live Forever.” It’s one of the very first ones I wrote.

Heroes Live Forever

I grew up in a working class family. Although my parents knew the importance of higher education, they never attended University. Back then it was easy to find a job with great benefits and a nice retirement plan without an education. Nowadays, you see some graduates work at McDonald’s. My parents never really forced me to want more for myself. It was me who put the pressure on me to not follow in their footsteps. I truly believe that they’d be happy if I worked at a minimum wage job the rest of my life, just as long as I have a job. What bothers me is that a lot of people in my parents’ generation don’t realize that education is a form of investment. After all, Universities operate like a business. You just have to hope that your investment will pay you back ten-fold. Those who don’t understand this concept constantly pressures their kids to find a job even while in school. What they don’t realize is that, University is like a full time job. Sometimes you even work longer hours and not get paid overtime.

Volunteering is a form of investment that most pre-medical students have to make. My parents can’t comprehend this idea. Why work for somebody who won’t pay you? What are you actually gaining out of it? For me, volunteering gives me a chance to help people without asking for anything in return. I can attest to the fact that most people in my generation grew up pampered with so many opportunities handed to them whether they realize it or not. It’s just a humbling experience when you get a chance to make somebody’s life a little bit better, even for that one moment. Volunteering in some ways is another extra-curricular activity. Treat it as such, and you’ll never mistake it for a job that you’re not getting paid for.

In the end, I’m glad I have my parent’s work ethic. I do want to be able to take care of them financially one day. They keep reminding me that by the time I’m done school they might not be around or that I’m not going to remember what they sacrificed for me to get to this point. This isn’t true at all. Don’t they know that heroes live forever? And that they’re always remembered for everything they’ve done.