I graduated high school a few months ago and I was (and still am) pretty unsure about what I want to do later in life. For a long period of time, I’m talking at least 10 years, I was pretty sure that I want to become a doctor….but that changed lately. First of all, it’s really hard to get into med school over here. My grades in high school were pretty good (mostly A’s and a few B’s) but that’s still not enough to be accepted at a university. I applied anyways, just to see how much I’d have to wait to get in and when I finally received the letter from the universities, it said that I’d have to wait about 5 or 6 YEARS! That’s a lot…
I’m not even sure anymore if I really want to be a doctor. Bio was my all time favorite subject in school and I’ve always been really interested in how the human body works and stuff like that. However, I think that I might have wanted to become a doctor for the wrong reasons. Obviously, it’s great to help people (that’s still what I want to do today) but I have the impression that binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy maybe got me confused. I love that show, how the doctors always bustle around saving people’s lives all day and having to deal with the most amazing and rare cases…..surely, real live isn’t quite like that. It’s great to be able to say “I’m a doctor” and to help people recover from injuries (I also thought about becoming a physiotherapist, but that’s another story 😉 ) but to be honest, it takes about 6 years to earn a medical degree and after that you still have to pick a specialty. That’s a whole lot of time to be invested and also you have SO DAMN MUCH responsibility for your patients, I’m not sure if I could deal with knowing that somebody died because I made a mistake or was distracted for a second….that might just be to much to take. I know, they prepare you the best they can and there are also special psychologists you can talk to about that matter but still….If I were 100% sure that being a doctor is IT for me, I’d probably wait 5 or 6 years to get in but as I already said, I’m not.
That’s why I decided to take a gap year (over here we call them FSJ) These are usually taken to do work in the social sector and I figured I might need this extra time to figure out what I want to study. I’m working in a basic primary school (grades 1-4). I’m responsible for a class with 6 kids that all have mental disabilities. The other classes are regular classes without handicaps (I’ll be calling them the “normal kids” just to make it easier. But please don’t take this as a judgement, I love our special kids just the same, if not even a bit more!). So I’m helping the teacher take care of them, it’s a 2nd grade btw, so we’re still learning pretty basic things. I had my first day last Monday but I can tell you this much: I absolutely LOVE all of them! They’re just so incredibly sweet, you’d have to see for yourselves to believe me.
You’d also have to see for yourselves how unbelievably loud and stubborn they can be….they can make enough noise for about 20 kids but working with them is so much fun! Some subjects are taught together with the class from across the hall (that’s because we’re an inclusion class) but for doing the task like for example writing down all the names of the kids we have to go back to our classroom, simply because our kids are much slower than them. I was working together with two boys and it was a struggle to get them to write down the names. They are not that good at spelling yet, so we were just copying a template but I really had to motivate them all the time so that they would pick up the pen and write the next letter. It’s not like they can’t do it, they just need to be ensured that they are capable of doing it and motivated to keep going. And of course we have to make sure that they are focused on their task (most of them are really easy to distract) and pay attention to what they are doing. This can be really tiring sometimes and I was surprised about how TIRED I was after my first day…. I got home at around 2 pm and wanted to lay down for just a few minutes….this turned into a 2h nap 😀
There very first day I got to pick up the kids from the bus stop and I was surprised about how curious they were about who I am and why I’m here. I have to say that I couldn’t have chosen a better facility for my social year, I absolutely love the kids, the teachers are great and it feels good to be able to do something that gives you such joy and where you feel that the kids enjoy having you, too.