No matter the chosen field, the difficulty entering into a profession becomes excruciatingly harder the later a person starts. This country rewards precociousness. The evidence is all around us. Not only must you not be a Late Bloomer, you have to be young with a plan. The funny thing is, life is a marathon, but most decision makers are watching how folks start to determine how they will finish. The take away is: be a great starter, worry about the middle from a better position, and finish strong. Obviously, this is only true regarding a particular person’s want to excel in particular professions. This point is reflected in athletics, but there are exceptions to every rule. Late bloomers can “make it” and make for a good story because of the uniqueness.
Being a Doctor
Looking to the medical profession, if a person wants to become a doctor, they must make that pointed decision early in their college careers for ease-sake. The reason an aspiring doctor must make that decision earlier is because medical schools require a certain undergraduate curriculum. This curriculum will be helpful when taking the medical school entrance exam. Then, the application period is at least a yearlong process that requires an applicant to set up an online-account that compiles the entire academic and experience information that med schools require, for an applicant. Mind you, this is not cheap.
Money aside, once a person decides to attend med school, which is a four-year stint, they have to select a field of expertise which requires additional years of—essentially—learning, that varies based on the chosen field. Some people, who have a burning desire to be a doctor, but did not plan ahead in college can elect for a “post-bacc,” which is a quirky and short way of saying, take the college classes necessary to fulfill the med school requirements. Usually, a post-bacc is a two-year process that involves taking college class, the MCAT, and applying to med school (not free of costs).
Notice, all the people who successfully complete this process have great academic credentials—especially those who attend the top med schools. The point is this: in order to be a doctor, a person has to not only know—early—that that is the profession they desire, but they must be great academically at a young age. This is to show the ability to complete the rigors medical school demands.
It is possible for a person to make the decision to be a medical doctor at years after graduating from college, or later, but pressing the reset button at that later age is a major life change. Additionally, there are Board Exams every doctor has to pass in order to be a doctor too. There are at least four, and you have to study really hard (an understatement) and pay for each; some require you to travel. At any rate, life circumstances are essential to making such a massive decision. Doing the aforementioned, while at a young age, with no other obligations, makes it easier to achieve.
Being a Lawyer
Medical school may be the toughest professional journey this American education system offers, but law school runs a distance second which ain’t easy. It is arguable that the most difficult aspect of attending law school, now, is the cost versus reward, but the potential that comes with a Juris Doctorate degree is incredible. Another obvious difficult part is actually attending while remaining long enough to graduate. The difficulty in that is enduring the most competitive academic atmosphere. This is undeniable given the forced curve that exists, which requires people to fail (many schools have eroded this grading schedule). The other difficult aspect, which comes first, is the entrance exam and applying. Keep in mind the costs and life sacrifices being made in order to pursue this career, much like medicine. Oh! And, a person is not a lawyer until passing a bar, which is a separate beast, after three intense years of school. Another hurdle exists. Most states require that you pass a national Professional Responsibility exam in order to be admitted to the bar. And, once you have done all that, and you’re a Lawyer, then you have to fulfill CLE (Continuing Legal Education) courses to be remain a part of the bar. Basically, being a lawyer or any other kind of professional is not a quick-response decision, so starting early is more than beneficial.
Today, going to college is a prerequisite for professional success, which requires a modicum of academic prowess during high school that will give a platform to compete when job hunting. Basically, the young and “successful,” started their path for success at a very ripe age.
Medical doctors or lawyers are not the only professions where being precocious is all but a requirement. Think about working at the premier companies, banking institutions, or being a high-level government employee or official. When applying for those positions, post-college, many require impeccable academic records with a certain background, while considering the undergraduate institution attended. Those companies, banks, and government positions also consider the quality of internships performed during a college career. Inherent in being a professional is having a graduate level education that requires a graduate degree in Business Administration, Medicine, Nursing, Law, or a science, including engineering.
Thus, if a person gets the proverbial picture later, they are at a disadvantage given the procedural requirements necessary to get on track, given the likely life changes that grad school requires. That person may probably be behind the ball in terms of study, and other functional academic skills. This is not to be discouraging so much as informative. Late Bloomers have to be inventive, bold, and passionate to make up for getting with the program later. Many times, Late Bloomers have an advantage in real world experiences that make them very formidable when entering a new profession, but those intangibles gained are not quantifiable and summarily dismissed if devoid of other necessary stats.
High School Freshman, who have a greater chance to do something about it, need to be thinking ten years ahead. This is necessary given the new competitive, international world. High School Freshman should be thinking each grade from a class matters, while taking on extracurricular activities for well-roundedness, if not because they like them, but for application purposes. Having a plan and knowledge of how to get there is an advantage. Please be aware of the increasingly competitive world that exists, where nepotism and cronyism is less normal. Parents are crafting their children from daycare forward, so thinking a person can just start as a High School Freshman is naïve, but high school performance is when people start checking for your ability to succeed. (Note: the high school attended matters.)
In job hunting and applying for school at any level, having a prior showing of excellence somewhere is required. No one is giving out chances. Accountability is par for the course, which is based on prior performance. Late Bloomers are disadvantaged in that realm given they must make up for those gaps, or lack of [fill-in the blank] that make them Late Bloomers. Not many people want to take a chance on such, but they may be the best for the position or opening, if shown that is their passion, as opposed to the next logical progression for the precocious youngster who only believed that was a good thing to pursue.
Those who lived life, while trying to figure it out along the way, do not fret as long as once you kick it in gear you have stick-to-it-tive-ness, maybe the most necessary quality when running the marathon that is life. There will be bumps, ditches, and some other obstacles in the road.