What you do with your life over the next 10 years will determine the course of the rest of your life.
Consider the average annual income based on education:
High School Graduate...$30,400
So.... whaddya wanna do?
You can leave high school and be a climbing bum for the next 10-20 years and make $20,000 to $30,000 a year for the rest of your life........and then retire on Social Security in near poverty (if Social Security will even exist when you retire....)
Or you can put i some time NOW and go to college and get a degree and make $50,000 $60,000 a year and spend the rest of your life trying to juggle climbing and work and eventually retire somewhat comfortably.
Whaddya wanna do? What looks attractive to a 17 year old might not look the same to you when you're 55 years old working 16-hours a day at two shitty jobs as a cashier at a grocery store to make ends meet. And, of course, what makes the jobs even shittier is the realization that you can't just quit and move back in with mommy and daddy or just suddenly go out a get a better job because ALL YOU HAVE IS A HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION.
You've gotta PAY NOW or you'll PAY LATER. Whaddya wanna do?
The commitment to medicine will require between 12-16 years of your time after high school in order to complete your training and start practicing medicine. As a physician, how much time and free cash you have will dependent on your LIFESTYLE.
If you can control your lifestyle and spending habits, you won't have to work very much as a physician to do what you want to do. But the fact of the matter is that THE MORE YOU MAKE, THE MORE YOU SPEND. When you're making $100,000 a year you tend to take vacations in Cancun and Paris and buy that $50,000 Toyota SUV and get a hot high-maintenance girlfriend and a smoking hot high-maintenance mistress...
Control your spending impulses and as a physician you'll have plenty of time for climbing.
I apologize for bringing up this thread again, but I am in need of some opinions. I am currently a senior in high school, and am thinking about entering into medical school. I love climbing, skiing, pretty much anything to do with the outdoors. School has changed quite a bit in the past years... but I was curious as to how you all (med student or physician) manage to balance your mountaineering/climbing life with medicine.
I like the idea of medicine, some of you have already stated that it can give alot of free time, depending on what path you choose, and how you work. I also like the fact that it pays well (with that pay, I could afford to climb a 8000er every year, not saying that I will, but its appealing
However, that being said, I also do not really want to spend 12 years in school, and then be in debt after that.
Sorry if this sounds like a rant. I'm basically just looking for an opinion of how you manage your work/life balance now, and how you managed that when you were a med-student.