30 year old former underachiever here....

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sally o'malley
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30 year old former underachiever here....

Postby sally o'malley » Wed May 12, 2010 4:02 pm

Most of my questions have been answered by lurking here...it's a great site. I still have some questions, though. I'll try to keep it brief.

Past: Graduated in 2001 with an Associate's RN degree. GPA 3.4....not so great. I just wanted to get the hell out of school and start working. Also, hospitals don't even ask about your GPA, let alone ask for your transcript. Comforting thought, right? I suppose 3.4 is decent in a sense, considering the multitude of skipped classes and my often comfortably high blood alcohol content. It never crossed my mind that I might want to further my education someday.

Current. I've been a psychiatric and critical care nurse for close to nine years, and my interests have changed since I proclaimed "I'm going to be a nurse," at the dinner table when I was FIFTEEN YEARS OLD. :roll: Why didn't someone stop me? Anyway, I'm attending another prestigious (haha) state school, majoring in Mass Communications with an International Study minor. I hope to bump my GPA up a bit.

Future: I came back into school as a senior and I'll be done after Summer 2011. Apply to LS Fall 2011, work or take more classes for the year, and hopefully start LS in the fall of 2012.

Questions: I don't anticipate a busy summer this year, so I'm tossing around the idea of taking the LSAT this October. My major isn't going to give me a lot more philosophical/logical/deductive insight, so I was wondering if it would seem unreasonable to any of you if I studied hard for the next few months and just went for it? That way, if I want to retake it, I have time to do so before application craziness? I don't know how I will do. I recently ordered some study material. The only comparitive exam experiences I have are that I scored a 27 on the ACT (34 in reading comprehension, 22 in math....math is evil) and I also sailed through the RN NCLEX without studying at all and it's not exactly an easy exam. I of course want to do really well, but I"m realistic and know that I probably won't be going to Harvard.

Do you think that my current major and UG university are kind of a draw back? I sure do.

Do you think that my medical background will be a small soft?

You probably think that I'm insane for wanting to leave a stable career with decent compensation in order to go into severe debt and horrible amounts of studying. I'm just really geared towards law and government. And there is no way that I am going to be a nurse for the next 30 years....I do not want to become the bitter hag I know I would be. I"ve spent a lot of time exploring career choices, and I always come back to wanting to be pursue government and/or medical law. I might be insane, but please know that I am not naive. Thanks!

sally o'malley
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Re: 30 year old former underachiever here....

Postby sally o'malley » Wed May 12, 2010 4:03 pm

Ummm....sorry I didn't keep it very brief.....

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stintez
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Re: 30 year old former underachiever here....

Postby stintez » Wed May 12, 2010 4:07 pm

I would urge you to stay the hell out of law and say stay with anything having to do with medicine. One you will always have a decent-great paying job. Two you will have almost 0 debt because you will always be employed. However, if you must see how you will do on the LSAT study hard take a course and see what happens. If you really want to be a lawyer good luck. But remember you heard it here first stay with MEDICINE you will fair much better.

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RickyRoe
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Re: 30 year old former underachiever here....

Postby RickyRoe » Wed May 12, 2010 4:11 pm

sally o'malley wrote:Most of my questions have been answered by lurking here...it's a great site. I still have some questions, though. I'll try to keep it brief.

Graduated in 2001 with an Associate's RN degree. Anyway, I'm attending another prestigious (haha) state school, majoring in Mass Communications with an International Study minor. I hope to bump my GPA up a bit.


If you already graduated your GPA is set in stone. Also, your LSAC GPA will probably be lower than the 3.4 if you re-took any classes you did poorly in due to heavy drinking.

xyzzzzzzzz
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Re: 30 year old former underachiever here....

Postby xyzzzzzzzz » Wed May 12, 2010 4:13 pm

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Last edited by xyzzzzzzzz on Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

xyzzzzzzzz
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Re: 30 year old former underachiever here....

Postby xyzzzzzzzz » Wed May 12, 2010 4:16 pm

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Last edited by xyzzzzzzzz on Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Billy Blanks
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Re: 30 year old former underachiever here....

Postby Billy Blanks » Wed May 12, 2010 4:16 pm

RickyRoe wrote:
sally o'malley wrote:Most of my questions have been answered by lurking here...it's a great site. I still have some questions, though. I'll try to keep it brief.

Graduated in 2001 with an Associate's RN degree. Anyway, I'm attending another prestigious (haha) state school, majoring in Mass Communications with an International Study minor. I hope to bump my GPA up a bit.


If you already graduated your GPA is set in stone. Also, your LSAC GPA will probably be lower than the 3.4 if you re-took any classes you did poorly in due to heavy drinking.


I don't think this is true. OP got a 3.4 off her associates, while LSAC GPA is calculated from your BA grades (towards which she is currently working). That said, I'm not sure how they'll calculate LSAC GPA (do they just smash all your grades together, ignoring a huge gap? what else would they do?).

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Kilpatrick
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Re: 30 year old former underachiever here....

Postby Kilpatrick » Wed May 12, 2010 4:26 pm

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Last edited by Kilpatrick on Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Holly Golightly
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Re: 30 year old former underachiever here....

Postby Holly Golightly » Wed May 12, 2010 4:28 pm

Do well on the LSAT, then come to NU.

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RickyRoe
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Re: 30 year old former underachiever here....

Postby RickyRoe » Wed May 12, 2010 4:36 pm

xyzzzzzzzz wrote:
RickyRoe wrote:
sally o'malley wrote:Most of my questions have been answered by lurking here...it's a great site. I still have some questions, though. I'll try to keep it brief.

Graduated in 2001 with an Associate's RN degree. Anyway, I'm attending another prestigious (haha) state school, majoring in Mass Communications with an International Study minor. I hope to bump my GPA up a bit.


If you already graduated your GPA is set in stone. Also, your LSAC GPA will probably be lower than the 3.4 if you re-took any classes you did poorly in due to heavy drinking.


I was under the impression this only applied after the first 4 year degree was awarded. Like how lots of people go to JCs and get an associates and then go to a 4 year college to finish. All credits count before getting the bachelor's degree.



Yeah, RC fail on my part. Didn't see that she only had an associate's. Most of my friends that are nurses have their bachelors so I just assumed.

sally o'malley
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Re: 30 year old former underachiever here....

Postby sally o'malley » Wed May 12, 2010 4:38 pm

From what I have found, they take every grade. I don't have my bachelor's yet, the 3.4 is from my first 3 years as a nursing major. So I have a little time raise my GPA, but I don't think it can go significantly higher with only 3 semesters left. I never had to retake any classes or anything from drinking. Luckily, I was one of those undergrads who could pull A's and B's while sublimely intoxicated. :D

I agree with not taking the LSAT until I feel absolutely ready. Maybe I'll study hard this summer and see how it goes.

Thanks for your replies....I feel a little better about my Comm. Major and school choice.

It's funny, I've told people to stay away from the medical field, unless it's to purse a physician's assistant degree, and apparently that market is getting a bit flooded as well. I'm grateful for experiences I've had, but I wouldn't wish the hell that is nursing on anyone. Terrible hours....weekends, holidays, 12 hours shifts that turn into 14 hour shifts, understaffing, mediocre pay for all eternity, getting dumped on from absolutely every direction, never intellectually challenged. I briefly thought about going into administration, but that just seems even worse, after my experience in management. I am so moving on....

BenJ
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Re: 30 year old former underachiever here....

Postby BenJ » Wed May 12, 2010 9:14 pm

I think you're in good shape. Get that GPA up as much as you can in your last year getting your bachelor's, and study hard for the LSAT. You can definitely get into a decent school with a 3.4 GPA, let alone the 3.45 or 3.5 you might be able to get it up to in your last year. Your extensive work experience will help over other numerically similar candidates as well (especially if you indicate an interest in health law, even if you don't end up pursuing it in law school). Make sure to apply early in fall 2011, and come back to TLS for advice on applications once you have an LSAT score and final GPA in hand.

Also, having a low math ACT score and a high reading comp score as a pre-diagnostic baseline is probably a good place to be in before studying for the LSAT. Logic Games is the section most like math, and it's the easiest to improve in by studying, while people who struggle with Reading Comprehension tend to continue to struggle despite extensive studying. Get the Logic Games Bible and a bunch of practice tests and study hard all summer.

legalized
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Re: 30 year old former underachiever here....

Postby legalized » Thu May 13, 2010 11:53 pm

sally o'malley wrote:From what I have found, they take every grade. I don't have my bachelor's yet, the 3.4 is from my first 3 years as a nursing major. So I have a little time raise my GPA, but I don't think it can go significantly higher with only 3 semesters left. I never had to retake any classes or anything from drinking. Luckily, I was one of those undergrads who could pull A's and B's while sublimely intoxicated. :D

I agree with not taking the LSAT until I feel absolutely ready. Maybe I'll study hard this summer and see how it goes.

Thanks for your replies....I feel a little better about my Comm. Major and school choice.

It's funny, I've told people to stay away from the medical field, unless it's to purse a physician's assistant degree, and apparently that market is getting a bit flooded as well. I'm grateful for experiences I've had, but I wouldn't wish the hell that is nursing on anyone. Terrible hours....weekends, holidays, 12 hours shifts that turn into 14 hour shifts, understaffing, mediocre pay for all eternity, getting dumped on from absolutely every direction, never intellectually challenged. I briefly thought about going into administration, but that just seems even worse, after my experience in management. I am so moving on....


Funny, I was JUST explaining this reality in another thread earlier...and I didn't even have to become a nurse to do that, i just did research on what real nurses were reporting from out in the field!

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TTH
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Re: 30 year old former underachiever here....

Postby TTH » Fri May 14, 2010 10:22 am

Stick with nursing. It's more lucrative and more satisfying. Become a Nurse Practitioner or a Nurse Anesthiologist (sp?) and PROFIT.

BenJ
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Re: 30 year old former underachiever here....

Postby BenJ » Fri May 14, 2010 11:06 am

TTH wrote:Stick with nursing. It's more lucrative and more satisfying. Become a Nurse Practitioner or a Nurse Anesthiologist (sp?) and PROFIT.


Meh. If I've heard of one career path with a more abusive culture than biglaw, it's nursing. The demand for nurses is huge, of course, but the reality is still grim.

sally o'malley
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Re: 30 year old former underachiever here....

Postby sally o'malley » Fri May 14, 2010 6:00 pm

NP's don't typically make very much, Nurse Anesth. do....but I have zero interest in pumping meds into people and watching a screen.

I always told myself that if I ever got to the point where I was working simply for a paycheck, that I would get out of nursing. It isn't fair to the patients. I love the patients, I just can't stand the atmosphere, and it shows in my attitude more and more.

I'm not going into law for the money, I'm pretty sure I'll end up in public service or government in my rural state. But at least there's the prospect for making more as I get older and more experienced.....nurses' wages are usually capped after fifteen years or so.

Also.....I will always pay the annual $50 fee for my license. Getting rid of an RN license would kind of be like getting rid of a driver's license. So if I do experience the horror of not finding a legal job, I can wait it out in healthcare, just hopefully not for long. :wink:

februaryftw
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Re: 30 year old former underachiever here....

Postby februaryftw » Fri May 14, 2010 10:13 pm

sally o'malley wrote:NP's don't typically make very much, Nurse Anesth. do....but I have zero interest in pumping meds into people and watching a screen.

I always told myself that if I ever got to the point where I was working simply for a paycheck, that I would get out of nursing. It isn't fair to the patients. I love the patients, I just can't stand the atmosphere, and it shows in my attitude more and more.

I'm not going into law for the money, I'm pretty sure I'll end up in public service or government in my rural state. But at least there's the prospect for making more as I get older and more experienced.....nurses' wages are usually capped after fifteen years or so.

Also.....I will always pay the annual $50 fee for my license. Getting rid of an RN license would kind of be like getting rid of a driver's license. So if I do experience the horror of not finding a legal job, I can wait it out in healthcare, just hopefully not for long. :wink:


Hey, I just wanted to say congrats on the career change; it sounds like the right move, and definitely for the right reasons.

At this point, your GPA isn't horrible. A GPA of 3.5+ might be a reasonable goal given your situation. It is certainly good enough that you can work with it.

Writing the LSAT a year before is not a bad idea, especially if you have the summer to work for it. It takes a lot of prep but it is a very learnable test--I went up 20 points. I'm sure you know this by now, but your LSAT score will count a much more than your Ugrad major or institution or even your GPA. Do not leave anything on the table here; a few points can be worth $10, 000s of dollars in scholarships, or can mean the difference between a career in law or having to return to a job you are beginning to hate. As noted, don't take it before you are ready. But if you take it and aren't happy with your score, retake! It sounds like you have the time. I took my exam for Fall 2011 admissions in February for this reason; there was very little pressure because if I underperformed I had two more chances.

Good luck!




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