Disclaimer: The characters belong to Ngozi.
Ransom's been withdrawn for a few days when Holster asks him what's going on. They're on the porch of Haus 2.0 and it's a gorgeous June evening. With the solstice so close, it's still not particularly close to sunset even though they left work after six.
"I'm not going to med school," Ransom explains. "Applications are due this week for a year from now, and I'm not sending mine in."
"Why not?" Holster asks. "I mean, you'd make a swawesome doctor, and you've got a great MCAT score and you've been working hard on your applications, right?"
Ransom sighs and runs a hand over his face. "Yeah. I went through four drafts on the personal statement, had Shitty look it over and everything. But I just . . . don't want to."
And they've had this argument before, so Holster tries not to put his foot in his mouth as much as he did when they talked about this back at Samwell. He settles on just asking, "Why not?"
"I think my parents mostly wanted me to be a doctor so that I'd be successful in a way that was easy to show off to their friends and the rest of our family," Ransom says. "And I thought I wanted that too, for a long time, and the helping people bit was a plus. But like, I'm not wildly successful right now, but I'm stable, and I didn't think I'd ever get that. I thought I had to ride the rollercoaster, and the panic attacks were just the price of the kegsters and the wins and all the awesome shit we got up to, but they weren't. Those two things didn't actually have anything to do with each other; they were just part of the same chapter of my life. But I'm still happy—happier, I think—and I'm stable now and I think I've been mentally healthier since graduating than I had ever been before in my life. School was bad for me. Like, I don't know that it's good for most people—it's probably good for somebody; maybe Jack—but I think it was worse for me than for most people. So yeah, if I can avoid going back, I'm going to avoid going back."
Holster puts a hand on Ransom's shoulder. "That sounds like a good decision, bro, and I'm sorry I argued when you wanted to take a gap year. I'm glad graduating has been good for you."
"It's been so good," says Ransom. "I mean, I miss parts of college; don't get me wrong. Our kegsters were the best, and there's nothing like winning a game with you, and living in the Haus was great too. But I had panic attacks once a month, minimum, if not weekly, the entire time I was at Samwell. Now, I haven't had one in over a year."
"Seriously?" asks Holster. "I thought maybe you just got better at hiding them."
"Nope," says Ransom. "Literally my most recent panic attack was the night before my last final. It's been like 13 months."
"That's swawesome!" Holster grins at Ransom.
"I know," says Ransom, returning the grin. "I feel free. Now I just have to figure out a way to tell my family."
"Good luck," says Holster. "Got your back."
"Thanks," Ransom replies. "I think it'll be okay."