First off, I am still a student (3rd of four semesters). However, this subject has been on my mind a lot lately, and I guess this is my chance to say you are not alone.
For the first two semesters of nursing school, I was absolutely convinced that I wouldn't go anywhere near med/surg. With my grades and refs from my professors and clinical instructors, I was sure (and assured) that I would have no problem landing any "specialty" that I wanted.
However, towards the end of last semester, I started to examine my reasons for seeking "specialty" placement after graduation. Part of it was ego, as well as a desire to go into a position with lots of opportunity for additional training. But, when I got real honest with myself, I realized that a big part of my avoidance of med/surg was fear and insecurity: fear of having such a patient load, and insecurity in my clinical abilities to competantly care for patients of that number and acuity.
A strange thing started to happen. I actually began to seriously consider seeking a med/surg-type position upon graduation. My reading of allnurses and conversations with my instructors have lead me to see med/surg as a specialty in and of itself, and not a "basic" level or training ground. I love variety, and I find the thought of a diverse patient load (in terms of ages, patho, meds, procedures, etc) very appealing.
I am, of course, only speaking for myself. The standard saying is how there is a nursing area for just about any taste. I think it is great that it is now SOP for qualified new grads to go directly into a non-med/surg area, should they so desire. I can't help but wonder if this has a flip side of convincing grads that if they can get into a higher acuity position, they automatically should.
Which is all my long-winded way of saying to you that if you don't want to go into a "specialty" peds area, you shouldn't feel you "have" to just because most of your classmates are. Think of all of the wonderful variety of peds you will treat as a peds med/surg nurse. In the process, you will be near PICU, NICU, peds ER, etc. and can decide if you want to try out those areas.