Little accomplishments

I am tired of thinking I’m not getting anything done. So I’m going to see what I am spending my day on, and I’m also going to add a list of things that I let myself get distracted by:
CHORES:
  1. Washed dishes
  2. Cleaned bathroom sink
  3. Posted Netflix
  4. Made To Do lists
  5. Wiped mirror in LVGRM
  6. Got packages from downstairs
  7. Put rest of Diet Cokes in fridge
General Organization & Grooming
  1. X’d out days in new desk calendar
  2. Wrote up countdown to PCAT and major dates
  3. Brushed my hair
  4. Washed my face, toned, moisturized
PharmCAS:
  1. Sent prof info (resume, personal statement, bullet points) needed for him to write recommendation letter
  2. Registered prof’s name with PharmCAS
  3. Asked dept chair/pre-health advisor for recommendation letter
  4. Sent personal statement to friend for criticism
PCAT 
  1. Oh crap.
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Hitting the Reset

I took the PCAT yesterday, after a sleepless night. It’s been a really rough week. When I get nervous, I can’t eat. I had planned to drink a meal replacement. I had planned to talk myself into getting into bed.  I tried, and found I was too rattled to sleep. And my hunger pains were ripping my stomach.

I found myself desperately wishing I had had more time to study. It seemed crazy to only spend five weeks studying for it. I found this helpful stuff on the PCAT website at the last minute (because I’d been avoiding SDN—the bitchiest boyzone forum that is occasionally helpful that I’ve personally ever encountered).

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No time to panic

The PCAT is Wednesday, July 27th.

I’m freaking out a little, when there is no need. I’ll do the best I can. I’ve been studying. I’m trying to get a Romanian gymnast’s level of concentration going. I’m wearing the outfit I’ll wear to the test center.

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Annoyed

When you take college chemistry at my school, you’re required to take a discussion course. My professor grades us during discussion for working on a problem set (1 worksheet) together as a group. I usually work with people who seem alive and alert and aware. This week, she assigned us groups. I dealt with two students who didn’t know how to do extremely basic algebra, and one student who seemed scared and lost. I was beyond annoyed. I snapped at them. She’d literally just given a lecture a little more than an hour ago and spoon-fed us the problem solving techniques. It’s basic algebra. I’m not helping people who have nothing to offer me.

Which is mean and unkind, and I wish I had more patience. I don’t know if I do or if it’s weird that I don’t. I’ll have to ask.

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Closer and closer

This summer has been fun. I have one more week of work left and a few more weeks until school starts. So far, I’ve managed to handle some of the complicated things: financial aid, giving notice at work, preparing to discuss COBRA dental, figuring out how to get health insurance, determining my schedule so I can work a few hours, and learning about pharmacy specializations.

The most important things to totally sort out now are health insurance and money.

Health insurance

My college does not offer any. It requires I have it, but does not offer any. There’s a school further away not in MD that offers it to all students, regardless of how many credits you’re taking, so I’m signing up for that. I went down to the school to apply for admission (it’s open admission anyway) and they said they would process my application. I’m supposed to register for courses in mid-August, and I guess at that point I can sign up for health insurance, which hopefully kicks in the first of September. COBRA costs $700 a month. I can’t afford that. Private insurance won’t cover prescription benefits unless I exhaust COBRA. I’m getting the dental aspect of COBRA because I know what happened after not getting regular checkups and cleanings for 8 years.

Luckily, the school that offers insurance offers a Public Speaking class on Saturdays and my college doesn’t. So it’s all okay and helps me get done faster.

Money

I saved up money from my paychecks (and moved to a state with a community college) so I could spend it on cheaper tuition. I’m also taking out a loan so I can keep what I have liquid in case something starts falling apart (health, emergencies of any other kind, whatever).

I have a panicked jolt coming through me every now and again where I’m like, Oh my god, I can’t leave my job. But it’s not like I can make peace with what I’m doing for a living right now. It’s not what I wanted. I didn’t get what I want because what I wanted was based on depictions on television and books, and influences from people who aren’t me. And a fair amount of fantasy, too.
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Passion in Fashion

Every time I pick a new career direction, I get all dreamy about it and excited. After a few weeks or months, that excitement is replaced by fear that I will be miserable with my decision once I invest a lot of time and money into it.

The problem with making a decision in a health-related field is that you have to invest time and money into it. You have to decide and then you have to commit, often without knowing how you’ll change. Okay, maybe that’s true for a vast number of professions.

A lot of pre-meds I know quit being pre-meds because studying for O-Chem was too stressful, and after talking too much about med school and getting extremely scared that even if they did their best their efforts might be for nothing, they quit and sought out new directions that seemed to have fewer obstacles. One friend had been pre-med and a biochem major. I think she was rejected from med school or her grades weren’t very good, and so, within a year, she took the LSAT and enrolled at her state law school.

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The library is a scary place…

I’m at the library, getting an early jumpstart on studying for A&P I, and there are two med students (I think they’re med students because they’re obviously friends and one is wearing a GWU Medicine sweatshirt). They’re gossiping a lot for two people being serious about studying. I can’t hear what they’re talking about. They’re using that level of whisper that is impossible to hear but sounds like a swarm of mosquitos. One of them is talking about how something is gross. I’d like to put my headphones in my ears but one of them is missing the soft rubber tip.

I can’t help but worry a little in a junior high-ish way: Are they making fun of me? Read the rest of this entry »

I heard that Robots don’t get sinus infections

Work has been horrendously busy lately. I’ve been feeling pessimistic, irritable, and overwhelmed due to how busy we are at work and how it cuts into my study and family/friends time. So I’ve been unhappy, but trucking along and trying to lighten my burden. I mean, I wish I didn’t have to work and study anatomy, but I need money for rent, food, and tuition. Also, I think I work with people who are generally nice, but my team is understaffed. I was not bitter about that until I started developing a sinus infection. I didn’t know I had one — I thought it was allergies, plus it wasn’t like I could do anything about it anyway. But last night, I got a little hysterical because I was developing a pretty bad sinus problem and rubbed my eye and all of a sudden it got extremely red and goopy. Viral conjunctivitis. Read the rest of this entry »

There must be some way…

I’m not a big fan of late nights at the office during weeks that are especially pressing due to exams. It messes with my diet and my skin. It’s not the staying late or getting up early that I mind. I mind the not knowing what my temporarily sacrificing my sense of well-being is for, especially when these things could eventually lead to being laid off anyway. Luckily (and somewhat unluckily), I’m paid by the hour and could use the overtime.

I’ve written about the “dolla dolla bill y’all” mentality of higher education administrators. I could attend UDC and knock out my pre-reqs there, but I’m told it has a poor reputation (not that rep trumps MCAT). Two applicants who were admitted to pretty good med schools were not admitted to Maryland. They had near-perfect GPAs but terrible MCAT scores, like, the kind of MCAT scores a foreign medical school would reject. Despite being part of an underrepresented minority group, they were rejected from places like Howard and Meharry.

What does this mean? I shouldn’t go off just two data points, but Maryland is a tough bet. I’m a tough bet. I’m a non-traditional applicant and I can’t afford a course at Georgetown. One measly course at Georgetown would be two months salary for me. UMD’s Science in Evening program is very reasonable, but my work is not flexible and I can’t get to College Park by 7 pm, and they don’t offer financial aid.

So I think it’s community college for me, where rates are reasonable and financial aid is available. Sigh. I really wanted to put myself in the very best position, but it’s tough, and, we’ll see how it turns out.

Know before you go

Recently, someone from my high school class died. It’s always sad to hear about someone young passing away during, probably, the best years of his life (post-grad school, engaged to be married, etc). He had a name that was vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t remember his face or anything about him. I googled his name, found his obit, and his blog. One of my Facebook friends wrote in her status that he was a good guy, but if someone who barely remembers him, like me, were to google him and find his online “legacy,” you’d have to think that this guy was not nice in the traditional sense. Calling some girl in a bar “a skank” and “fat,” and making fun of her is pretty low. It would be the lowest if her name had been revealed, sure, but this broseph just talked about how he analyzed her looks and she was ugly and gap-toothed, blah blah blah.

It’s too bad that people will have to remember his personality like this. Maybe he wasn’t a jerk in real life and his online persona was no indication of his character. And you have to feel sorry for someone who sounded so sarcastic and mean in something he put his name on. I hope the guy had some good times and was a nice person in real life.

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