31 Days Until A Brand New Me

Since the July PCAT, I have:

  1. Written my PharmCAS essay
  2. Secured 2 out of 4 recommendation letters
  3. Scheduled an interview with the hospital volunteer coordinator
  4. Gotten 2/3 of my transcripts in to PharmCAS (U of C better step it up. I didn’t pay $15 to let them send it at their leisure.)
  5. Started to add schools outside of my top choice to my list.
  6. Selected what kind of pharmacist I want to be
  7. Made a plan for the Sept. PCAT
  8. Built a daily study schedule up to test day Read the rest of this entry »

Yeah, I know what you think

I work at a place that’s all very Harvard and Yale. When I say that I’m going to take my pre-reqs at a local community college, I think I see a slight loss of respect for me.

Yeah, sorry. I realize I went to a fancypants college did well there in a moderately difficult major, but I would be an idiot to spend more than a thousand dollar a credit hour just so I appear worthy of your amazing company. Sorry you have to know somebody who pays $100 a credit hour for school (and then some. What’s up with a "consolidation fee" of $700, MC?).

They can’t seriously look down on me for taking pre-reqs through a community college, could they?

I assume they look down on me for wanting to go to pharmacy school rather than get a PhD in Baltic Basketweaving Theory from some ridiculously expensive private school better known for its jackassery. Maybe I should get a law degree and go around blithely telling people I want to be an "international human rights lawyer."

I’m probably reading way more into this than necessary. Who knows what someone is really thinking? Yeah, it’s not cute that people have to be financially savvy. It would be nice if my parents were loaded, or if I were so desperate for approval that I would want to make it seem like my parents were loaded and I could live some lovely Phi Beta Slacker lifestyle.

But it is what it is. I was foolish before about spending money on fancypants degrees that didn’t land me any zexy high paying consulting gigs. I was foolish about finding a career path and scrambled into one that didn’t meet my needs for stability and challenge and mobility.

Right now is go time.

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Work is work

I’m at work, filling out a study packet for Chapter 8 of my Human Anatomy and Physiology class, and I’m trying my best to concentrate on studying. It’s tough. Working and studying is tough. We’re one team member down, so it makes it harder to peek at my textbook during the day. Nevertheless, I lug it with me, just in case.

I really enjoyed my biology course, which was completely online. I know I have to take it again at the local four-year university for more than six times the price. There was generally more to do, the homework and lectures corresponded with what we had to learn for the exams, and the professor was more conscientious. I’m beginning to worry that my A&P professor isn’t really even looking through my labs. He’s also not as communicative. Also, as good as it is to be intellectually self-reliant, the sheer amount of memorization is sort of overwhelming. I haven’t been perfect about chapters 7 & 8 and I have a double exam due tomorrow. It’s timed, which makes it tougher than biology. Also, and I didn’t want to raise this issue with him, but I think he’s using an older version of the book. He made us buy the brand new edition, but it’s not the same.

I’m constantly torn between being really active in online forums and discussing stuff with other nontraditional pre-meds, and just concentrating on my own work. I’m afraid I’ll psych myself out. I’m not as immature as I used to be, but I’m letting myself get nervous, when all I need to do is focus and learn the stuff.

Realizing how much there is to memorize so the A&P exam tomorrow goes smoothly, however, doesn’t really help. I wish I were independently wealthy so I wouldn’t have to work full-time and study. But that makes me worry I’d be all flighty and lazy like the kids of the uber-wealthy. I’d never get to have the fun that comes with working hard and working towards realizing an ambition. I don’t know if I’d really be as happy as I am, if I were insanely wealthy.

Terps

I have four tasks that are non-work related that need to be done. I have to write my personal statement for the postbac program at UMD, finish my lab on joints, find a part-time job, and figure out if this is actually a good idea.

I feel worried, scared, and a teensy bit alone.

Next year, if I can get Maryland residency, then I can schedule daytime classes, and possibly get some financial aid.

Dolla dolla bill y’all pricing of higher education

Fairly recently, I’d been thinking about attending nursing school (shorter trip than med school(, but I’m pretty alarmed by nursing school tuition.  Since I’m currently engaged,  I can’t plan to abandon my fiance for school. He needs me. I need him. And in the land of Lexuses, tuition is not cheap. Yet these second degree BSN programs have more than enough candidates vying to pay $100,000 for 24 months of education and a shiny degree from a school better known for its foreign service school than its nursing or medical schools. It’s weird. I think it’s totally unethical for the baby boomer administrators to dupe nursing students because nursing is (currently thought to be) a very stable careerpath and the BSN program enables liberal arts graduates to redeem themselves. But it’s not right. The nursing students are going to end up being paid $50K to start in this area. That seriously is not a great investment unless you’re willing to delay starting your real life. My generation doesn’t have $100K sitting around in their bank accounts. Maybe in Mom and Dad’s bank account for the less self-reliant types, but most of us sign away on GradPLUS loans for that kind of program.

I also don’t understand the people who attend Ivy League med schools. My sister attended the state med school because it was cheaper. But the uber-wealthy/entitled are always the ones doing all the talking and theorizing and justifying for Harvard Medical School and Yale Medical School. I didn’t realize it was just a bunch of hot air.

Oh bother

Taking biology online and over the summer is starting to get a little difficult. I has a crazy week at work last week and came home exhausted nearly every night. Work doesn’t leave me time to eat (and I don’t make enough money to afford to grab a lunch all the time). I was supposed to be on vacation for much of last week and I had to postpone that because we were understaffed.

It’s not a big deal to postpone. I discovered I didn’t have enough money to take a trip I had originally wanted to. Well, I did have enough money, but it seems wise not to spend that money and to stay focused. Read the rest of this entry »

Let the pep rally begin…

I, a full-time administrative workerbee, recently started taking a biology class at a community college in a state with cheaper tuition. I live and work in DC and the magic of the interwebs is allowing me to take this class. The idea was to apply to attend nursing school and to take biology before I take Anatomy & Physiology. I’m toying with the idea of med school as well.

Why am I taking this course online at a community college not in my own area?  I don’t make very much and couldn’t afford the $1,000+/per credit price tag Georgetown offers its biology courses at. I could attend UDC at $75/credit, but their lab classes start at 5:30 pm and I don’t have that kind of flexibility in my work schedule. UMD is an option, but they end up being just as inflexible as UDC. Northern Virginia Community College offers classes on the weekend, but DC residents have to pay $276/credit. My out-of-state community college in charges $50/credit. Sweet, especially for someone who is carless and on my salary (though even $200 can be a hit to my budget). Read the rest of this entry »