Friday, November 19, 2010

"The evaluation of your admission file is presently in progress."

Well, the title of this post says it all. 

This is the latest message I have received from the University.  That message, plus one more message, that said that the school has all the documents it requires from me, that my file is essentially complete. 

Now I wait, and hope, and work on being patient.  Actually, with the patience part, I think that's all OK now.  I admit I was a bit impatient to have the university finally acknowledge receipt of my file, but that was more in terms of just wanting to be reassured that some administrative goof-up wasn't happening.  Now, I am reassured that all is well with my file, and now I just wait.

How long do I wait until the admission decision is made?  That is an excellent question, and one that I do not have an answer for.  The other information the University web site indicated, was that admission file review do not start until mid-March, for the programs starting next September (like mine).  But they clearly wrote to me and said what I wrote in the title of this post ("The evaluation of your admission file is presently in progress.")

I do remember the guy who took my application package initially, saying something that the University tends to look at applicants with a post-secondary degree already completed, earlier than others.  So perhaps that is why my application is being processed somewhat sooner. 

Now I just sit tight and wait to hear further.  And in the meantime, try to continually convince myself that it really is OK to quit my current career and basically start a new career from scratch, at my age and with my current responsibilities!!!  I really want to make this change, and I am 99.9% sure I will make this change.  But in the meantime, I can drive myself crazy while in the transition phase!

This is one of the reasons I started this blog (no, not to drive myself crazy!).  I wanted to document the transition phase, and how hard it actually is to WILLINGLY leave an established career, to pursue another.  If I were to be laid-off, this decision would be so simple.  But initiating the change myself, not so simple.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

GASP!!! Horrendous generation gap highlighted...

Well, I got my wish of finally being in the University computer system.  The old saying, of being careful of what one wishes for, as it may come true, applied yesterday. 

Now that I'm officially in the school's computer system, I am also now on their mailing list.

I received an email from the school, announcing an upcoming information night being held for prospective students.  OK, so far so good.  That's certainly standard practice and good communication.  Then the email continued on, stating that I am welcome to attend and that I can even bring my parents with me to the session!!!  I burst out laughing, as I considered calling my mom to attend with me.  I was howling with laughter as I described this scenario to dear husband.

My dear, "dear" husband, then one-upped me on the scenario.  He proceeded to describe a scenario where I go without my mother, by myself, to the info night, and I get asked if I brought my kid with me!!!  YIKES!!! 

I was soon howling again, but no longer from laughter!  (OK, not really.)  Seriously, I did think that was funny too, but it did hit home the obvious generation gap that I'll be facing when school starts.  Clearly, I know I no longer look or act 18, which is a good thing in some regards (although I'd take back my firmer, 18 year old face in a heartbeat!!!).

Going back to school as an adult, is certainly going to be a very different experience than my previous experiences.  I remember there always being one or two "old" people in my classes, particularly in my science undergrad classes.  I would be very curious to know how old they actually were.  Maybe they were my current age (gasp again!), although I clearly remember most of women having short, grey hair, which is something that I at least, don't have.  So in any case, they probably looked older than perhaps they actually were.  I am certain, however, that I will look very old to the fresh out of high school kids.  I remember being that age, and anybody over the age of 26 was considered really old.

In hindsight, it must have taken a lot of courage for those people to join in to our young classes, where they didn't seem to have anybode else there, their age. 

What I do have going for me, in my upcoming adventure, is that nursing school seems to be quite a popular career choice among mid-career changers.  While I don't know what to expect in my school (there is an inquiry I need to make, to find out!), I have read that in some programs up to one-third of the class are mid-career changers. 

I know I won't be the only older student there, and once I get over the initial 'shock' of being in such a class, frankly, I don't believe I'll think twice about it.  I'll be back at school for one purpose, and one purpose only -- to get my BScN degree.  This time around, I'm not there to make a network of friends, to figure out how to live on my own for the first time, how to cook, how to do laundry, dating is not a concern, figuring out what to do with my life, etc. etc....all the factors that kids starting university for the first time have to deal and cope with. 

It will be very interesting (and dare I say, refreshing!), to truly be in university, and just have the classes to focus on, and nothing else.  Granted, I have all the home responsibilities to deal with that my average classmates won't, but I am dealing with those regardless if I am a student or at my job.

And frankly, I'll take my current life, with its stable, loving relationships and home responsibilities any day, over the learning curve of the early days at university for the first time!

Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm in the system!!!

Wahoo -- my wish of my application being formally acknowledged by the University has happened!   And I am also very pleased that so far, there are no glaring administrative mistakes on the application, like my program choice for admission being listed as accounting or philosophy.  So far, so good. 

University admission procedures have changed somewhat since I last applied to an undergrad program.  As would be expected, everything is electronic now.  (Apparently one can even sign up to have your admission offer texted to your cell phone!!!)  I was told that my application would be acknowledged on a certain part of the University's website, which I have been checking (I admit, somewhat obsessively) in the past few days...  And then, there it was!  This is part of the message: 

"The Admissions Office of the University of XXX has received your application for admission. We are in the process of reviewing files to determine what documents we require for evaluation. We are presently processing the heavy volume of applications and documents. Please be patient. Within the next two weeks, any missing documents will be indicated here."
I might add that that was the University who highlighted the "please be patient" in bold font.  It's almost like they know me!
So the wait continues, and I will try hard at being more patient....  ;-)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Getting cold feet...

...and I don't mean just the type that happens every year when the temperature drops outside!!!  Those, I have practically year 'round, along with cold hands.  Oh, my lucky, future patients!!!  :-)

Regarding this mid-career change, nothing, of course, is yet set in stone.  I am still employed full-time, and I am still waiting for the university to as much as acknowledge receipt of my application.  I am just dreaming about nursing school.  So the current job situation retains its status quo. 

So why the cold feet?  In one simple word: financial security. (OK, that's two words!)

For some reason, I am not at all worried about landing a great nursing job at the end of my studies.  I know I'll be a very competent nurse, I know I'm an outgoing 'people person' and will love finally being back in the medical field (this time as a paid professional, rather than just as a volunteer).  I have a very good 'gut feeling' about the whole career change idea -- and over the years I have learned to 'trust the gut'.  If I had any reservations at all about the actual career change, I would not be considering it any further.

What concerns me, are the few years between quitting my current job, and starting to work after graduating as a nurse.  The financial unknowns during these few years concern me.

As I'd mentioned earlier, my dear husband and soul mate is very supportive of this change.  I would not be considering any career change if we had not talked this through in great detail over the years, and I didn't have his full agreement and support.  He is a professional in his field, and has a great job and career, one in which he is very intelligent and well respected by his colleagues.  He's in a great place -- AND he loves what he does (lucky guy!!!)

In the many years we've been together, he has only gone through one lay-off (and that one came with an amazing severance package, so even through that ordeal, there never were any financial issues).  During those few months that he was off work, it was also reassuring to me to know that I had a full-time job (even though I was on maternity leave at the time). 

This lay-off scenario would be different, if I were a student again.  We know we can comfortably live off one salary - we have proven that.  The difference would be that we would have so many more expenses, with university tuition and books and everything else.  And the guilt that I would feel in that scenario would simply be unimaginable.

I don't know why I have such strong worries for this situation.  Without getting into any personal financial details, we are on a very solid financial footing.  This scenario really should not be a huge concern, particularly given that the odds of my dear husband being laid off in the next few years are relatively slim.  Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but I don't think this should be such a major worry for me.  But it is. 

I have read that being in a position as I currently am (wanting to change careers, but finding it very difficult to leave the current, comfortable situation, even though it is completely the wrong field), is called the "golden handcuff".   Hard to leave, and hard to stay.

I also know that the TRANSITION stage, the flux stage, is the most difficult to deal with, as there is an ending happening (ending of the familiar situation), a new beginning dawning (into the unknown), but neither is complete yet.  This is still the muddled middle ground, when closure is possible, but not yet happened,

The transition stage is the most unsettling, as one knows that change is coming, but one has not yet actually rolled up her sleeves (scrubs!) and gotten to work on the new project. 

It is far too easy to worry about potential, hypothetical situations!

Monday, November 8, 2010

My application is now complete

Still the long wait continues, to even get an email validation from the university to acknowledge receipt of my application. 

However, last week I received the one transcript that I had yet to submit, to make my application complete.  The person receiving the transcript confirmed the info that I had to wait at least until mid-November (to late November), to get a first acknowledgement from the school.  At least that bit of info was reassuring to hear.  I don't know why, but it seems that if an administrative mistake is going to happen, it seems to happen to me.  This is perhaps why I have become extra vigilant when dealing with an administrative process, as I often manage to catch errors and fix them.  The transcript I submitted last week was written under my maiden name, and my current application is under my married name.  This seemed to somewhat confuse the person taking the document.  My student number remains the same, so this should really not be that confusing.  However, what worries me somewhat is that the document I submitted had to be given to the university in the sealed envelope it arrived it (somebody had even written their signature on the sealed flap of the envelope!).  So I handed in the document without being able to make a photocopy for my records.  Hopefully everything will go smoothly...all the more reason why I am so keen to finally have a written record from the school, regarding the status of my application!

In the meantime, I am somewhat of a keener, and I have already started re-learning the anatomy and physiology I once knew, when I did my Bachelor of Science degree.  I figured I might as well start learning the anatomy now, as it simply requires rote memorization to learn, and also because I love learning it.  Once upon a time for a course in comparative anatomy, I had to memorize all the bones, muscles, tendons, insertion points of the tendons and muscles, major blood vessels, organs, tissues, various layers of various tissues, etc etc.  It was certainly a challenge, and not something that could be done at the last minute.

Regarding physiology, I must say that I was rather surprised and pleased with the amount of endocrinology I actually remembered.  It gives me hope that my somewhat older brain still retains something from when I was in my early twenties, and that it still remains capable of learning! 

Now if I could just know that I am (FINALLY!) actually doing this learning for a real, medical-end result career, that would simply be the ultimate feeling.  I have studied much anatomy and physiology in the past, but never for a medical end result, even though that was what I always truly wanted.  Hopefully this wish will be realized in the coming year.