Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shenandoah University

In case you didn't know already, I have been applying to pharmacy school for the Class of 2015 since this past summer. No, I am not nearly finished, seeing as how I haven't even looked at the applications for the past three months. Please don't make me feel bad. I sense some apathy from my side.

After I was invited to interview for Shenandoah University, a private school in Winchester, VA, I decided to immediately sign up for its Open House. What I discovered from applying to undergrad is that I really need to absorb the atmosphere to decide whether I can envision myself living there. So the next weekend, I jumped in my car before the break of dawn to get to SU.

Along the way, the roads were littered with dead animals. I had a Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz moment and realized that it was definitely going to be a departure from the urban-like lifestyle of home. Not only that, but I drove by farmland complete with cows and horses and the nostril-flaring smell of fresh manure. Deeelish.

I had gone to an Open House at UMB in the spring, so I thought I knew what to expect. Well, surprise surprise. Nothing was what I expected. The UMB Open House was crawling with people. When I arrived at SU, I was the first one there. Although people slowly trickled in, we amassed a group of around 20. Not only that, but we were each individually greeted by a member of the faculty. The presentations themselves were very casual and had a sort of organic flow to everything; juxtapose that with the strict and orderly way UMB held their Open House.

During the Open House, there was a student panel that came to answer our questions. I couldn't help but notice the lack of racial diversity of the panel - they were all white! I began to have doubts about whether to consider SU as an option for school or not.

Fast forward to a few weeks later.

I arrive around 20 minutes early for my interview on campus, and so I get shown around on an impromptu tour around the pharmacy building. My heart is pumping, my hands are sweating, and I keep talking to try and forget my nerves. Finally, I get shown to the interview room, where I meet my two interviewers. I guess I got a few laughs in here and there and I start to feel like I'm doing really well. After the interview, I had the opportunity to sit in on a class and actually speak to some P2 students and saw that there is racial diversity. Not only that, but everything the students were saying were so positive, and so I get really excited for the chance to possibly attend this school.

I call V in Florida afterward and the first thing she asks me is, "So when will you hear back from them?" ...uh... I feel my hands sweating again and my blood pumping through my body. Did I really not do as well as I had thought? And then I go through everything in my head, trying to pick up if they were dissatisfied with any of my answers.

Silly me. I was so excited I even received an interview, I told everyone and their moms I had one. So everyone was excited to hear how I think I did. Of course I was now nervous, thinking I had really blown it, so I was saying the obligatory, "Oh, I think I did well, but we'll see." Next day after work, I come home, check my gmail, and I see an email from SU. I panicked a little, thinking I must've screwed up submitting parts of my application or something. I clicked on the link to open it and I was shocked to read: Congratulations! It took them 24 hours to notify me of my acceptance into pharmacy school!!!!!

One more thing crossed off my bucket list!

Chasing Pavements Pt. 2

It's funny how a state of inebriation leads to a state of clarity. I finally approached my situation head on, and I feel no regrets. I have a sense of closure. I am strong and empowered. I feel more secure than ever about everything.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way. I know it hasn't been easy for you, always feeling the brunt of my whiney-ness.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chasing Pavements

There are certain topics I'm scared to broach. Yet ironically, these are the ones I need to think through the most.

So, let me pose this uber broad question. How much is something worth the pain and emotional burden it brings, and when do you need to give up?

I feel like I've been dealing with the same questions for the past six months, and it's gotten nowhere. I'm still in the same crippled emotional state as before. I'm still as confused. I'm still as hurt. A large part of me wants to speak out -- actually, I know I need to. But I'm so afraid of the negative repercussions of expressing myself.

It's difficult to get a good read on the situation when the lines are so blurred. Not only that but when the motivation, logic, and reasoning are all as secret and cryptic as a CIA file, it leads me to feel more cautious about the situation. That's how this vicious cycle has strung me along for as long as it has thus far.

Time and again, I lean on Adele's lyrics to help me voice my pain. Should I give up? Or should I just keep chasing pavements, even if it leads nowhere?

If anyone has any insightful comments or some sage advice, please feel free. I know this post has been pretty vague, but I'd love to hear what someone outside the situation perceives that I can't/don't.