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Friday, August 16, 2013

Lynn Wood, Nursing Student

It's down to the wire. In less than a week, I will be starting nursing school. Less than a week ago, I attended an all day orientation and bought my books. I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm terrified. I'm overwhelmed.

I'm ready to go.

Monday, July 29, 2013


What's an approaching college semester without a good ol' financial aid rant, right? The two go hand-in-hand.

I'm not going to name any schools, or any people, but I'm so frustrated! Frustrated for myself, for my friends, and for a number of young people I'm acquainted with. And yes, it's all because of financial aid.

First, you fill out the FAFSA. You attach your tax information to it or you fill the info in, and you have it all sent to the school. Then you have to wait eons to get any words from the school, and most often, you're ordered to jump through hoops with little to no time given to do your jumping.

For the past two years, I've been "chosen" for verification, which means I've had to fill out extra forms, provide tax transcripts, etc. At first, I though it was because I manually filled in the tax information on my FAFSA, but I've since learned of others who did theirs manually instead of using the retrieval tool and have never been "chosen."

My financial aid came through this year, and I'm comfortable to start the semester. Many other people I know are not so lucky. I know one person who has been given a large number of hoops to jump through, completed them all (and can prove it), and yet here they sit, on the day their bill is due, with still no word on financial aid. That person is currently preparing to forget college for the fall and get a job instead.

Many others I know are in similar situations. They've done all they need to do. Yet the week their bills are due, no word. My daughter even got an email 10 days ago from the person reviewing her application requesting additional information because, as it turns out, she MISREAD the FAFSA. My daughter immediately responded to the email, and because it was past closing time when she received the email, called the next morning and explained the error. Ten days later, the week the bill is due -- nothing.

And what if it finally comes through this week? What if it finally comes through the day before the due date? Then there's the additional fear that the financial aid offered won't cover the bill, and we have a mere 24 hours to find that extra money. We're not wealthy. The economy of the past 5 years has killed us. Nearly ruined us. We have absolutely no wiggle room in our budget. What do we do next?

These kids, these students, they've done everything right. They worked hard in school. They were accepted into college. They did all that was asked, and now may see their college dreams dashed. In a society where even menial jobs are starting to require college degrees, it's something worth ranting about.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Two months?

Has it really been two--almost three--months since I last posted? Wow!

It's been a busy summer, although not as busy as it might have been. As I mentioned in my long ago previous post, I took the summer off from school. Part of me regrets that. Part of me thinks I should have taken classes over the summer to keep the brain juices flowing and the financial aid funds coming.  But I didn't.

I didn't because I knew that with nursing school imminent, leisure time would be precious. Time spent with my family would be sparse. Bleary-eyed mornings would be abundant and sleeping in would be a rarity.

I did it because my husband asked me to. Actually, he demanded it. Yup, I'm a good wife that way.

But now the summer is nearing its end. My children start school in a couple weeks. My nursing school orientation (yay!) is the same week my children start school. My first day of the semester comes less than two weeks after that, and by September, I'll be well-entrenched.

Probably a little tired.

Maybe a little short-tempered.

And I predict my house will be a mess.

But I will be a NURSING STUDENT!
*not actually me

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Step One Achieved

My past two years have been dedicated to getting into nursing school. I had that terrifying first day of college. I studied my butt off. I spent an entire summer threatening to hide a sleeping bag in the back of the Health Sciences building so I wouldn't have to waste study time commuting to and from school. I finished my pre-requisites with a 4.0 GPA. I agonized over my entrance exam. I ROCKED my entrance exam. And then finally, on April 10th, five semesters after I started, I received (drumroll, anybody?)

(I really wish I could make those two words flash and maybe play a fanfare. That would be so cool. And add little fireworks. Fireworks would make it even cooler.)

 I'm in!

Yes, ladies and gentleman, I was officially accepted into the Associate's Degree Nursing Program starting fall 2013.  Class of 2015, baby!

I can now call myself a Nursing Student.

Of course the hardest part, surviving nursing school, is yet to come.

But, you know what? In my book, my acceptance alone is quite an accomplishment. So I'm going to bask. I'm basking in my accomplishment. Watch me bask. Bask and engage in many happy butt wiggles.
*not actually me

And I'm taking the summer off from school.

I'm taking the summer off to recharge my nearly burnt-out batteries and complete all the tasks required of me in order to retain my spot in the program. I ordered my background check yesterday and today I peed in a cup.

That was loads of fun.

Friday I get to be poked with needles. Maybe this weekend I'll go check some shoes out at the local
healthcare professional supply store. I'll check shoes out and stethoscopes, too. Stethoscopes! I need my very own stethoscope! How cool is that?

How ever am I going to avoid playing with all my nursing school toys until August?

I should enjoy this excitement while I can. I have a sneaking suspicion that it won't be long before the idea of a stethoscope will no long elicit such giddiness.


As I work my way through the process of nursing school prep, nursing school, graduation, passing the NCLEX, and employment, I'll try to blog my journey. Feel free to enjoy it with me!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Spring Has Sprung

image from
Don't be mislead by my post title; I'm not referring to the weather. Instead, I'm talking about the same thing I always seem to talk about: school. Today was the first day of the Spring 2013 semester.

Today was the official first day of Spring 2013 semester. The first day of my Spring 2013 semester is tomorrow. Tomorrow will be my first day back in classes since early December. I've been on my semester break long enough to get used to sleeping late. Urg.

In fact, my children returned to school today, as well. And when my alarm clock went off at 5:45 this morning, I honestly thought it was a mistake. I thought I was dreaming. My first instinct was to grab the television remote because I thought the volume was too loud. Unfortunately, it wasn't long before I realized the ugly truth. It wasn't a mistake. I wasn't dreaming. And it wasn't the television.

image from
I'm taking a light class load this semester, as I'm preparing to take my nursing school entrance exam in a couple months. In addition to studying for my classes, I'll also be studying for a huge standardized test that will either make or break my mood for the rest of the year. I'm confident enough for the reading/writing portion of that big exam. I'm even running a low panic level for the math portion. But the science portion? That one has me scared. Result: for the next 2-1/2 months, I'll be reviewing all the physiology I learned over the past year.

Double urg.

Two classes. One is a class I need for my degree. The last one outside of the nursing classes I'll be taking. The other is a class of my choosing. One that I hope will help prepare me for nursing school. I'm really looking forward to one of them. Can you guess which?

Intro to Humanities

Human Pathophysiology
And here's where my geek shines through. I didn't have classes today. I didn't have to do anything school-related today. Yet, first thing this morning, I still logged into ANGEL, my school's "web-based course management and collaboration portal." In other words, it's the place where I do all my homework, contact my instructors, get notes and assignments, and often take my quizzes or tests. And I logged on this morning. Just to see what was there.

No, my post title isn't talking about the weather, despite the fact the weatherman predicts a high of 73 this Saturday (wowzers!). It is talking about the school semester, and thus, the conditions and atmosphere in my home.

Hm. Now that I think about it, maybe I was talking about the weather.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Best Wishes for the New Year