It seems so long ago I graduated from high school and started my first year at Kent State pre-med, but then after only a few weeks of chemistry I realized I was in trouble and dropped out. I changed schools and my major to criminal law and realized after 2 years I missed science and sport so much I compromised and went to school for exercise physiology. I have had a passion for the cardiovascular system since I was 11, memorizing the anatomy of the heart and the path of blood through the body. I had lots of road blocks to finish my bachelor's degree and after 10 long years I did it. I thought it was over and I would finally begin my career. I was so excited to get away from serving and all the complaining about shitty tippers (Yea!! 10% is NOT appropriate!!! Average tipping is 18% and up!!) who want free meals, the lazy servers who do half-ass work, the tipping out to everyone and their mother in the restaurant, the health code violations employees commit and the high stress of having managers constantly yelling during the rush. I was relieved I was going to find a job in cardiac and pulmonary rehab and help people to a better life, to a second chance. I was done consoling people who wanted the most tender steak "well-done but not burnt" who didn't get it just the way they liked it and thought the world was ending. I sent out my resume, excited about my future, about having a salaried income, a 401k, maybe even my own home someday soon, but it didn't happen.
My lack of experience, no ACSM certification and no master's degree = "thanks for your applicantion but NO!!" I spent a many nights stressed and panicked over my future and made the decision to continue my education and complete my master's degree and work for free at a hospital in my field. Thankfully, I finished that one in 2 years, but the job market plummeted and hours were being cut everywhere. I was beyond frustrated. I was just down right pissed off!! What the fuck was it going to take to get a job! I was a server with 2 degrees, both with honors (what a waste). I didn't want to take a job outside my field because I worked so hard for it and I really truly enjoy the people and the clinical environment.
I felt like my future was a big black hole with no direction and then a friend at work said I should apply for the accelerated nursing program at Kent State. It would be 4 semesters of my life. I am already 31, but what is 2 more years? It goes by so fast and there would almost always be jobs available. I would NEVER EVER have to worry again. I applied in April. I was really nervous. They only take 30 people! I even know a girl that has applied for the program 2 times and been rejected and was also applying again for the 3rd time. They grade you based on your 2 letters of recommendation (I had one from my advisor and my boss at the hospital), your essay on why you want to be in the field, pre-requisites (I had all A's, except A&P II, got a B!), cumulative GPA for degrees (undergrad 3.5, grad 3.8) and prior experience in the medical field (I had 2 years working in cardiac and pulmonary rehab, along with Basic Life Support Training). It seemed I was a shoe-in, but for the last 2 months I have beeen stressing and stressing about my future and my finances. Let's face it working as a server is NOT a steady income and with the new tip-out system our company implemented I will make $2000 less this year!!!
I even applied for tuition assistance through the Cleveland Clinic, but because their deadline for acceptance was last week and Kent State does not begin accepting applications until this week I had to contact the Clinic and apologize for wasting their time and withdraw my applicaiton. After I hung up the phone, I'll admit I broke down and cried. Why is this so hard for me to grow-up and have a career, a family, a home? What was I doing wrong? I felt it was a bad sign of things to come. Now, I was even more nervous about my future. Had I signed up for this summer chemistry class only to have my application rejected by Kent State? "Sorry, you are not a winner, please try again."
Last night, I arrived home about 11:30pm from work and I received an email from the accelerated nursing department.
Congratulations! It is an honor to inform you of your provisional acceptance into the College of Nursing’s Accelerated Baccalaureate Degree Program for fall 2009. Official acceptance is only valid with a response to the attached Electronic Statement of Intent indicating you will accept or decline your seat by June 30, 2009.
Instructions for submitting your Statement of Intent:
ELECTRONICALLY: (Preferred method)
Open the attachment in Microsoft Word
If accepting your seat for fall 2009; Click on the box for Accept; TAB to fill in the information below.
If declining your seat for fall 2009; Click on the box for Decline; TAB to Reason, We appreciate a reason for you decline.
TAB to the bottom of the page and complete the date and electronic signature.
Click on FILE, SAVE (we suggest saving to your desktop).
Open the original email and click on REPLY.
ATTACH the Statement of Intent you saved to your desktop.
Open the attachment in Microsoft Word.
Print document & complete
Fax to: 330-672-2061
Keep in mind the June 30th deadline.
You will be receiving a packet with additional acceptance requirements by e-mail on July 1, 2009. Please watch closely for it. All requirements are due July 24, 2009.
Kent State University College of Nursing
I let out a really quiet "Hooray!!!" as my roommates were asleep and breathed a sigh of relief.