I applied to three nursing schools the beginning of this year: The University of Washington in Seattle, New York University and a nursing school located in the South, which is where I live (name is being kept confidential). I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to explaining the complications that arose during this process.
UW was the longest and most difficult of the applications (read about the process/requirements here). I fulfilled all their requirements and wrote, what I feel, was a very strong essay that was edited by numerous academic professionals, friends, family, etc. I sent all the application materials by certified mail with delivery signature request a whole month before the application deadline; I was on top of it! Or, so I thought. I was too confident that if I did everything the right way so would everyone else. I was wrong.
After a fearful realization that the USPS tracking information was not updating and my package wasn’t shown as “delivered” (the application deadline had passed at this point), I called USPS. They had no record of sending the package as certified/delivery receipt, even though I had the confirmation slips in my hand. I called the university, “I’m sorry, we have too many applications. I can’t confirm if it made it here or not. You’ll just have to wait and see.” WAIT AND SEE?! As if that wasn’t horrifying enough, the university then said they don’t send out declination letters. So that meant I would have to wait until decision time passed and I would either receive nothing because I didn’t get in, receive nothing because the application never made it there (thanks to the idiots at USPS), or receive an acceptance if by some miracle things worked out.
To my surprise, I received a declination letter. No explanation as to why. So USPS got it there but it was my own personal inadequacy that didn’t make it; I could live with that. Still, I cried.
The next terrible process was the school in the South. It was much simpler than Seattle’s (read about the requirements here). However, I was discharged from the program because I failed to return an email that was sent to a student account (not my personal account) 5 days after it was sent to me. Apparently, this is a rule in their department; you must reply within 5 days during application season or you are thrown out! I misunderstood this rule, which is why I missed the email that said there was a problem with my application.
By the time I realized this, it was too late. The irritating thing about the entire situation is that the school was mistaken; the whole reason they sent that damn email to begin with was to inform me I didn’t have A&P or Micro, which was wrong because I did have those, which I confirmed with them over the phone by going over my transcripts (it wasn’t until later that I found out there was a problem with my transcript, but I explain that in a later post). But still, it was too late. Their mistake combined with my own automatically disqualified me for admission, even though I was an above average candidate with extremely good grades and TEAS scores.
At this point, I became pretty depressed for about a week. I questioned my decision to do nursing, I wanted to run away, move to a new town; I wanted to disappear. I became extremely irritated with “the system” and bureaucracy of the world. I was such a perfect candidate, I kept thinking, all that work and effort just to be thrown aside because of an email technicality? It was the school’s short-sightedness & lack of organization that made me mad; because of that, I suffered? The idea drove me to madness and unhealthy retaliation.
I was so upset, I didn’t even feel happy when NYU sent me my acceptance letter. Their application process was surprisingly a breeze (read about it here). I love what I experienced at NYU. Every time I called them, they were happy to hear from me, they wanted to help me, they wanted me to be their student; I never felt that with any other school. You could show up anytime at NYU, no appointment necessary, and they would let you sit in classes, talk to students, even experience the hospital simulation lab with dummies and such. NYU made nursing seem accessible, attainable and friendly, characteristics that were not true at UW or the school in the South. UW and the South either seemed too busy for you OR they made their program feel so elite and accomplished that nursing lost its luster. My mom made fun of it, “They act like you’re trying to get in to see the Pope!” So true. And I hated it. NYU was a nice break from the snootiness of other schools.
So what did I learn through the crazy process of trying to find my nursing school?
- DO NOT assume people will do their job right. Check twice. Check thrice. Check 5 effing times if you have to but go over every detail, annoy them if you must, and make sure shit is done. I double checked everything but I still missed stuff so that should tell you when it comes to this, you can’t ever be thorough enough.
- Don’t use USPS. Just pay more for Fedex when it comes to something as important as this, something you’ve worked so hard on and that you are proud of.
- Don’t give up. Sometimes the cosmos seems against you but most of the time, it’s just a combination of bad luck and circumstance. Crying is good. Be sad for a while. But don’t let it last. You must pick yourself up and keep moving because life does the same. Keep your chin up, kid.