When I hit submit on this new school application, I wasn’t sure how long I would be waiting. Saba had three different start dates so surely I couldn’t be waiting months? I tried to distract myself with work and researching other school options, but every time my email pinged on my phone I could feel my heart race as I fumbled to open it.
I got a response way faster than I thought I would, in about a week. Applying to an international school while knowing the risks that were attached was not an easy decision by any means, but I still felt a wave of excitement as I went to check my email. As I had mentioned in last week’s post, if it didn’t work out this time then I would just continue refreshing my plan and apply in Canada again the next year or look elsewhere. One step at a time. On the other hand, could this be it? The time I get an acceptance back and can finally officially start my dream of becoming a physician? Deep breath.
It was not.
Remember how I mentioned that I didn’t take organic chemistry or biochemistry and that this particular school required it BUT would provide exceptions based on an individual basis?
I was not the exception.
It stung yet again seeing another letter starting with “unfortunately,” but this time it was a bit different. There was a “however” attached to it. Okay, I’m listening…
They stated that while my missing science courses prevented me from meeting Saba’s requirements, they had forwarded my application to a sister school which provided a “pre-med” program of sorts with the implication that once successful in this semester long program, you would continue on with their medical school curriculum. Medical University of the Americas? Never heard it. But I was intrigued, especially if it opened up a door to becoming a physician. Honestly even a window would have sufficed at that point.
I accepted the telephone interview for MUA and immediately began looking up all the information I could find about this school. I’m talking “your best friend is going on a date with some guy she met on Bumble, now find out his life story” level research. Now being that I had all but memorized Saba’s entire web page from the amount of times I had visited the site and seminars I had attended, I was wildly surprised with how identical everything was for MUA. And I mean identical. The information was almost word for word on both sites. Hell even their respective headquarters in the US were in the SAME OFFICE. Okay so what, when they said sisters did they mean twins or something?
There were some obvious differences of course. This school was located on the island of Nevis, about 86km away from Saba. The stats were exceptionally similar with minor differences. Looking at it from the outside in, it almost seemed like an over flow school for Saba. Whaa? My interest was piqued.
I was also incredibly nervous for the interview process, especially since this portion was a completely new experience for me. I spent hours thinking of what to say and going over tons of practice questions so I was ready with whatever they threw at me.
The interview flew by so fast, and it felt like I was speaking with a colleague the whole time. I had my little cheat sheet of notes in front of me (benefit of phone interviews) and felt like I answered every question with “enough detail that you sound like you know what you’re talking about but not so long-winded that they think you’re a conceited asshole.”
At the end of it we chatted a bit and she asked about what it was like working as a nurse during a pandemic, and then told me that she was thoroughly impressed with my application and had a really good feeling about me getting accepted.
And I knowww, it’s their job to sweet talk but I won’t lie, it made me feel like maybe THIS time it was actually possible. Before she left the call she reiterated that she had a VERY good feeling that I would be hearing back within the week.
What? Oh my god does that mean this could actually happen? I barely slept for the next few days and scrubbing in for longer cases at work was PAINFUL because I just wanted to have my eyeballs glued to my email all day.
About a week and a half later I still hadn’t heard anything and the anxiety was beginning to increase (it’s fine you said within the week but whatever who’s counting anyways, I’m not stressed, I’m Monica Geller breezy.)
But then, when I woke up and checked my phone, still half asleep for the morning social media routine (as we all do) I saw a notification. Wait a second…
An email from MUA saying “there has been a decision made on your application online, please login using your MUA account.”
Holy crap. But wait. I never applied to MUA directly, my application had been forwarded to them via Saba. I didn’t even have an MUA login. HOW was I going to see this message? I tried to login with the password I had used for Saba…incorrect. I tried a few more times for good measure until surprise surprise, this big dummy locked herself out of this mystery account for 60 minutes.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW.
I called the admissions number for MUA, and they said to wait for the 60 minutes and try again.
After nearly pacing a hole into my apartment floor, the 60 minute timer I set went off. I ran back to my laptop to try again. What password was I exactly trying again? We don’t know. But this time when the error message came up the first time, I called the admissions office so I didn’t bamboozle myself yet again. She asked me for some verifying information and let me know that they could give me access to the MUA account within a few DAYS. I begged her to tell me at least what the application decision was so I could calm down and stop pacing.
Her tone sounded hesitant to this request, which instantly made me ready to expect another rejection. But the woman in the interview said I was a perfect candidate? Now what am I going to do? (It will forever amaze me how many negative thoughts you can process in a simple conversation pause.)
But then her tone changed. I think? She sighed (oh no) and said, “Well I can’t give you any major account details but if I were to hint at saying aaanything, I would lean towards the side of ‘Congratulations on your acceptance’ and you were an exceptionally impressive candidate.”
Holy shit. Is this real? I was elated. Also slightly concerned for the anxiety I had just put my heart through all before 8:30am. But more so elated. This was happening. I had an extra semester of work ahead of me but I was DOING the dam thing.
Finally it felt like all my hard work had something tangible to show for it, even if it was enveloped in uncertainties.
Now, what did we just get ourselves into?