Saturday, June 14, 2014

PTA Acceptance

I first decided to begin the journey of getting into Physical Therapy Assisting school at GTCC in the summer of 2011. My friend, Lauren, became a CNA and encouraged me to get into the medical field. We looked at what GTCC offered and since I'm queasy about blood, needles, and bodily fluids, I chose physical therapy assisting. I wish I had a better story, like it was my childhood dream or some traumatic event happened and I decided to make a difference. But no, I wanted a secure job that will allow me to be self sufficient.

I underestimated how difficult it would be to get into the program. Having a Bachelor's Degree in Classical Civilizations from UNCG, I had most of the requirements. I took Developmental Psychology, Personal Communications, both online, and the two harder classes: Physics and Anatomy.

I started first with Anatomy and Physiology 1 in Fall 2011. I thought the hardest class I would ever take was Historical Linguistics I took at UNCG my last semester. (We had to recreate languages that may or may not have existed based on what we knew about language patterns...oh and write a 10-page paper). I was wrong. Anatomy is the hardest class you will ever take. I learned it, too late.
So I took Anatomy 1 and somehow managed a B without learning anything. Anatomy 2 was another story.
I ended up taking Anatomy 1 twice and Anatomy 2 three times. GTCC is the hardest place you can take Anatomy, and I learned it too late. You have to take Anatomy 1 & 2 at the same school. After I only managed Bs in both, I decided to start all over at Randolph Community College in Asheboro. It was a 40 min commute and I drove down there 3 times a week (10:30a on M & F and 8a on W) for 2 semesters. I got a 104 in Anatomy 1 and a 105 in Anatomy 2. The class was SO much easier. That's not to say I didn't work hard. I did. But it was just SO MUCH EASIER.

I took Physics Spring 2013. I actually forgot to pay for my class (first time it ever happened) and I got dropped. The only class available after I found out was on Saturdays. So I sacrificed my Saturday afternoons for 5 months to take Physics, which was a bitch. But I managed to make As in the lecture and lab and was on my way!

After getting As in all my required classes the only thing left to tackle was the TEAS test (Test of Essential Academic Skills). It tests your knowledge of reading comprehension, grammar, math (mostly arithmetic and algebra), chemistry, biology, anatomy, etc. I worried about that test for about 7 months. I bought study material and went through most of it. I purchased the online practice tests for $40. I made a 70 on the practice test. I needed an 86.
It was coming down to the deadline for applying (June 5) so on June 2 I said "what the hell...I can take it twice in 2 months. I'll go take it today and if I do badly, I'll study and take it again June 4." So I sucked it up, went and took the test and when I finished I saw the score "64"...and my stomach dropped. But then I realized that was the national average and right above it was my score: 86.7. I said to myself "That's too good to be true. It can't be right." I went and checked out of the testing center and the woman said "You made an 86.7". I almost started crying. I was shaking I was so happy. I immediately went and applied to the program.

A week later an envelope arrives at my parent's house. I get there the next day and open it up. I read one word "Congratulations", then stop reading and start screaming and jumping up and down. My mom comes over to me and I hug her and start crying tears of joy. It finally happened.
I got accepted into PTA school!
So I start calling and texting everyone who had been part of my journey. It still feels surreal. I dreamed of this for so long and's finally happening.

I already sent in an email accepting my seat, one of only 24 in the program. I have to sign up for a mandatory orientation session. There's 2 options and both are during the day: Tuesday, July 1 @ 9-11:30a or Wednesday, July 2 @ 2-4:30. I hate that I have to ask off work for one of those.

Then all that's left is getting financial aid, which still hasn't come through, even though I applied for it at GTCC in January. Because I have a Bachelor's Degree, I can only get loans from a community college, no free money. I will not be working while I'm in school, so I have to get a private student loan from the bank as well to cover living expenses.
I am beyond happy right now and can not WAIT to begin this journey. I feel like my life is complete now.

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