There was one other person in the room when I peeked in and she looked friendly, so I sat next to her and talked to her. I made a friend (yay) which everyone kept emphasizing was SO important for getting through PTA school. (more on that later)
Faculty and staff integral to the PTA program introduced themselves first, although there are only two professors for the entire program. Then 4 current students of the class of 2014 introduced themselves and gave us a tour of the rooms we'd be using. They also gave us an idea of what classes/professors would be like from a student's perspective and gave us little tips and tricks to be successful.
We went back to the original classroom and the program director went over a handbook and discussed all the important, and sometimes boring, info. I left the orientation feeling like crying because I was so overwhelmed and intimidated.
Why I'm terrified
- If you make less than an 80 on a skills test or practical exam, you fail and are kicked out of the program. (You're allowed one retake only)
- Less than 75 on a written exam is failing.
- I must disrobe and wear only a sports bra and very short shorts for labs. No exceptions.
- Out of the 24 students that began the class last year, only 17 remain. 1 was at my orientation attempting to repeat the program.
- THERE IS A TEST THE FIRST WEEK on medical terminology and abbreviations. We are expected to study this over the summer...before the program begins.
- We are expected to give presentations not only to the class but also to the professionals at our clinical sites.
- Some of our practical exams will be videotaped for the whole class to watch.
Everyone emphasized how important it is to become friends with the classmates you will spend the next 1.5 years with and that study groups are essential. The problem is that I don't study well in a group setting. I have attempted study groups in the past and gotten almost nothing out of them. I have to sit at home alone and do it all myself to be able to memorize information. I'm concerned that I'm going to alienate myself from everyone else that likes study groups because they'll think I'm unsocial.
So the theme of this post is that this is gonna be really really hard and I'm really really nervous. I hope I come back to this post a year and a half later, after graduation, and laugh at myself.