31 March 2010

And it's off!

Sent my acceptance to RVC yesterday! Woohoo!!

In other news...RI is currently flooding. Boo. Obama declared us a state of disaster. Well...we already kinda knew that.

30 March 2010

Ugh. Retail.

I'm so glad that retail is not going to be my forever profession. Not that I completely hate my job (I actually usually enjoy it), but I'm so sick of not doing what I really want to be doing. I don't know what I would've done if I hadn't gotten in to RVC this year, since no other school accepted me (wait-listed at Tufts doesn't count). It makes me laugh how I even applied to RVC to begin with. Here's the story:

I did some intense research during the spring of '09 to figure out which schools to apply to. I was freaking out because I couldn't figure out which schools really had what I wanted and which schools I actually had a chance at. So I downloaded the little spreadsheet of pre-reqs from the AAVMC website and narrowed down my list to 8 schools (originally UC-Davis, Purdue, Cornell, Tufts, RVC, Wisconsin, Illinois, and VMRCVM). I shaved the first three off since after starting the application process, I realized that I would never get in and I didn't actually have the pre-reqs to even qualify. So buh-byes to them. I don't really know what made me want to apply to RVC in the first place. I think it was the fact that I had a good-ish chance of getting in, it didn't have a supplemental (HUGE factor at the time), and it had a great equine program. I didn't even think about it as a possibility until I received an email saying that they really liked my application and wanted me to do a fast-track interview in NYC in January. Let me tell you, before that email I was having THE shittiest week ever. I don't remember why, but it was a tough week. After that, I was on air. It was the first school I heard back from and I was so excited that I would have the chance to prove myself in an interview. And, it prompted me to do some research into the school itself so that I would have questions at the interview (very important, know your stuff and prepare some questions, they love it because it shows that you cared enough to learn about what's going on at the school).

During that research, I fell in love with the school, the curriculum, and the fact that it was in the UK and not in the US became a pro and not a con. Tufts was originally my top school, but RVC slowly crept it's way from the bottom of the list to the very top. And after the interview and subsequent offer of placement, and the fact that they felt I was a valued student, I felt sure that RVC was the place for me. Of course, I wanted to wait (and good thing I did because my other top choice Tufts ended up interviewing me). Like I said, Tufts wait-listed me but at least I got the chance to check it out to make sure that I was making the right decision in saying yes to RVC.

And that's the story of me and the RVC.


Is it September yet?

28 March 2010

Yay for Apple!

Not the fruit, either. I bought a macbook yesterday! Technically, my parents bought it for me, but it's mine all mine! Originally I was going to wait a few more months before I bought one, so we wouldn't have to put it on a credit card, but I reasoned that it would be easier to get now so that I could get used to it.

So yeah. I'm a proud Mac owner now. It feels weird since I've been a PC for most of my life, but I'm really loving this. It has a really awesome battery life (7 hours!) so that when I'm at school and losing track of time, the macbook won't randomly die after an hour and half of studying/writing/research. I even bought iWork, which is like the Apple version of the Microsoft package of excel, word and powerpoint. I really like it, too! It's very easy to work with and the features are so awesome.

And it will make my use of skype so much easier now that I have a built-in camera and mic. And I can do video-blogs too! Overall I'm just really happy that I made the decision to go with a mac instead of another PC.

24 March 2010

Loan-ed out.

For the past few weeks since finalizing my decision on RVC, I have been researching loans in order to pay, because only a crazy person would believe that I actually make enough money to afford to pay out-of-pocket. But hey, some people can. Just not me. Hence the extensive search for loans that will cover international schools.

So. The student loan bill that's attached to the health care bill (yay, it passed and is official!) prevents me from being able to apply just now (see previous post), but at least I have all my ducks in a row. Half the stuff I found when I googled "veterinary school loans" were actually websites dedicated to getting veterinarians started with their own practice. Good to note, but not necessary yet.

Wells Fargo: doesn't cover loans to RVC. It does for some international schools (the only vet school I found that was covered was Ross U), but not for RVC for some reason. I didn't even see University of London on the list, which is the school system RVC is attached to.

RISLA: my local student loan authority through Granite State Management. For those of us that aren't Rhode Islanders, I'm sure there are state-funded loan programs in other states for students. However, RISLA will only fund for schools within the US and Canada. Boo. Oh well, don't want them anyway! :P

Sallie Mae: I know, I know. I cringed too when this popped up in my search. But so far, she's the only student loan authority that lists RVC on it's "ok, we'll send money ALL the way over there so you can make your dream come true" list. And she seems pretty legit...so far. I haven't actually entered a relationship with her yet, so that may change.

And don't forget the FAFSA. Most important step of all. Without this, I'd be up the Thames without a paddle OR a canoe. I'm so glad that I'm the age I am because I'm finally considered an independent, meaning that my parents can't claim me as a dependent on their taxes. Yay money and YAY because my income is so low that I can qualify for more aid from the federal government. Thanks, taxpayers! I got my EFC (estimated family contribution) and the SAR (student aid report) is on it's way. RVC does require me to send in the full 8-page SAR in order for them to approve Stafford loans. I did have to call to get that sent to me so that I can then mail it to RVC. Supposedly there is a way to get it at the FASFA website, but the only SAR I ever could get was the short and sweet one.

So now, I can sit back and relax and know that, when RVC has the ability to process my loan applications, all the hours I spent sitting at the family lap top at the kitchen table with my mother in the background "get OFF the computer and clean your ROOM!" will have not been in vain.

22 March 2010

It's Official: I'm going to London.

Soon enough, the Royal Veterinary College will receive my acceptance form along with the permission to take £1000 (roughly $1500 US) out of my checking account in order to reserve my place there. I should be more excited than I am, but in reality I've been preparing myself for this step since I walked out of that building in New York after my interview and subsequent offer of placement at RVC with the knowledge that, come hell or high water (with or without acceptance to any other school), I was going to actually become a veterinarian.


I'm actually going to be a veterinarian. And it'll be as a result of going to London. For four years. FOUR YEARS. How does a girl get this lucky?

Of course, right now things are technically at a standstill because I still have to send in that little slip of paper containing my HELLS YES I'M GOING response to RVC and I'm still a few hundred dollars short of actually having enough money to reserve a spot (this week's paycheck and a little support from the 'rents will cover it). And, upon checking the financial aid page at the RVC website, I'm unable to apply for loans until at least July 1st, when new legislation is going through for student loans (supposedly making it easier to pay back student loans and loan forgiveness sooner rather than later). Which is awesome for higher education students on the whole, but shitty for me since it will delay my applying for a UK visa. See, in order to actually be awarded (given? bestowed?) a UK visa Tier 4 (student visa for study over 6 months), you need to have a letter from the institution saying you've been enrolled as a student, a passport (just got) and the monetary means to support yourself and pay for school while you are there. And the only way I'll ever be able to afford going to RVC would be to get loans to cover the Cost of Attendance (COA). So I have to wait until loans are applied for and approved before I can apply for my UK visa.

But hey. I got in. I'm going. It just might be a little more stressful than anticipated.