26 June 2010

Panic Switch

Have you ever gotten a panicky feeling when looking at a checklist that you thought you were prepared for but one look at that damn checklist you realize how far behind you are?

I did. Today, in the middle of work for no good reason. I received the electronic version of my 2010 Welcome Pack today via email from the RVC. At first, I was ecstatic. On the good side, I've gotten a complete schedule of my pre-sessional course (there is time set aside every morning for coffee and now I love the RVC even more). I also learned that there is a black tie cruise on the Thames during freshers week (the first week of school for first years, v. cool) and that gives me a good excuse to get a nice dress, or at least give me a good kick in the butt to get all my dresses dry-cleaned. But as I was reading, I more or less got more anxious about moving to a different country. I mean, I've been worried about it anyway, just because it's my nature to worry. But it came to a fever pitch. Did you know that you need your acceptance letter when you arrive at the airport? And it's required for my visa application. I have two letters: one that states that I'm offered a place on the course and one that thanks me for accepting my place on the course (I'm assuming the latter is what they're talking about). Gah, do I even know where they both are?

So while at work, I usually have a few minutes to obsess about one thing or another in between customers. During this mini-obsess session, a wave of panic overtook me out of nowhere. How was I to afford the pre-sessional fee? What about a bank account? How long will it take me to open one up and deposit my loan check? Holy crap, what if I don't get enough in loans? What if I lose my birth certificate...or worse, my visa?

An innocent customer took me out of this little panic attack (thankfully no one noticed) and it left my mind until I got home and had time to relax. And here I am. Sitting at my computer. Looking at the RVC pack again. Glutton for punishment, I suppose. I need to somehow condition my brain to stop over-thinking. If anyone figures out how, let me know. I'll pay for the knowledge.

22 June 2010

81 days

I've been biting my nails in anticipation of finally being able to apply for direct loans, and I'm happy to say that I'm all but finished. I have officially finished loan counseling and the MPN for direct sub/unsubsidized loans. Only have the MPN for PLUS loans to finish. Needless to say, that is one HUGE weight off my mind. At least for now.

Also, I should be getting my fresher's pack by the end of the month. Very excited about that. Hopefully when that comes in, it will have a letter confirming my place at RVC. I've already got my CAS number and information about my course of study for the visa. All that's left is getting the loans and the letter saying that they're on their way and I'll be all set to finish my visa application. It's all starting to come together!

15 June 2010

A bit of a break...

Ah, loans. Can't apply for them yet, but everyone seems to have already applied for them at the Pre-Vet forum of SDN, which just makes me even more worried. I know it's because I'm going to RVC and they're all (mostly) going to US schools, but I've been lead to believe that loan applications don't open until July 1st...apparently a fallacy. Oh well. I just hope there is money left over for me...

To get my mind off that for a bit, I've been watching "All Creatures Great and Small", a TV series made in 1978 that's based off of James Herriot's books. I absolutely love it. It's fun to see the characters come to life, when they've only lived on the page for me. The best part? They are true to the books.

I'm off to go watch a few more episodes before I have to continue being a semi-functional adult.

08 June 2010

When money talks, I hate to listen.

But lately it's been screaming in my ear.


Well, maybe not actually screaming, but it's about all I can hear. Yesterday I posted about being lazy and ending my time at Express on July 31st. I just did a little flow chart to figure out how much money I need until I receive the loan check from RVC, which includes the fee for the pre-sessional course, the deposit for the room in College Grove (which I hopefully get), and 5 weeks rent for College Grove. If I get Mary Brancker House, it'll be pretty much the same.

So. All in all, I figure I'll need about $3000 before I step onto the plane, for my sanity. Which means, no AHEMS this summer.

This also means I will have to work until at least August 29th. Which leaves me 11 days to do my visiting of the family in NY. And packing. And my panic dance (basically me walking around the house picking up and putting down insignificant things to keep my mind busy while I try to wrap my head around leaving the country for 4 years).

Possible to save up $3000? Yes. As long as I stop:
1. Buying lunch while at work
2. Going out for beers with friends
3. Going out to dinner with friends


4. Having fun.

Oh Ben Folds, I couldn't have said it better. Because right now, I really don't want to listen to money...but it's definitely screaming in my ears.

07 June 2010

AHEMS...95 days.

...and no, I'm not clearing my throat.

AHEMS stands for Animal Husbandry Extramural Studies. As a student of the RVC, I'm required to do 12 weeks of AHEMS prior to start of Year 3 of the BVetMed program. Students in the 5 year program get two summers and two sets of school vacations in which to complete their 12 weeks. I get...one summer and one set of school vacations.

Why? Because I'm a G&T student. My first year is the equivalent of a regular student's years one AND two.

Yay for my wallet, boo for time scheduling.

I've been planning to get at least two weeks done here at an equine facility before I leave in September, but now I'm sort of rethinking that plan.

One: I want to be able to save up more money before I leave, and that requires me working for at least a few more weeks past my original last day (July 31st).

Two: I realized that I have more time than originally thought to finish my AHEMS. I have 3 weeks at Christmas (will probably not do any then), 2 weeks at Easter (which will be spent doing my Sheep AHEMS), and 5 weeks right before Easter holiday set aside for completing AHEMS.

Three: I have around 10 weeks before Year 3 (technically Year 2 for me) to finish whatever AHEMS placements I'll have left.

Total: 17 weeks (not including Christmas, since I plan to come home then)
Total AHEMS: 12 weeks

And 2 weeks are already taken care of with the sheep placement at Easter, so that really leaves me 15 weeks to get 10 weeks worth of placements done.

So while that is doable, do I really want to leave placements until the proverbial last minute? Ah, the conundrum my overanxious brain leaves me with. Do some now and get them over with, or wait until I get there to start?

Be lazy, or be pro-active. Decisions, decisions.

02 June 2010

100 days...and a Bucket List.

Almost down to double digits. It's an exhilarating feeling, being so close and so far. Just over 3 months and 1 week until I hop on a plane and fly out there.

SO CLOSE. Yet so far.

Now that it's really coming down to the grind (and I can't worry about the visa application and loans until July 1st), I've been starting to look for things to do in my spare time. If you will, a Bucket List of things to do before I leave RVC.

1. Go to The George: A friend of my father told me about a pub in London that was so old, that the bar itself was warped from all the customers leaning against it for so many centuries. I asked a friend who is from London and weeks later he remembered and screamed out "THE GEORGE" just as I was passing by him while we were at a graduation party. You laugh, but I was so excited that he remembered the name I nearly kissed him. (Not really...his girlfriend would have killed me). But the old pub idea caught on and I found this great website that lists a bunch of historic pubs and alehouses in the London area (click here to see it). So while The George alone is on my bucket list, I will probably go and visit as many of these old pubs as I possibly can during my stay.

2. Take the Chunnel to Paris: This is an ABSOLUTE MUST for me. I feel that if I don't take a chance to visit France while I'm there...well, my adventure just wouldn't be complete. This trip would, of course, include a trip to Versailles (will have to take care not to say "Ver-sayles"...oh, KY. I do appreciate you...I swear) and of course, The Louvre.

3. Take the ferry to Brittany: again, a must. Tentative plans are to meet my sister here and have her do all the talking since she's the one who took French in high school.

4. Take a road trip through England/Scotland/Wales: might not be possible without a car...but maybe I'll buy/rent/borrow/steal one for a few days.

5. Take a day trip to Sweden: I just gotta see this street named after my family's surname. It's located in the old jewelry district...which now happens to be the red light district. If you don't know what that means, listen to "Roxanne" by The Police. You'll figure it out. If you don't know The Police...well, you're dead to me.

6. Sit in on a session of Parliament: It sounds silly, but I would love to have this experience. Politics have always fascinated me.

7. Oktoberfest: this might not be possible...but wouldn't it just be fun??

8. Visit Jane Austen's house: I can not live in the UK for 4 years and go without seeing my favorite author's house at least once.

9. Visit James Herriot's practice in Thirsk: If you love animals, you will understand why I have to make this pilgrimage. The books he wrote? Nothing special. Just inspired me to become a large animal vet. No biggie.

10. Visit Buckingham Palace and attempt to take a picture with a royal guard: And...that's about all I need to say.

Of course, while I'm there, I have a funny feeling that I will be adding many more pictures to this blog. I might need to invest in a camera in order to do justice to all my sight-seeing...hm. I'm thinking...a digital SLR?