Call before You Freaking Walk

It’s been whirlwind after whirlwind with UGA. The most recent of these was getting my VLP hold cleared. The website informed me that my FAFSA would satisfy as the document to clear this hold, buuuuuuuuuut it had been like two months and the hold hadn’t been cleared, so after many phone calls, the acquisition of several documents, and a trip to campus, I got the hold cleared.

I was finally able to register for my classes this summer. The admissions person who cleared my hold told me that I would be assigned an advisor from the college of arts and sciences, and that person would help me register. Through this experience I’ve learned that I need to double and triple follow-up to make sure that the appropriate people know that I need something, because if I don’t tell them they won’t know. Anyway, I emailed the college of arts and sciences…to be informed that as a post-bacc student, I am not assigned an advisor and I have to register my classes myself online. She gave me very vague instructions about how to access the registration system, and off I went.

Two hours later, I figured out that at UGA you can’t really have a pre-med major, and as such, there are no specific guidelines about what classes to take in order to prepare for the MCAT and/or medical school. The page I was looking at did offer a vague outline of what the average student trying to go to med school takes, so I went with that. To my horror, I realized that at UGA there is no such thing as “Biology I & 2” and “Chemistry 1 & 2,” there’s freshman chem and principles in chem and biochem and molecular chem and about 10 other kinds of chemistry that I could take. The last hour was me figuring out which of these classes I actually needed and at the end I successfully registered for Chemistry with a Lab and Pre-Calculus. The only easy thing about that process was figuring out what books I needed, which ended up costing close to $500. But at least I had my classes.

I also needed to get a student ID card and a summer parking permit, so I drove up to campus. The hubs and I switched cars because I sucked at driving the Crown Vic, but his Jetta is a stick and I don’t have an awesome track record with sticks. However, I made it to downtown Athens without a hitch and found the building that housed the ID office. It was a FREAKING beautiful building that felt like a mall, but with more studious people. The lady at the desk was really sweet and I got my card with no trouble.

The problems of this particular leg of my UGA journey began when I started the trek to get my parking permit. Hindsight being what it is, it would have been a lot faster for me to just go back to my car (about a mile away from the student center) and drive to the parking office, but I ended up walking the 1.5 miles to the parking office, to be informed that I can’t get a permit until the first week of June. Hence, the title of this post: I should have called to double check before I walked out there. Oh well. It’s good exercise, right?

Allow me to set the scene of walking back to my car: It’s 95 degree Georgia summer heat. I, in my infinite stupidity, wore shoes that were not my Chacos and that I bought yesterday. Big mistake. I also had with me my two pound back pack. In addition, if you’ve never been to Northeast Georgia, part of what makes it so beautiful, and also really annoying, is that it’s super hilly. So, I made the 1.5 mile hill-walking-marathon back to my car having only accomplished half of what I set out to do.

This UGA stuff has been an incredibly huge learning experience for me. I’ve learned that I was really blessed at Emmanuel to have people there who cared about me and wanted to help me succeed. At UGA, the only person that cares about you is yourself, and if you want something, you absolutely have to fight for it and figure out for yourself how to get it. While it makes me feel really sad and lonely, I’m also learning how to be self-sufficient and independent. And now, through all of this, I’ve learned where all of the important buildings are and what I need to do each semester to get my classes. In addition, I got to see a big part of the East and North campuses at UGA, which are so, incredibly beautiful. I made it home from Athens in a terrible mood because my feet and head hurt, I was frustrated beyond belief, and hyper aware of how hard the next years of my academic life are going to be.

But in all of that, I cried it out with the hubs after being a complete bitch to him and explaining to him what an awful experience this was, and I began to realize that most of the worst of it is over, and least for my time at UGA. I know it’s even harder for me right now because I’m well in to med tapering…and I handled my emotions very poorly today. I don’t know if that means I need to go back on the meds or that it was just a particularly difficult day for me, but I know that through all of this I have at least one person rooting for me (the hubs, of course), and even above that, I have the advantage of access to an unquenchable stream of peace from Jesus. That’s corny, but I think if I can learn to remember that those two people, if no one else, are here to help, everything will be okay.

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