Friday, May 1, 2009

Hanging Around in Limbo Land

I don't know about anyone else, but it seems that lately I've been doing a lot of busy-work and waiting. I think maybe it's just the big exhale after the mad rush of the last weeks leading up to the McMaster interviews. Suddenly I find myself with TIME on my hands... which I'm filling up with wonderful tasks such as packing!! OOooo... fun packing times. It's just so weird to be loading all my stuff into boxes without yet knowing where I'm going to be moving. For this summer I've applied to two jobs, each in a different city. And then in the fall I'll be going somewhere, but where?! And which job will I get this summer? It's just weird. I'm used to things being much more certain. And I'm NOT used to having time to relax and stuff, lol. How pathetic >_<

Anyway, while I'm hanging around I thought I'd post some info that might be useful in two weeks time when we all get our offers of admission (I'm trying out some positive thinking ;)

For those who don't know, the offers will be posted on the ORPAS website on May 15th. Technically they could be later than that... but it's the long weekend and I can't see them making us all wait till the following Tuesday. PLUS, Queen's asked for people to RSVP to their open house by the 18th (which is the Monday) so we'll have to have found out on the Friday. Makes sense, right?

Anyway, this does NOT mean that you will get your admission packages in the mail that day. So if you want to know if you got in anywhere, don't stand by the mailbox waiting to jump the letter-carrier; log into the ORPAS site! You'll also need to know your application ID number (starts with "IT", will also be printed on the verification form they mailed you in February) and your password. If you're not sure where they are you may want to look them up now... the ORPAS customer service people will be swamped on admission-offers day and it would suck to have to wait.

So once you're in you'll see which of the schools has or has not offered you admission. I'm not sure what the actual status labels will be, but there are three possibilities here:
  • Offer of Admission (*happy dance* Break out the champagne!!)
  • Waitlisted (hopefully they give you your number on the waitlist too)
  • Declined (which sounds marginally nicer than "rejected", I really hope they don't go with that particular label).

If you're a super-fabulous smarty-pants you might even get more than one offer!!! Fancy! If you're lucky enough to have that happen to you, just remember that you can only accept ONE offer at a time, even if you're having a hard time choosing.

If you get in at one place but waitlisted at the place you really wanted to get into, you can provisionally accept the one you got and then there will be an option you can select that will keep you on the waitlist of the 2nd institution. However, I think all provisional acceptances need to be made firm by June 5th. Or maybe it's the 12th? They'll tell you anyway.

Once you accept admission to a school then you have to do a few things:

  1. Send them money. All schools require a deposit. They'll tell you how much to send and how to pay it. It's usually around $500.
  2. Get your health record check completed by a doctor or nurse practitioner (maybe registered nurses can do it too, but I'm not sure). Do it early! You never know how long the lab will take to get your serological proofs back and you may need updates to some vaccinations. You'll need the two-step tuberculosis skin test too.
  3. Get your criminal record check for working with vulnerable populations. It's better to do this in your home town, or where ever you've lived the most in the last 5 years. For those who haven't done one before, you give the police your addresses for the last 5 years and if you've lived in other cities then they have to call the other municipalities, which takes time.
  4. Some programs require you to have Basic Rescuer First Aid (C) and CPR (Red Cross and St. John's Ambulance are two organizations that offer this. SJA calls the course Standard First Aid with CPR-C, it takes two full days and costs $135 according to their website). Even if the program you choose doesn't require this certification I highly recommend it. All it takes is needing the skills once in your lifetime and you'll see it's well worth the time and money it cost you.
  5. Fill in the Transcript Request Form on the ORPAS website to have your University forward over your final transcripts.
  6. Enjoy your summer!!!! This will be the last real break you'll have for the next two years and after that it's working-shmoe status for you, so enjoy your freedom while it lasts!! Oh... and you probably want to make some money at a job too. You won't have time for a job once your program starts!

I can't wait to find out!!! Fourteen more sleeps!!!


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