Done Deal

This morning I attended my Area of Study information session, which is a requirement to be able to register for classes at Austin Community College. The meeting was at the Hays campus, which is in Kyle, a town south of Austin. I live on the north side of Austin, and so I had to drive down Interstate 35 through downtown in rush hour traffic.

Until recently, I’ve avoided driving unless it was absolutely necessary thanks to my anxiety. I’ve been able to wrangle short trips to my therapist and doctors appointments, as well as the jaunt down surface roads to drop my wife off at work and pick her up again on the days I need the car, but I’ve only driven if I was literally the only person in the car – whenever I’d pick up my wife, she’d take the wheel. Over the past two or three months, I’ve started driving her more frequently, but I’ve still avoided bad traffic at any cost, and my trips have been mostly just a few miles at a time.

Today represented the worst traffic that I’ve driven through in years, as well as the longest distance that I’ve driven during that time. I got through it with surprisingly little stress and made it to my appointment with enough time to stop and have a sit-down breakfast as opposed to drive-through fast food.

The meeting itself was two hours long, and split evenly into general school information and specific information on the health sciences programs. Of the latter part, the adviser spent perhaps four minutes on sonography, but it was good information to have. I took a good amount of notes and got an ACC-branded hacky sack for attending.

The adviser for the more generalized portion asked for my TSI assessment scores so that he could note them and get them into my student record, something that had apparently not transpired as of that point in time. (He also didn’t have my name in his records, because he did all his research on his attendees on Friday and I signed up for the session yesterday, but that was a very minor detail.) At one point while he reviewed my scores, he commented “Somebody likes to write!” I had to smile at that. It turns out my writing and essay scores blew away the minimum requirement to be considered TSI complete, something I didn’t know until this session.

He told us that we should give him 24 hours to get our attendance noted in our records so that we could register. So when I got home, I had lunch and then, out of curiosity, went to go check to see if I could register yet.

And I could. So I did.

I registered for one class that meets Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, but waitlisted myself for a section that meets on Monday and Wednesday mornings, to avoid interfering with my wife’s work schedule. Hopefully I’ll get notification that I made that latter class, but if I don’t I’m guaranteed a seat in the former.

Once I’d done that, I sent an email over to the Texas Workforce Commission liaison at ACC to get the ball rolling on tuition. (For those who are new, I’m on disability and working with TWC to re-educate myself for a return back to the workforce. TWC is sponsoring my education.) I also sent over a request for book expenses as well, hoping to hear back within a few days.

I got my confirmation emails about 45 minutes ago. Tuition will be paid for tomorrow and my book will be ready for me to pick up at the bookstore tomorrow as well.

I’m about as officially a college student as I can be.

There are some details left to work out. I still need to stop by campus and get my physical student ID card done, as well as my parking permit. I need to change my major to pre-health sciences. And I need to wait on the decision about which section I’ll be attending, Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday. But everything else is pretty much done at this point.

Next semester I’m going to try to start working on some of my co-requisites so I can knock them out. Besides, having them done prior to being accepted in the cardiovascular sonography program will give my application to the program extra weight.

Part of me want to celebrate tonight. Part of me wants to just go to bed.

So for all intents and purposes, everything’s over but the waiting.

Classes start August 28th.

I can’t wait.

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