Tuesday, August 10, 2010

FAQs--OT School w/out prereqs??

So, here's another question I received waaaaaay back in May! I'm so awful. I feel so badly.

Ok here's the question:

Kimberly, I am sorry but do you mind sharing how you managed to get into OT school without prereqs?

I wish I could say I had it like that but I don't! I actually had to take prereqs! An entire year I did this. I worked 8 hours a day and went to school at night for another 3-4 hours. I spent an entire summer going to school just for biology pre-reqs FOR the prereqs (crazy, right!)--mon-thurs from 6-10pm! And this was AFTER I had worked 8 hours earlier that day.

It was really tough. Sometimes i even worked 2-3 jobs to pay for school and my bills. For about 2 months I delivered pizza on the weekends! Yes, I'm not ashamed to admit this. That was REALLY hard because I had no life--it was work, school and more work and then studying. When it was slow I would sit outside the restaurant and study in my car! It was summer during this time so I didn't freeze while doing this. The other drivers treated me well and respected me. It was a very humbling experience.

I also worked at a Latin dance studio for a while. That was fun and interesting and stressful. I had to give up my weekends for that gig too. *Sigh*

I even sold my beautiful car to cut down on expenses and free up extra cash. Amazingly, I don't miss it. I use the money to pay for interesting experiences that, in turn, make ME a more interesting person!

So anyway, every morning I managed to get up at 5.15am and go to the gym. It was easier then than it is now; I think that's what helped me keep my sanity.

I have a finance degree as well [the author of the question has a degree in Finance] and one day I just sat down and wrote out a plan on how I could finish all my prereqs in one year. I had no science class history. None! I went to the school and talked to the OT admissions staff and clarified what I needed, which classes I already had that counted as pre-reqs and which didn't, and which classes were necessary to take. I made sure I could go to the city colleges for pre-reqs. Sometimes I had to take pre-reqs for pre-reqs so I added that in the plan as well. By talking with the staff I discovered that some classes counted for some required pre-reqs--information I would not have known had I not gone to the school and inquired.

I missed out on a lot of time with family and friends but I WANTED to be an OT bad! So, I complained sometimes and I was ALWAYS tired but I made it happen.

You CAN do it, too. Just sit down and PLAN it and talk to the counselors and OT staff at the school you want to go to to see if some of your past Gen Ed class at previous institutions count for prereqs. It won't be easy all the time. But as my aunt told me once, "But in the end it will be SO worth it." This keeps me focused.

Good luck!

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