Talk about an emotional roller coaster! I started off by psyching myself out and being a complete nervous wreck. The first time I was in the classroom and began hearing about everything that I was going to learn, the excitement and anxiousness rushed through me. Just after the excitement my course director mentioned tests and presentations and I was back to being a nervous wreck! Once the end was mentioned and what I was going to be able to do with my certification the excitement was back! I lived IDC. Studied while eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. Woke up studied, class for 10 hours then went home and studied.
Tip: try and make an escape for yourself! Go do some meditation, have a drink, give yourself a break and your nerves a break. I somehow managed to make some time in the two-week intense class to relax and just get my mind off of the course. The next day when I came in to the course again, I felt good as new and ready to learn and freak out some more. Think of your IDC almost like a college course. Your course director is going to be a lot closer to you than maybe a college professor and more of a mentor figure, but otherwise it is up to you to make it happen (just like college). If you don’t understand something STUDY IT. If you cannot figure it out ASK! Your course directors are there to help you they want you to pass! They will be there for you, but remember they are not mind readers. They will take all the time you need to help you until you feel completely prepared. They are not going to send you to the IE unprepared. But just like college if you don’t pass you have to pay to retake the test and you don’t get to graduate. So study up, it is only a short few weeks to open up so many more opportunities.
Next came time for the tests and some slight hyperventilation. My course director and all the support from my dive shop constantly reminded me that I was prepared. That I would not be going to the IE if I weren’t. Things I had to constantly remind myself of. When I arrived I was not alone. I became emerged in a fantastic group of people who have been on the same roller coaster that I was. The support I received from the other dive shops participating in the IE was so comforting and really helped me become more relaxed.
I made it!!!! I walked out onto the beach after my last presentation in the open ocean and met my instructor with the biggest smile on my face. I gave her the biggest hug and the feelings that rushed through me are indescribable. And that handshake my evaluator gave me at the end sent more feelings of relief, gratitude, and unimaginable excitement through me. There is so much happiness that surrounded me, you could it feel it radiating off of everyone who just made it through the same insanity that you did. Those long days and sleepless nights allowed me to accomplish this, it couldn’t have been a more amazing feeling! I am a scuba instructor; endless possibilities are out there waiting for me!!!!