I've said it before that this whole process is one big emotional roller coaster. One minute you think you will be accepted to many schools & the next you will not only be rejected from all your schools, but everyone will stop talking to you, and you will end up living in a box by the freeway (or something like that).
This week has been one crazy emotional roller coaster.
And I hate roller coasters.
I started this week feeling really good about my chances. Yes, I had one rejection but I had just had a very positive interview experience (from my point of view anyway) and I was feeling very confident about my chances. Yes I would get some rejections, but this time I was going to get into a PhD program. I could feel it!
Then a few days after that I decided to check my application status for one particular program to see if it had finally changed to "rejected" as I fully expected it to. I knew this program had held an interview weekend already and I was just waiting for that notification. I logged into the application and sure enough there was my rejection. Oh well, I knew it was coming, right? Well yes I knew the rejection was coming but I didn't know that it would hit me so hard. It's not like this was my first rejection ever (this is my third time applying after all!) and really it wasn't one of my top choices, but still that rejection stung. I couldn't just shrug it off like I did my first one this year, which was to a school I really did not expect to get into (though it would have been amazing if I did!). Nope, this one stayed with me stinging away for quite some time.
Not only did it keep stinging but it made me look at the rest of my schools in a different light. Suddenly those programs that I know had sent out interviews were seen as rejections instead of "maybe/who-knows". I went through my list and all of a sudden it was cut in half. All of a sudden I had my hopes on a handful of programs (some of which were likely rejections too) instead of a long list of prospects. Needless to say this did not help my mood. In fact it made me feel even worse. I started considering my "plan B" which gets complicated now since I will have my masters degree soon. Do I throw in the towel and give up? Do I stick around and fight one more time? How many times can I hear "no" before I decide that maybe my dream career will never happen? I get the whole "try try again" thing but even then, how many times do you try before you realize you should give up?
Oh and my awesome interview? Started re-thinking that one too. Yes it was awesome, but there are several factors (that I can't go into here out of concern of revealing my identity) that all of a sudden seemed to go against my application. Yes I am qualified but given these other factors, will that even be enough?
Then yesterday I go to check the mail and find out that I am waitlisted at a school I had already written off as a rejection!
See what I mean about an emotional roller coaster?
I still hate them.