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About this blog

Welcome to my humble internet abode!

For those of you just opening up to the intense world of grad school and all its wonderful components, I would like to say, "hey." After a few requests for me to start up my own blog, I think I have managed to create a space that is real, relatable, and non-sugar coated. I'm not the sugar plum fairy, after all, and I thought it would be better for everyone to have someone to be...well, REAL. While I plan to cover a multitude of topics, I'm in the grad school process with you so I can't really talk about what it's like to be in grad school or the life after because I'm not there yet myself. I can, on the other hand, imagine what it would be like, but I doubt any of you lovely folk want to read about my daydreams and delusions. But, hey, I could be wrong and there could be some of you that are sitting there looking at your computer screens and actually enjoy my rantings and ravings, to which I say: aren't you a rare creature?! 

Anyways, this description is more like a little message to all my readers. Thanks for all your support, especially those who went so far as to talk the administrators into getting me this adventure of a blog. I hope to hear from as many of you as possible! Your take on my posts, your experiences, your questions, or a simple hello always tends to lighten up my day. So, to all my readers out there, thank you for reading.



Entries in this blog

The Trail We Blaze

Hello my amazing fans and readers (if there are any),  Welcome to my first blog post...ever! I know, I can't believe it either but here it is. So, as I was thinking about what to write and what people would actually want to take time out of their busy schedules to read, it brought me back to how this whole journey got started. While that was true, I've decided (after a few seconds of debate with my inner workings of my crazy mind) we aren't going to talk about that today. Why? ...because I kind of don't want to right now. Also, because I feel like those of you thinking of entering the process have your own idea of what it's like and honestly, you aren't too far off. What most people don't know is what happens after. That's where I come in!  So, what happens after you apply, you ask? You get to be one of the many lucky people that get to enter into the abyss (note: connection to past post that got me started in the first place...see what I did there?). The abyss, for those new readers here, is a whole lot of...well, you guessed it, nothing. Now, nothing can be both good and bad. For those unlike me, you get a lot of stuff done. For example, you completely reorganize your room, you get to finish your undergrad career, you get to pretend to have a life outside of work. However, for those like me, the story is a little bit different. You, my fellow compatriots, get to be engulfed in self pity, you get to be unhinged due to nerves, and you begin questioning the meaning of life. If you think I'm exaggerating, think again! I could mention having a back up plan being formed in this time frame (it should be, by the way), but I've already written about that as well. So what happens in the abyss between self loathing and thinking about every possible contingency scenario? A whole lot of nothing.  This is something you're going to be doing a lot of during this little waiting period between applying and hearing back with a decision. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The reason why I'm writing about absolutely nothing is because it gives people a way to talk it out with someone other than that little voice in your head. That little voice that is beyond annoying and doesn't know the definition of the term "shut up". However, while the self loathing is almost inevitable during this time, there's also a small spark. If you're open enough to seeing it, that is. This spark reminds you of your true passions, whether it's what you plan to go to grad school for or something else entirely. This little spark allows you to see the path that you were meant to take and this little spark also reminds you of why you started. It's this moment that truly starts your journey into the future and it is this spark that will lead you to happiness. For some, it's barely visible. I'm a part of this group, sadly, but I know it's still there. For others, you get to be encompassed in a fiery blaze of glory and accomplishment. (Again, lucky you.) So enjoy it, no matter what group you're a part of. Enjoy the abyss because it's only in the darkest of times that one is able to see even the smallest amount of light. Follow your own path and enjoy every step of the journey because nothing easy is hardly ever worth achieving in the end.  So, my fellow readers, welcome to the abyss and enjoy the darkness. I hope to hear from you all soon and thank you so much for reading. To all of you out there, I can't wait to see/hear how your journey ends. Sincerely, K.




Finding Your Fairy Godmother

Bibbidi-bobbidi-booyah! (See what I did there?) For those of you familiar with the tale of Cinderella, let me first start off by saying that I'm not expecting a old, stout woman with a magic wand coming in and hooking me up with an awesome outfit and a night off. While I do have two step-sisters, I know this is far from happening, and although I'm not the biggest fan of the original/Disney version, I do like many of the other "remakes," so to speak. However, if you've watched any of the others (A Cinderella Story or A Cinderella Story: If The Shoe Fits, for example), you'll realize they each have one thing in common: they each have a fairy godmother (in a way)! Now most of the times, this fairy person is a best friend of some sort and that, my dear readers, is exactly what I'm going to talk about today!! Most of you currently in the abyss have understood a few things by now: 1) that annoying voice in your head reaches pitches you didn't even know were possible, 2) how much you love, love, love the Girl Scout cookie season, and 3) what it means to have a good friend who is beyond encouraging during this intense and maddening experience. For some, this friend could me a family member, but for me, my fairy godmother is my best friend. Now just to clarify, this girl had to put up living with me while studying for my GRE while working a full time job. She watched me go through the application process once before only to get rejected due to not having two pre-requisite classes, and she helped me destress by going out one day and buying my favorite snacks and watching movies. I know what you're thinking: "where can I get a friend like this?" Well, that's what I'm here to tell you! During the abyss, the time spent here reveals a multitude of things. Mainly about yourself, yes, but it also reveals the feelings of those closest to you. Who supports you, who encourages you, and who secretly thinks you're wasting your time.  The point I'm trying to make here is that in every Cinderella movie, the fairy godmother is someone who sees the spark in Cindy even in the darkest of despair. She not only encourages her, but helps her transform into the princess she is meant to be. Therefore, here is my little piece of advice for you: forget about yourself. I know it may seem strange, especially thinking that your fairy isn't the one who's future hangs in the balance, but this whole grad school process isn't just about you (no matter how much you want to argue with me about it). Forget about yourself, forget about the abyss, and forget about what your next steps are going to be. Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to go out and figure out who your fairy godmother is, then show them your gratitude. Let's face it, you probably wouldn't be where you are without them, so stop trying to pretend otherwise. While your in the midst of stressing about life, they are worrying about you. So go out, give them a hug, buy them their favorite coffee, and show them that you appreciate them! It's not that difficult. Especially since they've had to put up with your abysmal bootie throughout this entire process...plus, better to do this now while you're sitting around doing nothing and staring into the abyss than later down the line when your stressed, panicked, and screaming at your self conscious to finally clean out your closet.  So, here is to you, my fairy friend! And here is to all those other fairy godmother's out there who are about to get a amazing surprise. I hope this weekend is great for you all and I hope to hear from you all soon. Thanks for reading! K.   P.S. I GOT MY FIRST FAN MAIL THE OTHER DAY!!!! YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!! WOOHOO! I feel special! P.P.S. For those dedicated readers, you probably know about my #SpreadTheLove post I plan on doing in February. It's my idea that since we are all on our way to a higher education (or attempting to be at least), to participate or spread the word about some amazing organizations that are trying to raise money to educate the children of other countries. Please take a few seconds to vote on one of the organizations you would want to see some support for, and please, please, please help me get the word out by sharing it on social media! Let's help future generations get the education they deserve. #SpreadTheLove




Going the Distance

Hello guys and gals, lords and ladies,  At this point I have a small number of you that actually enjoy my writing, and first off I would like to say thanks for all your support (fan mail and all)! However, as I sit here in the darkness of the night, having my mind be to anxious to go to sleep, I find myself wondering two things, both with the same key phrase: "go the distance" (yes, like the amazing Hercules song; no, there's no judgement). Here's what I don't want: I don't want you to read this in the questioning manner (so don't sit there and start questioning every single decision you've had to make or have been making during this grad school process...yes, I'm talking to you). I'm a firm believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason, so you are going through this ordeal for a reason, whether it's good or bad. After all, I'm living proof...but that's a story for another day. Here's what I want to happen (although, there is no guarantee it will): I want you, you, who is sitting there on your phone or computer, reading this looking to connect with other people and research what this whole process is like, I want you to read this little post and reflect. Not reflect on what you've done, but what you will do. Scratch that. What you are willing to do. So, let me state the two differences that arise in the same phrase. 1) "go the distance" - how far are you willing to go to succeed in life? I don't think I need to state that you have to remain within the legal boundaries, but I already did. I know, just like you, that grad school is a lot. And I'm not just talking about financially. It's a lot of hard work, dedication, time, and sacrifice. It's pushing yourself to see how far you can go, and it's pushing yourself even more to show you have what it takes. I could sit here and tell you that I, (hopefully) future marine archaeologist, went so far to have hip reconstruction surgery, have had/am having/will have six months of physical therapy, and more physical restraints and responsibilities  in order to take a step toward my dream. However, that isn't necessarily the case. As much as I would like to say I went through all that just for grad school would be a load of BS, and I don't want to forget the fact that now I'll be able to swim with my nieces and nephews, or the fact that I'll be able to dance again, or even the fact that I can now have the opportunity to learn new things like yoga, surfing, or even scuba diving (although that last one I need for grad school as well, but that's not the point). I went so far as to basically put my life on hold while enduring this whole thing, and the idea of grad school just helped me get through it all. But that's not it. You see, I also went and started a blog on a website built just for grad students, both present and future, to help me connect with people who know what I'm going through. However, do you know what I'm not willing to do? Give up. I don't plan on giving up any close relationships I've built with my friends and family. I don't plan on having time pass me by while I wait for a letter in the mail deciding my future. And, most of all, I'm not willing to give up dreaming.  Something that I've learned is that there is always this line that people invisibly draw around them (almost like that circle in the movie, The Little Princess (one of my favorite movies btw)). This line not only establishes what they're willing to not do, but it helps them push the boundaries of what they thought they could do. It helps people realize that they are stronger than other's give them credit for. You are a part of this group! This circle in the sand is your barrier, but it is not your cage. You get to decide how far you go, and you get to decide what you are not willing to sacrifice. Yes, you might get into grad school, but it would be all for not if you ended up throwing away all the friendships you've made along the way, all the memories that you would have forgotten, and all the warmth you've felt. No, you might not get into grad school, but if you let that one rejection be your cage then you will forever be trapped in a state of "what if" and "not good enough." Neither are a good way to live.  2) "go the distance"  Same phrase, different meaning. The first questions your boundaries; this one, however, says, "what boundaries?" It means to push yourself to be the best version of yourself that you can be. It means to trust in your abilities and know that you are not alone. It means having faith even when it may seem hopeless. While some of you would prefer to go with the second one for encouragement and stamina, I'm afraid that you don't get to choose. They are the same phrase for a reason. Both are what make up a great story, but both are what make up an even greater life. It is because you have read until this far that the following phrase will make sense to you: go the distance so that you can go the distance. Know your boundaries so that you can push past them. You've got this! Isn't it about time you started trying? I know that this post is getting pretty long so I'll try to keep this next bit short. This is a copy. I know it may seem weird, but my curiosity got peaked sitting here in the darkness at...12:37am. The post with the "*" by the signature is part of my blog, while the one with the "!" is a forum. It's not that I want to see which does better...after all, it's the same exact post. More like, I want to see which one has the bigger audience/viewers to see which portion of this cafe is more...well, I guess you could say "popular" was the word I was going for... Anyways, let me know which you read, and if you read both, I just have one question: why? I just told you they were the same post... I hope everyone has a good night, a great weekend, and a great week ahead. Be sure to remember the difference and thank you all for reading! Hope to hear from you all soon, K*




Screw The Back Up!

Hello my fellow potential grad school students! So recently, I've been getting a few messages asking me what I'm doing during the abysmal "waiting it out" process. Rather than going into detail on every single reply, I've decided a blog post would be the most beneficial to everyone, myself included. As much as you may think differently, I am new to this entire process myself. I say that because I want everyone to know one simple thing: I have no idea what I'm doing. Yes, I may have started this blog and yes, it may have connected with people, but that doesn't mean I'm some sort of pro! I am a 22 year old who decided to follow my dream and take the next step toward my next educational frenemy (aka grad school). So, let me answer the question that so many have asked: what am I doing to pass the time? First, let me just say a whole lot of nothing. Yes, I work, and yes, I'm partially continuing personal research on a few matters, but it boils down to doing a whole lot of nothing. I work 5-6 days a week, go to pt about twice a week, I try to do research but half the time I get distracted half way through and end up on random websites like Pinterest, Facebook, and the occasional YouTube which gets me hooked for a few hours. I would love to say that I'm continuing my research, which is coming along swimmingly, and I have made new discoveries which will soon lead me to the path of enlightenment. Or that I'm planning for my next step (grad school or otherwise) and have everything planned out to a tee. Also, it would be fun if I could tell you that I became famous in my short time period on this blog and am now in the process of publishing my first worldwide famous book that is soon going to be made into a movie and be sold out all over the world. After all, any of those options right now would be worth my time; however, sadly none of that is happening.  The truth (besides what I already hinted to above), secondly, is I'm thinking about a lot of "what if" scenarios. I know I've touched on this a bit in the past, but I wanted to be honest with you. It's not like I write about something and then it magically changes the moment it gets over 200 reads. That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works. The issue doesn't go away. No matter what you or I may try to do. The thought of rejection will forever linger in the back of my mind, and if you're like me then you're the same (hate to tell you). I think everyone fears rejection, after all, no one likes to be told "no" or that they aren't good enough. If you do like to be told these things...honestly, I have no advice or witty remark to make here so you've officially left me at a blank, but still. Rejection sucks. Especially since we all know how it feels. With the thought of rejection comes the scenario of what I (or you) am/are going to do if this whole expedition of grad school doesn't work the way we expect it to. In other words, what's going to happen next if this doesn't work out? Well, I feel like in that sentence lies the root to our underlying problem. I'm sure that you've planned out how grad school is going to work out for you, where you're going to go, and what is going to happen after graduation. I have to and there's nothing wrong with that! However, if you're like me, then the question of "what if" lies deep in the core and, like I said, here lies the problem. I know I've said having a back up plan is a smart move (after all, I probably have over a dozen at this point and I still continue to add to that list), but after typing this out so many times it got me wondering. When I started to wonder I came to a frighteningly, devastating, partial realization that may be only for me, but I'm going to tell you anyways because that's the point of you reading up until this point. If by having all these back up plans, like I said I did, then that, in fact, is my problem. I started to think that by putting all this effort into the "what if" question scenarios, I'm actually taking away from what I actually want to happen which is grad school. I know that with applications already in there's not much I can do besides wait, but I could still be planning out what is going to happen not "if" but "when" I get in. We (again, I'm assuming you're like me) put all this effort into the higher possibility that our dreams will fail, but that takes away our hope of fulfilling our dreams. So, and I know this is easier said than done, stop. Stop degrading yourself to your back up plan. If it happens, fine, if it doesn't then that's great too. But at this point, you back up plan has taken away enough of our precious time. Now it's time to think about what we WANT to happen, rather than think about what may or may not happen.  Finally, my last piece of advice is simple: go shopping. Not literally, of course! After all, we are potential grad school students, we're beyond broke. But play around with a few ideas like, "where you're going to live once you get accepted?" Or, "what are you going to decorate your apartment like?" To which, may I suggest Pinterest. Spark the inspiration of acceptance and think about these things. Look at apartments, look at decorating/organizing ideas, and look at scholarship possibilities (after all, we're broke and need all the help we can get). You've got more fire in you than you realize, and I hope that this sparks a little bit of inspiration. Anyways, thank you all for reading and I apologize if you have read some of my recent stuff...had a little bit of writer's block and I think I may finally be out of it. Be sure to check out the #SpreadTheLove campaign on my blog, and I also have another poll about Facebook so be sure to check it out. Also, I love hearing from you guys, so thank you all for your comments, your "fan mail" for those of you calling it that, and for your shares! It's amazing to know that people actually get a small kick out of reading my writing and it really makes me happy. Hope everyone has a great week, and I look forward to hearing from you in some way, shape, or form! Until next time, K.




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