When I first entered the grad school process I thought I would have decided eons before April 15th. I thought I knew exactly where I wanted to go, why, and had even started scoping out potential places to live. That was October.
I still haven't decided but, I think it's time for my biggest lessons learned list..
Don't get your heart set on one place - or try not to!
When I first started this process I only saw myself at South Carolina. Then when I was rejected there, I moved onto my favorite being in the UK. Now, my favorite is wherever they give me money.
Remember everyone gets rejections
My first rejection I didn't take too hard. It was my second. My entire family was shocked. My advisor, however, reminded me that he got rejections when he applied for his PhD. And he turned out fine. In fact, he turned out brilliantly and exactly where I think he is meant to be. Rejections are not the end of the world. And while the first month or so after being rejected from South Carolina I couldn't figure out why, I came to a realization. It was for the best. It wasn't because I wasn't good enough. It was because it was suppose to happen.
Karma doesn't exist; Fate does
I said that I would get rejected from one program because of a letter of recommendation and how I didn't quite listen to one professor when she suggested how to reform a paper that she would base her letter of recommendation on. Well, I got accepted to that program. I'm not a religious person so I call it fate. If you want to call it divine intervention, then by all means, go for it. But I think there was some sort of plan that said "What's meant to happen will."
Take up a hobby - throw yourself into work
In the tense month of February when we were all waiting for answers, I was like a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. But I took up cross-stitching again to relax me. I took long walks on the beach (no joke!). I baked. And I threw myself into my senior thesis that's due at the end of April. The busier I was, the less time I had to freak out. And the more I worked on academic things, the more my mind cleared about what was coming ahead.
My final lesson learns comes from a quote from Harry Potter, said by Hagrid. "What's coming is coming, and we'll meet it when it does."
Any big lessons you guys learned that I missed?