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Lessons Learned and Hagrid



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?


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Excellent! You've pretty much synthesized the whole thing! I completely agree with you!


I've also learned that the application process is like getting married or looking for an apartment (if you allow me the comparison). It's like getting married because an acceptance feels like heaven and a rejection feels like someone is breaking your heart, especially if it comes from that school where you totally saw yourself. 


It's also like looking for an apartment (I am more experienced on this field than the previous) because you ALWAYS, ALWAYS negotiate with yourself. You know what your perfect apartment should have, light, big closets, a fireplace, whatever. There are things that you will have to accept your perfect place does not have, things you negotiate with yourself (probably unconsciously). There is no such thing as THE perfect super perfect school: either you accept an Ivy-league with cold weather, or you accept a place with less funding, you name it. One needs to bear in mind that a decision implies letting something go and accepting the best option, with its pros and cons.


Mind my comparisons, not everyone like them :) but it helped me to relax and, as Annieca said, meet what ever comes :P

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I did the exact same thing with setting my heart on one place. At every interview I thought that I could really see myself going there because you learn so much about the school that it really seems awesome. Then when I got rejected, I would turn to my next interview and think that one would become my dream school. The one I ended up choosing is not my dream school in every regard, but I think it is good for me to end up seeing it in a more positive light than the others. Even if I am wrong, it at least makes me feel better about my decision.

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Good to know Andean Pat about apartment hunting - I'm going to have to start that soon!


Veggiez - Good for you! It's always good to feel confident in your decision.


Good luck to you both!

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