It's been a while since my last entry, though not for lack of interest on my part. On the contrary, it's just that there's been no news to report.
That is, until today.
I didn't actually get any news today in the traditional sense, though 2 acceptances to one of my programs were posted on the results board. That's one implied rejection.
The other is more complicated and a lot worse. To make a long story short, I saw the short list at one of my schools and I wasn't on it. I wasn't supposed to see it, sure, but I did accidentally. And my name was nowhere to be found. I'm quite close to this department, so the implied rejection there really stings. I'm really broken up about it.
Honestly, I am not sure I'll be able to get past these feelings. I feel like if I can't get on the short list at the institution that knows me best, and allegedly respects my work and my company, then there is no hope for any of my other applications. I feel like I'm free falling.
To make matters worse, my plan b (an accelerated MPH) is looking more and more impractical. Why would I get in there if I can't get into an anthropology program? My weak spots are all in quantitative research. And how would it even help? Would it really make a difference? I'm not old, but I'm also not young--should I be thinking realistically? If, after completing an MA at an R1 with a stellar transcript, CV and recommendations, I get shut out, is this even for me? Don't I owe it to my family to get over myself, my 'dreams' of the academe, and just get a regular job? I could go into sales. I could go back into communications. I could work. I could make money.
I regret telling people I was applying in the first place. I regret putting that I finished my applications on Facebook. People know I'm waiting. How will I be able to tell people who ask that I struck out? I don't know if I could live that down.
I know I'm getting ahead of myself. I know that no news is just that: no news. But somehow I feel like the walls are closing in faster than I'd anticipated, and I'm staring down a season of rejections. I see this long stretch of disappointments. I'm facing graduation in May, losing my 3 (!!) university jobs contingent on my matriculation status, and a seemingly endless year of second guessing myself and maybe, just maybe, reapplying.
I see in the forums that a lot of people are similarly floundering. It's hard not to interpret silence, even so early on in the process, as negative feedback. But what if you do have evidence, like I do? How do you make sense of a loss? I took a massive risk going back to school and I'm facing the possibility that it all might blow up in my face.
When all of the regular platitudes do nothing to make you feel better, what do you do? I asked my husband to stop telling me it was going to be fine -- because we don't know that. It probably isn't going to be fine. I've got Elliott Smith, I've got tea, I've got cats and Hulu, but I still feel pretty terrible.