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Group Sulking

NOWAYNOHOW

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In the wake of my last post (the first of many admissions-related emotional breakdowns, I'm afraid) I realized: why sulk alone when we can sulk together? We're all going through versions of the same process, so there's no need to be shy. And there's also nothing worse than having someone say "It's going to be OK!" when all you want to do is wallow in the misery, even if just for a little while. Admissions is life or death! Well, it feels like it.

With that, what is your favorite sulking routine? How do you wallow in your misery? I want to know all about the weird nachos you make when you're sad. I want to know if you adopt a uniform of sweatpants and free promotional tshirts when you are feeling especially sorry for yourself.

When I am sulking, I listen exclusively to Elliott Smith and am utterly unproductive. I tend to stay in bed trying to decide on something to watch, but I rarely choose; instead, there is a lot of waffling and indecision and in the end I always end up watching something I've seen 5,000 times (Secretary, Safety Not Guaranteed, Party Monster, But I'm a Cheerleader are in the rotation) in my pajamas. Living in the land of online food delivery means I can drown my sorrow in a bowl of steaming tonkotsu ramen with just a few clicks. I will generally follow that with bourbon, and lately I am feeling Widow Jane on the rocks.



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I agree. Sometimes I want to feel bad for myself. Sometimes I want to suffer: eat a tub of ice cream and have someone say, "wtf man? Why wouldn't you be selected?" I like to speak about the word compassion. The etymological roots of that word mean: to suffer together.

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I read your last post and read this one, obviously. The only thing I've heard back from a university is that they're taking my candidacy very seriously, but other people have gotten interviews, and I haven't, so that's kinda like the implied rejection you mention in your previous post. I haven't heard back from any of the other universities though, but for some reason that makes me doubt myself even more. You know? This whole process really weighs on people's insecurities, I think. It sucks.

If I don't get in, well, that's in God's hands even though I really hope I do... 

 

Anyway, I wallow in my misery by listening to Blonde Redhead, eating chocolate, and going on tumblr.

 

*SIGH*

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There's something about the phrase, "I want to know all about the weird nachos you make when you're sad", that is incredibly charming to me. It strikes me as something reassuring that a significant other might say when the "let's move-in together" cards go on the table; it's both requesting and validating vulnerability in this endearing and quirky way. LOVE IT!

 

If I need something to sooth, I'll go with any doc that has David Attenborough; if I need to laugh, I watch YouTube videas of John Pinette stand-up (you should look him up, his jokes are mostly clean and about food, nothing too complicated or mean). Sometimes I'll raid my bookshelf for comics and cuddle up (anything by Gaiman or Moore or Vaughn or Ennis will do the trick or, if I've really regressed, Calvin and Hobbes). While I never initially feel like it, a nice run with a podcast works wonderfully (like "Welcome to Nightvale").

 

The nachos remain a closely guarded secret, you'll have to move in with me to find out :)

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I am a stress baker. I have at this point baked a peanut butter cheesecake with a chocolate glaze, 3 whole wheat french baguettes, and a half dozen bagels. There is something very cathartic in kneading dough plus its hard to feel sad when you can eat a cheesecake. 

 

I will say, though, that waiting for these admissions results has been really rough. I had my first panic attack (which lasted 6 hours) since High School. 

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I will say, though, that waiting for these admissions results has been really rough. I had my first panic attack (which lasted 6 hours) since High School. 

 

I'm living in constant fear of this.  I also haven't had a panic attack in a really long time, but I worry that my anxiety level is vibrating at such a high frequency that it is inevitable. 

 

Good luck!

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It's funny you should mention weird nachos. I've been eating a small plate of nachos for lunch like, every other day. And an avocado a day. Strange desire to eat all the avocados lately... 

 

My music choice has been oddly peppy. Gavin DeGraw, Backstreet Boys, and then Josh Ritter hits me like a truck and I have to slow everything down and liiiiiiisten. 

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I'm not a very good sulker. I am feeling anxious though since my plans for the next few years are riding on hearing back with an acceptance from somewhere (anywhere, come on!). I am biding my time by listening to music, generally metal and hardcore. I have made it a point to go out to dinner a lot and eat everything that I like because nothing soothes anxiety like binging on pasta and ice cream. I have also started some fun projects with friends, quit one of my part-time jobs that was cutting into my time, and made plans for some traveling if I am not in school this fall. But I never sulk. I distract myself and keep busy and I hide my disappointment really, really well.

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Well, since I wake up almost every morning from a nightmare about receiving a rejection letter, I spend my time obsessively checking my emails. I try very hard to keep myself as distracted as possible by cooking, cleaning and having fake interviews with myself in my head. Wow, I am clearly not handling this well! 

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Also: I've been watching shows on dredging for gold in the Bering Sea since this is my Plan C. Gold mining could be a lucrative career for me.

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I know this is a Grad Forum and all, but something we all need to remember is school is just... school…

I can tell you what I did when I got rejected from my MA dream school - I called my close friend and whined, had a beer, watched movies, and played video games, really anything to distract me. I just continued with my work, did not mention to anyone about my results, when people asked me I would lie and say "have not heard anything yet". Just so I did not have to waste any more mental energy on something that could have sucked the life out of me. Remember your applications are only your own business. In fact, I think these forums might have actually hurt me more if I knew about them. Just saying.
If appropriate, my advice-  forget about the applications and let the results come to you.

Instead focus your attention on alternative plans. No, they are not back up plans. You could do something significantly more interesting with your time than graduate school, and have a bit of money. Especially if you are coming straight from one degree to the next, diversifying your skill sets not only makes you more mature and experienced, but happier I think. The truth is I did many more interesting things before and after my graduate degree. I am only choosing to go back to school for a while because I realize what I am good at and that the contribution I want to make is in research. I would have not known that if I did not try other fields: project management, advocacy, outreach etc. Sometimes what we think we want to do…is not the case at all and our interests are always changing. By the way I am still in my mid 20s so it does not even take that long.
This could be a calling to try something a bit different. I encourage you to continue to take risks, seek out as many opportunities as you can because you are a smart, talented individual with a lot of things to offer. 

Im not sure if this is helpful at all but I think putting things into perspective might help :)

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I know this is a Grad Forum and all, but something we all need to remember is school is just... school…

I can tell you what I did when I got rejected from my MA dream school - I called my close friend and whined, had a beer, watched movies, and played video games, really anything to distract me. I just continued with my work, did not mention to anyone about my results, when people asked me I would lie and say "have not heard anything yet". Just so I did not have to waste any more mental energy on something that could have sucked the life out of me. Remember your applications are only your own business. In fact, I think these forums might have actually hurt me more if I knew about them. Just saying.

If appropriate, my advice-  forget about the applications and let the results come to you.

Instead focus your attention on alternative plans. No, they are not back up plans. You could do something significantly more interesting with your time than graduate school, and have a bit of money. Especially if you are coming straight from one degree to the next, diversifying your skill sets not only makes you more mature and experienced, but happier I think. The truth is I did many more interesting things before and after my graduate degree. I am only choosing to go back to school for a while because I realize what I am good at and that the contribution I want to make is in research. I would have not known that if I did not try other fields: project management, advocacy, outreach etc. Sometimes what we think we want to do…is not the case at all and our interests are always changing. By the way I am still in my mid 20s so it does not even take that long.

This could be a calling to try something a bit different. I encourage you to continue to take risks, seek out as many opportunities as you can because you are a smart, talented individual with a lot of things to offer. 

Im not sure if this is helpful at all but I think putting things into perspective might help :)

I'm afraid this advice isn't relevant here.  I'm finishing an MA after spending 5+ years in the entertainment industry.  My decision to return to school was well-informed.  I've lived, I've worked, and this is what I want to do, despite striking out this round. 

 

This advice also assumes people don't have to work.  I research to make money, and to become a better scholar.  I can't just take off on an adventure.  This is my life now.

 

Thanks though.

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I'm afraid this advice isn't relevant here.  I'm finishing an MA after spending 5+ years in the entertainment industry.  My decision to return to school was well-informed.  I've lived, I've worked, and this is what I want to do, despite striking out this round. 

 

This advice also assumes people don't have to work.  I research to make money, and to become a better scholar.  I can't just take off on an adventure.  This is my life now.

 

Thanks though.

That is completely understandable. My intention was not to underestimate your decision to go to school as it is a big one to make. Perhaps the comment will be more useful for others who are equally sulking, for different reasons. 

Trying different things is not an adventure, it is career building... With my comment, my assumption was the opposite about money actually - Doing a PhD means for a lot of people taking either a pay cut, or on some type of debt or doing research with poor compensation for 4+ years. Whereas working in research might mean making an actual salary above minimum wage. Many people need to work to be able to afford to go to school…my encouragement was in fact the exact opposite of an adventure. School being the adventure…

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I don't know if this counts as advice for dealing with sulking, but …. this week I had my wisdom teeth out, which really gave me a lot of perspective on this whole process. Before surgery I spent a lot of time worrying about being notified and checking my email. Now that I'm actually stuck at home, lying in bed, watching Netflix and breathing through the pain as I snatch small naps between doses of painkiller, where I get accepted doesn't seem to matter as much anymore as getting healthy again.

 

My surgery had complications - I suffered nerve damage in my jaw and have lost feeling in part of my face and mouth, perhaps permanently - and now that it's over, I feel that I have a new perspective on what's important in my life. Yes, getting into grad school is important, but it's even more important to take care of your health and to be grateful for those wonderful people in your life who love you and care about you. 

 

Tl;DR: remember to keep the stress/importance of grad school admissions in perspective, and don't forget all of the other awesome things in your life that make it worth living. It could be a lot worse ;)

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