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It Happened

NOWAYNOHOW

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This morning I woke up to the coldest winter day so far this year. I could barely bring myself to get out of bed. Making coffee was a chore. My apartment was freezing. Our shitty prewar radiators are no match for this kind of weather. I just wanted to get back under my comforter, preferably wearing at least six pairs of sweatpants and my parka, and sleep until May.

By 9AM, I'd already checked my email and this board approximately 200 times. The last couple of months haven't been easy for me. After implied rejections from what I felt were some of my strongest fits, I was feeling discouraged. What if I hadn't improved my profile all that much over the last year? Should I have retaken the GRE? Was it a mistake to take on multiple editing projects for faculty instead of working on publishing my thesis? Was trying to switch disciplines an impossible task? Why didn't I apply to more schools? Should I have tried for an NDSEG even though I wasn't firmly in the behavioral sciences?

What if I just wasn't ever going to be good enough, no matter what I did?

It doesn't help that I had a bad interview with a school I really love. I had two interviews there, but the bad one just really sticks in my mind. I replay all the awful moments in my head in the shower. I hear the dumb words come out of my dumb mouth when I'm trying to get work done for my actual job that pays actual money.

To make a long story short, I have not been feeling hopeful. I have heard nothing from a lot of schools I applied to. I've been looking into all sorts of non-academic jobs, convinced that trying to get into a program for the third time would just be too much. YA novelist? Book publishing? Bartending? Teaching secular subjects at Yeshiva high schools? I've really thought through pretty much any possible career route, but nothing can stand up to just wanting that PhD. For my interests, you need the PhD even for non-academic jobs, so if I do anything else, I'm selling myself short.

Around 9:15 this morning, I got the email. I've been waiting for this email for almost two years. I've dreamed about this email. I get mad at other emails because they are not this email. I have probably broken world records for refreshing my inbox because I have been waiting so impatiently for this email.

I got in.

I got into a program I genuinely love with faculty I respect and admire. I got into a program that believes in my work and can support my scholarship. I got in with funding! I got into a department where I fit, where I have more POIs than I know what to do with, and where I can, just maybe, soon call home. I got in! I want to scream it from the rooftops.

There is still plenty of waiting to do. I have other schools to hear from, other disappointments, and maybe even other triumphs.

But what matters now is that I have the chance to prove myself. Getting into the program isn't the hard part. Getting the PhD isn't even the hard part. Doing something with it -- something truly and fundamentally meaningful with that degree is the hard part. And I am a long way off from that part of my life, but what matters now is that I am on my way.

I know a lot of you have been following this blog, whether from the beginning or just stumbling upon it now. I hope you can find the strength to drag yourself out of bed on the coldest day of the year just so you can get some of the best news of your life. I hope you soon have an excuse to drink cheap champagne and look at weird Craigslist ads for apartments in cities you barely know. I hope you finally get that email you've been waiting for.

I hope you get in.

I know you will.



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Congrats! Do you feel less crazy now? I'm feeling pretty crazy right now with how often I refresh my email and how one tracked my thoughts are...

 

I feel a little less crazy, because even as I await other news I know I have SOMEWHERE to go. Still, the offer I got is from the school that is probably the hardest in terms of relocating, so I am pretty anxious about that process. I suppose there's always more craziness to feel.

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I feel a little less crazy, because even as I await other news I know I have SOMEWHERE to go. Still, the offer I got is from the school that is probably the hardest in terms of relocating, so I am pretty anxious about that process. I suppose there's always more craziness to feel.

I moved across the country with three cats.  Anything is possible when it comes to relocating!  lol

 

Aside from saying congratulations, I wanted to say that they way you write is captivating. 

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I feel a little less crazy, because even as I await other news I know I have SOMEWHERE to go. Still, the offer I got is from the school that is probably the hardest in terms of relocating, so I am pretty anxious about that process. I suppose there's always more craziness to feel.

 

I guess there is always more craziness to feel. At least now you can feel crazy happy, and crazy proud of yourself! :)

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Congrats! Just came across this. It's really encouraging :) I totally check my email like every five minutes! Haven't got in anywhere yet, but I'm hoping if not this year then next!

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I have to write something. I read this blog yesterday and was so inspired by your joy and excitement. I did not know I would "become" you the next day.

 

This morning, like every other mornings in the past two months, I checked email before doing anything else after getting up....nothing there. I guess I would have to wait for another weekend which seems too long for me now.

 

10 minutes later, my phone beeped and I got an email to check website for admissions decision. I prayed like crazy and heart was beating.

 

I got in.

 

Thank you and good luck to everybody here!! The application is truly full of surprises.

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I definitely have felt that kind of uncertainty before, and it has consumed my life for the past two years. Let me say congratulations and good luck. A word of advice for your future: Try to relax and be yourself and things will find a way to work out. 

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