@whatislife69 @mandelbulb @sugilite @jillcicle @jrockford27
Thank you all for your thoughtful replies. I've struggled to focus on my acceptances despite the initial euphoria they brought. I can't help but feel like I've let down my professors, family, and friends who had high hopes for me and encouraged me to shoot for the top 10s. The rejections seem to be confirmation that their confidence in my potential is misplaced or overinflated. I felt foolish for thinking I stood a chance.
At least that's what I thought when I started the thread. It was unwise of me to apply for top programs that didn't fit my interests but I can't be faulted for applying to the ones that did. How can anyone be faulted for striving and hoping for the best?
I still lack the equanimity needed to handle rejections gracefully. What has helped the past few days was focusing on what it took for me to receive all those acceptances and rejections. Given how hard I've worked in college, studied for the GREs, and toiled away at preparing application materials, I should give myself more credit. Not because of the outcome, but because I knew what I wanted and was willing to put in time, effort, and -sigh- money to achieve it. The fact that I had the determination to power me through the application season is proof that somewhere inside me is the drive needed for a career in academia life.
Uncle Gary may not be impressed with me but I sure as hell am.