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Hello my fellow potential grad school students! So recently, I've been getting a few messages asking me what I'm doing during the abysmal "waiting it out" process. Rather than going into detail on every single reply, I've decided a blog post would be the most beneficial to everyone, myself included. As much as you may think differently, I am new to this entire process myself. I say that because I want everyone to know one simple thing: I have no idea what I'm doing. Yes, I may have started this blog and yes, it may have connected with people, but that doesn't mean I'm some sort of pro! I am a 22 year old who decided to follow my dream and take the next step toward my next educational frenemy (aka grad school). So, let me answer the question that so many have asked: what am I doing to pass the time? First, let me just say a whole lot of nothing. Yes, I work, and yes, I'm partially continuing personal research on a few matters, but it boils down to doing a whole lot of nothing. I work 5-6 days a week, go to pt about twice a week, I try to do research but half the time I get distracted half way through and end up on random websites like Pinterest, Facebook, and the occasional YouTube which gets me hooked for a few hours. I would love to say that I'm continuing my research, which is coming along swimmingly, and I have made new discoveries which will soon lead me to the path of enlightenment. Or that I'm planning for my next step (grad school or otherwise) and have everything planned out to a tee. Also, it would be fun if I could tell you that I became famous in my short time period on this blog and am now in the process of publishing my first worldwide famous book that is soon going to be made into a movie and be sold out all over the world. After all, any of those options right now would be worth my time; however, sadly none of that is happening. The truth (besides what I already hinted to above), secondly, is I'm thinking about a lot of "what if" scenarios. I know I've touched on this a bit in the past, but I wanted to be honest with you. It's not like I write about something and then it magically changes the moment it gets over 200 reads. That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works. The issue doesn't go away. No matter what you or I may try to do. The thought of rejection will forever linger in the back of my mind, and if you're like me then you're the same (hate to tell you). I think everyone fears rejection, after all, no one likes to be told "no" or that they aren't good enough. If you do like to be told these things...honestly, I have no advice or witty remark to make here so you've officially left me at a blank, but still. Rejection sucks. Especially since we all know how it feels. With the thought of rejection comes the scenario of what I (or you) am/are going to do if this whole expedition of grad school doesn't work the way we expect it to. In other words, what's going to happen next if this doesn't work out? Well, I feel like in that sentence lies the root to our underlying problem. I'm sure that you've planned out how grad school is going to work out for you, where you're going to go, and what is going to happen after graduation. I have to and there's nothing wrong with that! However, if you're like me, then the question of "what if" lies deep in the core and, like I said, here lies the problem. I know I've said having a back up plan is a smart move (after all, I probably have over a dozen at this point and I still continue to add to that list), but after typing this out so many times it got me wondering. When I started to wonder I came to a frighteningly, devastating, partial realization that may be only for me, but I'm going to tell you anyways because that's the point of you reading up until this point. If by having all these back up plans, like I said I did, then that, in fact, is my problem. I started to think that by putting all this effort into the "what if" question scenarios, I'm actually taking away from what I actually want to happen which is grad school. I know that with applications already in there's not much I can do besides wait, but I could still be planning out what is going to happen not "if" but "when" I get in. We (again, I'm assuming you're like me) put all this effort into the higher possibility that our dreams will fail, but that takes away our hope of fulfilling our dreams. So, and I know this is easier said than done, stop. Stop degrading yourself to your back up plan. If it happens, fine, if it doesn't then that's great too. But at this point, you back up plan has taken away enough of our precious time. Now it's time to think about what we WANT to happen, rather than think about what may or may not happen. Finally, my last piece of advice is simple: go shopping. Not literally, of course! After all, we are potential grad school students, we're beyond broke. But play around with a few ideas like, "where you're going to live once you get accepted?" Or, "what are you going to decorate your apartment like?" To which, may I suggest Pinterest. Spark the inspiration of acceptance and think about these things. Look at apartments, look at decorating/organizing ideas, and look at scholarship possibilities (after all, we're broke and need all the help we can get). You've got more fire in you than you realize, and I hope that this sparks a little bit of inspiration. Anyways, thank you all for reading and I apologize if you have read some of my recent stuff...had a little bit of writer's block and I think I may finally be out of it. Be sure to check out the #SpreadTheLove campaign on my blog, and I also have another poll about Facebook so be sure to check it out. Also, I love hearing from you guys, so thank you all for your comments, your "fan mail" for those of you calling it that, and for your shares! It's amazing to know that people actually get a small kick out of reading my writing and it really makes me happy. Hope everyone has a great week, and I look forward to hearing from you in some way, shape, or form! Until next time, K.
Well, it's January (as if you didn't know). The month of New Year's Resolutions, the same resolutions starting to fail, the newly established "How have you aged?" Facebook fad, and (to the grad school wannabes) deadlines. I have looked at enough programs to know that most of the application deadlines are in January. So, I have a little message for everyone involved: may the odds be ever in your favor (insert Hunger Games whistle tune here). At this point, you are most likely panicking because that one professor or person is waiting until the very last second to send in their letter of recommendation, digging further into your program research (aka looking at the campus, the teachers, student life, etc), or checking your email two - three times a day waiting to hear on the life changing decision. So, let the games begin... With today being the deadline for a lot of programs (hopefully not yours if you're still waiting on that one annoying person who takes forever to get stuff done), let me just say/hope that this next week will be one of the most calming. Everything is finally turned in and completed, you know that you won't have a decision for a while, and you're toying with the idea of where you're going to live when you move in July/August. To that, may I recommend one fatal app: Pinterest. Let's be honest, you've most likely heard of it by now, and most of you are probably just as addicted as I am. I mean, how cute are those little apartment ideas that pop up on your board, right?! My poor Pinterest is a victim to my fangirl side, my inspirational side, and my writing/grad school side. Your's is probably similar and there is no shame! So, my fellow grad school wannabes, enjoy the next two - three weeks. This is the only time where you know you won't hear back and you know there won't be a decision made. This is the only time where you can let your mind wonder to the amazing world of possibilities that will arise once you receive your golden ticket into the chocolate factory. This is the only time (probably) that you will feel peace. So, let your heart take you to the most incredible places imaginable. Hang out with those friends you keep putting off due to stress and laziness (I know because I'm the same), have a game/movie night with your family, and take that lovely cutie pie of a dog on a walk or to the park. In other words, enjoy this time while it lasts because Lord knows that in a month, when you start to see those few little blimps of acceptance or rejection, the stress with pile on full force and you will enter the darkest corners of the abyss. I wish you the best of luck and I hope you learn to enjoy these next few weeks. Be sure to keep reading and check out my blog, Ready As I'll Ever Be, for more fun posts! Also, be sure to vote on the #SpreadTheLove poll for your favorite organization to aspire the spread of education around the world. Until next time, K.
As most people here, I have a difficult decision coming up. I have two school choices that are polar opposites (UC Irvine UMiami). I love both schools for completely different reasons. In terms of research and science Irvine is my top place (they also keep offering me more and more money to go there). The con here is there is close to 0 people of color in the community, student body, or faculty pool. Its a very suburban area which I am not used to. I am coming from NYC, the biggest melting pot, and this is going to be a huge and difficult culture shock for me. On the other hand, UMiami is also a great place in terms of diversity and environment and its not to far from home. The con though is they only offer 28.5 k to live without any subsidized housing. IDK what I am going to do and would appreciate some advice or someone to commiserate with. Would also appreciate any advice or insight on living in either city?