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Only because "the thing no one wants to talk about yet everyone needs to think about at some point but no one wants to because it may seem like you're heading towards failure" was a bit long to be title worthy... Welcome back, guys and gals and all those lovely folks who have read my writing before...you know, in that one "blog" post... I hope everyone is having a great day! Why? Because I'm about to ruin it. I know, I'm such a horrible person, but it was bound to happen eventually. In my last post (So, you've entered the abyss...) I briefly discussed the idea of having a back up (or BU for those loyal readers out there...you know, the entire one of you). Well, now it is time for me to elaborate. This is the one thing that everyone who begins the grad school process must come across at some point, however briefly it may be. The truth of the matter is, though, this is going to be the path that some of us end up taking. I thought it best to bring it into the light. Now, the BU plan is different for everybody and doesn't have to be set on a single thing. For example, I'll use myself. While my graduate dream is to become the world's best and most well-known maritime archaeologist by the time I'm in my early 30s, I have a hugely different back up plan...12, in fact. What can I say? My OCD causes me to plan for multiple contingencies. After all, you never know what may happen! So, obviously, my next plan is to become a world renowned writer. Just kidding! While there may be one or two of you out there who are actually getting what little amusement you can out of my writing, it's not my next plan of action. A plan of action, yes. I wouldn't have a three or four half written books sitting on my computer for nothing if it wasn't. Apart from becoming some sort of writer, I may end up starting my own dessert food truck where all the fandoms can unite in the form of your new favorite desserts. (And before you ask, I do have baking experience. I used to be a dessert baker at a local...well, that's beside the point.) If that doesn't work out, I'll go work in a museum somewhere, or maybe do an internship abroad, or, heck, I don't know, become a hard core princess of some small unheard of country! Although not every single one of those may seem attainable (the part about me becoming a writer part, because of course it's possible for me to become a princess), that's beside the point. The point is to have a plan. Any sort of plan, because any sort of plan is still some sort of plan. So, while you are starting to have that little inkling in the back of your head of something else that may seem a bit interesting to you, my advice: look into it. Entertain the idea of actually accomplishing it. That being said, however, don't let a simple back up plan distract you from your main goal. You've got it within your to get yourself where you need to be. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. At least now you know that you'll always have my vote of support. So now go! Go out and make your back up plan. If you don't get into grad school, then show the world just what you can do without it. Don't cut yourself down before you've even begun to fully stand up on your own two feet. Become the tree that rises towards the heavens and who's broken vines and branches have only made you stronger. If you get accepted into your dream program, that's amazing! But if not, then don't worry because there is something better out there for you, even if it takes you a little while to find it. I really wanted to end this little post on a high note so it wouldn't be so depressing, and I hope that I achieved that... Thank you for reading this far and I hope that one day I get to hear what your back up plan may or may not be. Be sure to stay in touch and good luck with all your future endeavors! Sincerely, K.
Hello guys and gals! While I might be new here, I do know a thing or two about writing/blogging so here we go! Welcome to the abyss. Bet you didn't expect that welcome into darkness but there it is. The abyss is simple: here is where people, most likely people applying for grad school or any college, get to spend their time waiting, pondering over "what if"'s, and wallowing in self misery. This accounts for the entire time period where you, or someone you know, has finished applying to whatever program they are interested and are waiting to hear back on a decision. Me? I've been in the abyss for a month now and still have a while before I'm going to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. What can I say about it? Well, no matter what people try to sell you, it doesn't get any easier no matter what you do. I want you to know, however, that the abyss is different for everyone. In fact, think of it as your own personal educational h**l on earth. One you decided to jump into head first, might I add. The abyss can (and will) bring out the best and worst in you. During this time period, you will get to discover things you probably never even knew about yourself. For example, the fact that you now have anxiety and the fact that it'll probably just get worse as time goes on, as well as the fact that you mentally created scenarios in your head about being far away in the middle of nowhere, finally getting accepted into your dream program at your dream school, and then a fire breathing dragon appears, laughing at you, screeching how you're never going to amount to anything and then throws your pathetic self into the nearest fast food chain. Okay, so that last one may have been just me, but it represents everyone's worst grad school fear...sort of. Don't get me wrong, though. The abyss isn't all bad. I'm sure that you've read somewhere that doing research and getting ahead are great ways to pass the time. It's true! They are, plus anything you can do to get ahead in your field of study is obviously a bonus. However, if you're like me, then there will be that inkling in the back of your mind about what may happen if you aren't accepted and how everything you're doing now is a waste of time. Obviously, this would put a downer on your study habits, unless you have the mental capabilities of a steal trap, to which I say...aren't you lucky (with a slight bitterness in my online voice). Studying and research are obviously great ways to go, AND they might also help you decide what specialty you may want to travel on. Then, you have the option of going on a different route, one that I suggest you think about. The back-up plan. It's this point in the abyss that no one really likes to think about and we all wish would just disappear and never see the light of day again, but no matter what you do and no matter how hard you fight it, you have to think about it. What's worse than thinking about it? Being sure that you can actually follow through when/if the time comes. The BU plan can be almost anything you want it to be, just be sure to plan for a few contingencies that may occur along the way. If your BU plan is to do a different grad school, then try it out the first time and then while you're waiting in another abyss, create a different BU plan on a different path. Whether it is settling for a job you are slightly interested in to following a different dream, make sure it is something achievable. I know it's kind of harsh for me to say this, but it needs to be said. Better you read it for yourself than hear it in person from someone you love...or someone you hate if that's what is going to help you see the method to the madness. You may or may not have an idea on what you want you BU plan to be and that is perfectly fine! Just so long as you are in fact thinking about it. Like I said, the abyss is different for everyone. I just want you to know that you aren't alone in the darkness of despair and waiting. You have friends. You have family. You have me. So, let me hear from you. Your comments, questions, advice. Everything. Even if you just wanna say, "hi." This time frame isn't fun for anyone, but...it does have some slight perks. You just have to figure them out for yourself. Sincerely, K.
Giang Nguyen posted a question in Questions and AnswersHi all, I'm from Vietnam, is holding a bachelor degree in Computer Science from my local university and want to pursue a research career in Medicine (aging, to be specific) in Europe/USA. I've got a few questions I would really appreciate any input to. First of all, my plan is getting a Biology master degree and then a Medicine PhD. Is that a good path in your opinions? Secondly, I'm preparing to apply to Biology (prefer wet biology to bioinformatics) master programs in Norway, Finland or Germany (I found a lot of free programs in those countries from masterportal.eu), but I lack the documentable biology background. I would retake those courses if only they didn't require too much lab time that I cannot take time off my job to study. Is the GRE in Molecular Biology or certified online courses (edX,...) a good replacement? Other than that, is there anything you think I should put attention to? Any input is much appreciated. Thank you very much.