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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. 

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10 minutes ago, KayAnne14 said:

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. 

 

10 minutes ago, KayAnne14 said:

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.

 

12 minutes ago, KayAnne14 said:

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.

 

52 minutes ago, KayAnne14 said:

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.

Thank you so much! I really needed to hear this entire thing, but I especially needed to hear the things I put above. It is nice to be reminded that I am not alone. I know I am not, but I get so suck in my own abyss that I forget that I am by myself, so thank you so much!! I definitely don't want to think about my back-up plan, but it certainly is something important to start figuring out.

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I discovered that I grind my teeth when i'm super stressed. its awesome when you can't close one side of your mouth, freaking loving it  

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This is wonderful!! 

 

I had a dream the other night about receiving a rejection email from my top choice program. In the email, each of the POIs I had listed in my SOP gave a reason why they rejected me. Each had entered the same response: DOESN'T DESERVE IT. All in caps lock, just like that. Thanks, brain, for your vote of confidence. Not even sleep is a respite from the constant nagging feeling that I am, in fact, that much of a failure. 

 

I'm happy to see that I am not the only one who is in a state of constant, relentless anxiety, at least!

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Thanks so much for this! I've also been in the abyss for about a month and while one part of me expects every email I get to be some sort of decision the other part of me knows that's ridiculous (one of my school's application deadlines hasn't even passed yet!) What I love about the GradCafe is seeing others write out exactly what I'm feeling!

2 hours ago, KayAnne14 said:

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. 

After a lot of different options I eventually decided to make my ultimate back up plan living with my best friend. It helped alleviate a lot of anxieties knowing that if all else failed I get to live with my favorite person in the world. 

I would definitely recommend having at least some portion of your back up plan be something you would legitimately enjoy (even if you have to keep doing something else you didn't originally want), that way even if your back up plan comes to fruition you're not making yourself miserable, nor are you making yourself miserable thinking about it.

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Let me just take a quick few seconds to tell everyone, "thanks for reading and your replies!" 

...they like me...they really like me...

Okay, now that that's over with, time for my own remarks. First, I really do want to share my appreciation to everyone who is sharing how they feel and their thoughts on my little post. I know to some it may not mean much, but to me it really means a lot. Especially, when I know how busy everyone must be right about now. I'm not sure if some of you will ever actually see my replies, but here's hoping! 

Moods, seeing you quote me that much made me tear up! Okay, so I'm being a little dramatic, but oh well. I'm glad you remembered that you are not alone in this process so be sure not to get stuck in your own abyss for too long. Especially when you could be doing something with your friends and family...or sitting there reading my posts, if you're in to that sort of thing. I also am glad that you've started thinking about your back up plan for the "what if" and "if not" moments that tend to engulf the darkness when you least expect it. If you have any questions or would like to discuss something, I'm all ears!! Hope to hear from you again soon.

Dwar, with family in the dentistry field, may I suggest a night guard? Just a friendly suggestion from your neighborhood blogger (are we even considered bloggers?). Also, thanks for reading!

Synthema, don't you just love it when the brain decides to put in his unwanted two sense? Annoying!! Especially when it's clearly wrong! Well, Synthema, know that you are not alone. Even though your dream may not be of a fire breathing dragon, we each have our demons to fight (or wolves if you know the native legend/story). I know that we can't control our obnoxious anxiety which can sometimes get the better of us, but know that you always have an ear/eye here if you need anything! You've got your own pack and your own story to tell. Thanks so much for reading my silly little writing and I hope to hear from you again soon!

CN0rd, let me just start off by saying (on the topic of the deadline not even passing yet): look at you getting your head in the game (no relation to the old High School Musical song)! I'm so proud of you! Side note: enjoying the abyss? I know I am...not. I love your back up plan! Living with a best friend is both amazing and can be slightly difficult depending on each other's living habits, but I lived with my bff for a while and I absolutely loved it! I can't wait to see what the future has in store for you and thank you so much for quoting me! It's amazing to know that my writing was able to reach people and help them at least discuss what they are going through. I hope to hear from you again soon!

Well, everyone, that's about it for now! Thank you all for reading and check out some of my other posts that are both (in my unprofessional opinion) humorous and thoughtful...if that's even the word I'm trying to go for right now. Thanks so much for the replies, quotes, votes (don't really know what that is yet, but thanks anyways), and likes! Try to share it with friends who might need the same advice! I'm slightly curious to see how far this article/blog/forum can reach in time. Have a great night!

K.

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47 minutes ago, KayAnne14 said:

...they like me...they really like me...

First off, this is hilarious! 😂

47 minutes ago, KayAnne14 said:

Moods, seeing you quote me that much made me tear up! Okay, so I'm being a little dramatic, but oh well. I'm glad you remembered that you are not alone in this process so be sure not to get stuck in your own abyss for too long. Especially when you could be doing something with your friends and family...or sitting there reading my posts, if you're in to that sort of thing. I also am glad that you've started thinking about your back up plan for the "what if" and "if not" moments that tend to engulf the darkness when you least expect it. If you have any questions or would like to discuss something, I'm all ears!! Hope to hear from you again soon.

Thank you! You are too sweet! If you ever need someone to talk to as well, I am here to listen!

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Hahahaha, this is why waiting is worse than filling out the applications themselves. I NEED NEWS AND I NEED IT NOW!!!1111111!1!1!1111!!!

But yeah, the daydreaming about being at X program or waking up to a rejection from Y and whatever else... doesn't keep me up at night or anything...

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21 hours ago, KayAnne14 said:

Dwar, with family in the dentistry field, may I suggest a night guard? Just a friendly suggestion from your neighborhood blogger (are we even considered bloggers?). Also, thanks for reading!

 

Lol thanks for the advice. I already have one, issue is I don't use. I cant really sleep with it, unfortunately. As school starts back up again its already getting better, actually having stuff to do during the day means I cant spend all day thinking and stressing about it. Im hoping that as Jan and Feb roll around I'll start to hear back and it'll get better. 

On a side note, yesterday I was feeling particularly anxious, so I impulsively applied to a 6th grad school. Now don't get me wrong, the school does look awesome and after some more post-application research i'm really starting to dig it, but jeez, that was one impulsive $100 purchase. 

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Aren't y'all just the sweetest people this fine and stressful world has to offer!

Here's my response to the newest replies:

Sgaw10, why do I feel like I'm should be reading this with a slight sarcastic attitude? Or is it just me? Hahaha anyways, thanks so much for reading!!

Perpetualalligator, staaaahhpppp it. Your flattery will get you a comment and a response! Look at that...I think it just did! You are so sweet for actually wanting to read more of my rantings and ravings. And "wonderful human being"? I can't go that far but thank you for giving me my five seconds of mini fame hahaha! Thanks for reading!

Dwar, I'm not sure if I should be impressed or worried that you have applied and even found 6 different grad schools you want to attend? I just barely found two (possibly three), but that's not the point. While it may have been impulsive shopping (and yes, it could be considered shopping), it goes for a good cause: your future. Therefore, at least it has a purpose, am I right? At least you're starting to like it more now than when you first applied! Good luck with school this semester, and thanks for reading!

Well, guys and gals, thanks for reading my humble and crazy thoughts and replies! Hope everyone has a good night and thanks for reading! Hope to hear from you again soon.

K.

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On 1/7/2019 at 8:16 PM, Dwar said:

I discovered that I grind my teeth when i'm super stressed. its awesome when you can't close one side of your mouth, freaking loving it  

Thanks for the reminder to unclench my jaw 

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Well, all you lovely readers you, 

Thanks to your suggestions and amazingly encouraging comments, I thought that you all should be the first to know that I have started up my own blog on TheGradCafe! I would be incredibly honored if you checked out Ready As I'll Ever Be and shared with your friends who need the little pep in their grad steps! Thanks for everything and I hope to hear from all of you amazing people soon!

Thanks,

K.

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48 minutes ago, KayAnne14 said:

Well, all you lovely readers you, 

Thanks to your suggestions and amazingly encouraging comments, I thought that you all should be the first to know that I have started up my own blog on TheGradCafe! I would be incredibly honored if you checked out Ready As I'll Ever Be and shared with your friends who need the little pep in their grad steps! Thanks for everything and I hope to hear from all of you amazing people soon!

Thanks,

K.

I feel so powerful right now, that is amazing! I look forward to reading your stuff :)

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On 1/7/2019 at 8:16 PM, Dwar said:

I discovered that I grind my teeth when i'm super stressed. its awesome when you can't close one side of your mouth, freaking loving it  

 

4 hours ago, OnBeingKenn said:

Thanks for the reminder to unclench my jaw 

This would be a good moment for me to roll my shoulders out as well, no wonder my back has hurt for weeks.

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On 1/7/2019 at 8:47 PM, synthema said:

This is wonderful!! 

 

I had a dream the other night about receiving a rejection email from my top choice program. In the email, each of the POIs I had listed in my SOP gave a reason why they rejected me. Each had entered the same response: DOESN'T DESERVE IT. All in caps lock, just like that. Thanks, brain, for your vote of confidence. Not even sleep is a respite from the constant nagging feeling that I am, in fact, that much of a failure. 

 

I'm happy to see that I am not the only one who is in a state of constant, relentless anxiety, at least!

I had a very similar dream! Only difference was in mine, a top choice school sent my application back to me with comments in red scribbled all over it about the exact reasons it isn't good enough and they're rejecting me. At least I'm not the only one, and fingers crossed we get accepted :)

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On 1/7/2019 at 5:17 PM, KayAnne14 said:

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. 

This is exactly how I feel!! I've tried so hard to do something useful while in this dark, lonely limbo of waiting, but to no avail... Like you said, the prevailing thought is: "Why on Earth am I studying this if rejections will start coming next week? Such a waste of time!" Though I don't enjoy your misery, it's nice to see that I'm not alone in this. 

I still try to advance a bit on my pet project (translating a 2300 year old papyrus), but I have also started to have a more positive approach to the abyss: instead of being horribly inefficient out of pure anxiety and fear of being rejected, I'm trying to do all those things I won't have time to do when I start grad school. My advice to all who read (probably only future me...): while you are in the abyss, focus on your hobbies, watch all those movies you couldn't enjoy during the semester, meet with friends while you're in town, make a trip abroad if you can... there will always be time afterwards for studying or advancing your pet project. 

Good luck!     

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On 1/7/2019 at 7:17 PM, KayAnne14 said:

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. 

Thank you so much!!!!! I needed this.

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Sseire, that is amazing advice! Good luck on the translation and I can't wait to hear all about it!

Drfigue, you are so welcome! Thank you so much for reading and I hope you keep in touch! Be sure to check out the blog, Ready As AI'll Ever Be, for more!

Thanks everyone,

K.

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