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bdon19

Anyone else freaking out?

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I just realized that I go back to school in exactly 2 weeks. I still have a ton of work I'd planned to do before the end of the summer. I need to tailor my writing sample enough to be ready to present it at a conference on October 1st, do as much prep for the subject test as I possibly can, and do some serious work on my SoP before the craziness of classes start. I also just got an e-mail from a professor that I need to have a manuscript of a story for my creative writing class ready by mid-September. On top of all this stuff, my work schedule's gone crazy, and I'll likely only be getting two or three days off before I go back to school. I'm starting to panic about getting everything done. I put a lot of it on hold prepping for the GRE, and while I can breathe a sigh of relief that it's all done now, I don't want to short-change the really important parts of my application!

I know I have time still, and I'm just freaking out, but I wanted to see if anyone else was in the same boat. I know most schools are actually back already, so I'm sure plenty of you have already experienced the end-of-summer-freakout. I totally get the whole waiting until you're done with undergrad to apply thing now. But I'm still doing it. I've invested too much energy not to. It will be okay, it will be okay, it will be okay. That is my mantra.

Moral support, guys and gals. :D

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I, too, am freaking out. I teach 4 undergrad English courses at a university that just started this week, and I work at the campus writing center, too. On top of teaching and prepping, I am planning to retake the general GRE in September and the subject in October, and although I have been doing a lot of thinking about my applications, I haven't really done much else. I am officially freaking out.

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I just realized that I go back to school in exactly 2 weeks. I still have a ton of work I'd planned to do before the end of the summer. I need to tailor my writing sample enough to be ready to present it at a conference on October 1st, do as much prep for the subject test as I possibly can, and do some serious work on my SoP before the craziness of classes start. I also just got an e-mail from a professor that I need to have a manuscript of a story for my creative writing class ready by mid-September. On top of all this stuff, my work schedule's gone crazy, and I'll likely only be getting two or three days off before I go back to school. I'm starting to panic about getting everything done. I put a lot of it on hold prepping for the GRE, and while I can breathe a sigh of relief that it's all done now, I don't want to short-change the really important parts of my application!

I was in essentially this exact situation last year, and am hardly exaggerating when I say that ultimately it all collectively manifested into a pressure that I simply couldn't handle. I hate meaninglessly throwing around the term "nervous breakdown" when it isn't truly the accurate description, but you'll have to trust me when I say that last fall I very much suffered a nervous breakdown, a horrible event only better defined, perhaps, as a panic attack.

You are, thankfully, actually a few large steps ahead of where I was when I finally had to make myself decide to take a year off and apply for grad programs this year instead. As we've discussed in a previous forum conversation, at the end of the day it's your choice to make in regards to how well your applications will truly reflect how capable you are as a person given the relatively limited amount of time you'll have had to work on them. With the circumstances in place in which you are now personally, I'd say that you might as well focus predominantly on your schoolwork so as either to maintain a high GPA or, potentially, raise a mediocre one.

Hopefully your course load this term is already evident as a bit harder or easier than whatever you'll bear in the spring; since all your application work will need to be completed in a few months, I'll send good luck to you in your getting one of the easier classes!

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although I have been doing a lot of thinking about my applications, I haven't really done much else.

THIS. I feel like I've done so much, but really I've been mainly just thinking about it and not really doing it. But, still, thinking isn't really a bad thing. Especially from the girl who writes all her papers the night before they're due but can pull it off because of how much thinking (in addition to copious note-taking) I've done. Thank goodness.

I may be prematurely freaking out, too. Of course there are plenty of things I should probably get done now, but at the same time, I don't want to just get it all done too soon. I'd like to make somewhat decent progress on both my writing sample and SoP before I go back, but at the same time I know they'll be infinitely different if I work on them now as opposed to 2 or 3 months from now. It's amazing how much you can visualize your skills improving when you go back and read papers you wrote just months before. I know that's what happened with me and my writing sample. So I think as long as I do as much as I can now and then do the rest a bit closer to the date, I'll end up being okay.

TPHF, I totally understand what you're saying about your situation last year. I watched a friend go through the process and go through a (somewhat delayed) breakdown in the months while she was waiting to her back from schools. She didn't put much into the application process and didn't realize that until it was too late. Thankfully, I took as much out of her experience as I could, and that's what's influencing my drive right now. It also helped that another friend (who hadn't even thought of grad school until October!) was quite successful in her applications, so I can take advice from both of them, both negative and positive. Luckily, I'm the type that ultimately ends up working better under pressure. I don't think I've ever gotten to the point where too much pressure made me crack, it just made me more driven.

In terms of my course load for this term, it is what it is. I have no way of really gauging how difficult it will be, but I don't foresee it being too horrible. I'm taking one upper-level English course in an area I think might help me focus my SoP, an independent study in theory, and a creative writing class. With the exception of the manuscript I need to have for creative writing, the class will be a piece of cake. The independent study will only meet once a week and will be more reading-driven, which I don't mind at all. However, I will be juggling three jobs, including one as an editor on the school newspaper. Hopefully my colleagues will understand when I can't put in 110%, like I usually do. (Of course, I've already promised to write 3 articles for the first issue, which comes out before I even come back to campus. Oh, well.)

As life begins to get more and more hectic, I'm sure I'll be coming back here for additional moral support! :)

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Yes. And I'm freaking out a year in advance. My fall semester starts tomorrow, and I just realized that I now have 1 year to:

  • Cram in 21 credits of graduate study while working full time
  • Prepare for and take the general GRE
  • Prepare for and take the Lit GRE
  • Research, propose, outline and actually *write* a master's thesis
  • Do all that other application crap which I've thought an awful lot about but haven't actually done...

GAH!

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So... the season of "freaking out" has begun. Just like retail stores' Christmas decorations and mall kiosks peddling Halloween costumes, the great-grad-freak-out seems to arrive earlier and earlier each season! :)

Love it!

Edited by USTgrad

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So... the season of "freaking out" has begun. Just like retail stores' Christmas decorations and mall kiosks peddling Halloween costumes, the great-grad-freak-out seems to arrive earlier and earlier each season! :)

Love it!

Exactly. Ironically, I did in fact send an e-mail to a professor with the subject heading "The Great Grad Freak Out Email." I've been somewhat obsessively contacting my two friends who just started their grad programs. I've been trying to avoid e-mailing my professors too obsessively; I've already contacted just about everyone in my department multiple times! So instead I've been going through the results forum here, having panic attacks as I compare my stats to everyone else's. I know they don't matter per se, but...but...but. I'm constantly having GPA-related freak-outs. Gahhhhhh. I just want it to be December already and to be all over!!!

...I may or may not have already started filling out online applications where possible. I am a pathetic human.

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I just want it to be December already and to be all over!!!

As a friendly heads-up from someone who went through the process last year, December is not the end!

I remember thinking that getting all the apps submitted would be the light at the end of the tunnel and that I could breathe more freely, but frankly, the waiting for responses became so emotionally exhausting that I'd rate it as more challenging than applying. You might think that Feb-April might be exciting -- and maybe for some it is -- but that wasn't my experience at all. Of course I don't say this to be a big big bummer or anything, but I haven't seen this really come up yet in discussion for any of you current applicants. The waiting process was much, much worse than I anticipated -- and I'm a very patient person. People on here were literally losing their shit all over the place. So good luck to you all over the next couple of months; and again, don't want to bum you out, but prepare yourselves for torment, frustration, and an emotional beating in the Spring. :)

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As a friendly heads-up from someone who went through the process last year, December is not the end!

I remember thinking that getting all the apps submitted would be the light at the end of the tunnel and that I could breathe more freely, but frankly, the waiting for responses became so emotionally exhausting that I'd rate it as more challenging than applying. You might think that Feb-April might be exciting -- and maybe for some it is -- but that wasn't my experience at all. Of course I don't say this to be a big big bummer or anything, but I haven't seen this really come up yet in discussion for any of you current applicants. The waiting process was much, much worse than I anticipated -- and I'm a very patient person. People on here were literally losing their shit all over the place. So good luck to you all over the next couple of months; and again, don't want to bum you out, but prepare yourselves for torment, frustration, and an emotional beating in the Spring. :)

You are right, of course, truckbasket! I was just talking to a friend who is happily settling down in her nice apartment at her nice program who, quite literally, was losing her shit right around March. Watching her go through the process, I kind of freaked out around that time, too! I'm just going to make it my goal to be in a happy place through those months and attempt to forget they exist. (Yeah right. I know I'll be on here every second of every day. Or at least every second that I'm not obsessively refreshing my e-mail. Heck, already I spend at least twice the amount of time I used to spend on Facebook on the Grad Cafe!) :rolleyes:

Of course, the waiting game has basically already started for me. I've had too many grad school admissions-related dreams to count. If I have to wake up one more time thinking U Chicago accepted me even though I didn't apply (yeah...that dream really happened), I'm going to go crazy. So, in that respect, I could do with it being December. :D

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If I have to wake up one more time thinking U Chicago accepted me even though I didn't apply (yeah...that dream really happened), I'm going to go crazy. So, in that respect, I could do with it being December. :D

Having applied to U of Chicago's Lit program last season, with subsequent rejection, that is one hell-of-a dream! But rather, let us ease our worried souls and think of it as a premonition. B)

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I am so freaked out I am practically stunted. I am retaking the GRE in a few weeks, and it is all consuming for me. I know everyone said it's the least important, but there is still a minimum I need to meet to get past the first round, and I am terrified that in that one moment, I could mess everything up so badly that I end up not applying. I'm scared to start doing anything until I take it again so as not to waste my,or anyone else's, time.

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I am so freaked out I am practically stunted. I am retaking the GRE in a few weeks, and it is all consuming for me. I know everyone said it's the least important, but there is still a minimum I need to meet to get past the first round, and I am terrified that in that one moment, I could mess everything up so badly that I end up not applying. I'm scared to start doing anything until I take it again so as not to waste my,or anyone else's, time.

I too am retaking the GRE in a few weeks. I have a slightly different approach! I absolutely hated the format of the former GRE--the inability to mark a question for later or move between questions, and those awful out-of-context-antonyms. So, I am actually quite excited because I know I will do better--after my last score, there is only one way to go! Up!

Don't worry so much about the minimal score. You will do great. Prepare as best as you can with the time you have. I for one am listening to vocab builders during my commute to work. And practice, practice, practice! It will not make perfect, but it will definitely build your confidence.

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It's funny to look back at this thread. I thought I was freaking out then?! Wow.

...This has been the longest few months ever. And another couple of long ones to go. Blahhhh.

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LOL I was reading the first post like what in the world? Then I realized it was from a couple months ago. haha. slow moment.

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