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This App Season has made me miserable, literally


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I joined to post this thought:

Maybe I am much, much weaker of a person than I initially thought, but this app season has literally made me miserable. I am angry, depressed, hostile, prone to illness, and above all, very bitter. I hear birds chirping and I want to chop down their tree.

Part of it is that I have been rejected from schools I thought I had a chance of getting into, and another part is that I am still waiting on answers.

It feels like the rest of the world knows what they're going to do in the Fall, yet my plans have been demolished and/or are being toyed with by late responses.

At the beginning of this process, I had a "whatever happens, happens!" attitude. Now I am purely depressed about the whole thing.

Hopefully the next two weeks brings some good news.

Thanks for listening and allowing me to vent, gradcafe!

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I hear you. Between the application season on the class I hate, this semester has been the worst thing I've dealt with in ... shit, years. And that's including the year I couldn't afford to apply to more than one program (where I'm currently wrapping up my MA) and could only afford that because they didn't require GRE scores. Hell, that's even including the semester I read St. Augustine for one of my Latin classes!

So you're definitely not alone. All I can say is, get ready for whatever you would do if you don't get in anywhere, think about what you'd do differently if/when you apply again, and go on with this shit on YOUR terms. You're still waiting on responses, so you may yet get good news. But in the mean time, make your life work for you, even if you don't get in.

And keep your head up.

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Wow, I'm glad I'm not alone!

I'm at a point where the idea of not going to grad school in the Fall terrifies me, as I never thought that would be an option. Thanks for the positive words, I really do appreciate them.

Keep yours up as well! Wishing you the best of outcomes.

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You are definitely not alone. I am still waiting to hear back from all of my schools. It is amazing to see how in November when I applied I was confident and excited, then with each passing month the optimistic confidence has dwindled into this state of frustration and utter pessimism. This is somewhat ironic I think because to my knowledge the schools I have applied to have not made their decisions yet so I know in reality I am in the same boat today that I was in back in January, but the outlook is completely different. I can honestly say I never imagined applying to grad school would be such a mentally and emotionally taxing endeavor. I recall one of my favorite undergrad professors telling our class that applying to grad school is a "very humbling experience". I definitely understand what that means now and while we hope to hear good news from our schools all I can offer is that at least if that acceptance letter comes it will hopefully be worth it. I am sure I will be very, very grateful if that day comes as well as relieved! Also, if the letter does not come with good news then know it's not the end of everything and you can always try again next year better prepared for the crazy journey the application process entails.

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Gneiss, " a very humbling experience" to say the VERY LEAST! I know that if an acceptance letter comes, it will be, to my knowledge, the most I have wanted something in YEARS. Good luck to you.

ANDS, good point, and I laughed out loud at liquor and gun budget =)

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I'm still waiting as well, but I've been through it all before for law school apps, which took forever and felt like the longest process of my life. It definitely makes you a little crazy, but it will end soon. Maybe not as soon as you hope, but in the grand scheme of things, it's a brief part of your life that will, in all likelihood, work out for good! It's hard to know when you'll get into schools, and in my experience, predicting which ones are good chances sets you up for disappointment! I'm no good at the "whatever happens, happens" attitude myself, but having as few expectations as possible certainly helps. I think the hardest part is knowing that we have no control and we don't know when exactly the letter might come. Be gentle with yourself and don't feel bad for being miserable! It's not a fun time, but try to do some things you really enjoy, even if it feels like a chore at first! I don't know if this will be of any help for you, but when I was taking the bar exam, one of the instructors said to visualize yourself checking results and finding out you passed. Sometimes I feel like imagining success can set us up for more hurt, but at this point, you might as well assume that it is going to happen, and I have found that imagining the result I want helps me through the day. Hang in there and vent when you need to! You are not the only one being driven mad by all of this!

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Same here. Still waiting for good news.

The last March was almost crazy~~~~~~I literally woke up in the middle of the night checking emails.

Now that it's April and the 15th is approaching, I consider myself more stable, mentally.

In the meantime, I have two final year projects due next Friday. Good to have something, though not nice things, to distract me from the dismay and terror I was in the last few day last month.

Have a little faith.

It'll all work out for us.

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I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that you are being compared to your peers, and essentially being judged on your abilities. As much as the schools try to reassure you in rejection letters that there were "lots of well-qualified applicants" and they had to "turn away many qualified people due to the number of limited spots," it still FEELS like there's an implication that as well-qualified as you might have been, you weren't qualified ENOUGH, and these feelings can haunt you. It's tough being compared with your peers. As subjective as these decisions often become, it hurts, because this is your life, and YOU believe that you are qualified, and you only wish that schools would see it the same way.

Also, I think there is a trend where people who apply to graduate school are used to being the smartest in their class, to doing well, and to having their motivation and hard work pay off. The problem is that when you apply to graduate programs, you're applying against all the other people who were the smartest in THEIR classes, who had THEIR hard work and determination pay off, and then you get confused people asking you, "How could you possibly not get in? You were so smart! You were the best in your class!" Yeah... So was everyone else that applied. I can bet you money that nearly every student that applied to my desired programs wanted to get in as much as I did, and cried as much as I did when they got their rejections, and celebrated as much as I did when their acceptances came. As much as I consider them to be rivals, they are just like me in that regard, and it's probably very difficult for adcoms to choose between so many candidates who want to be at their school so very, very badly.

I think those aspects of the process make it maddening, even to those who originally had the attitude of che sarà, sarà. Even so, I'm a firm believer in persistence, and I think if you can get through the process (which may take more than once, even for candidates who would be WONDERFUL in graduate school), there will be an amazing payoff once you finally get in. :D

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It feels like the rest of the world knows what they're going to do in the Fall, yet my plans have been demolished and/or are being toyed with by late responses.

I know the feeling! I'm wait-listed at my top choice, which means that I cannot rest mentally, despite the two standing offers on the table. I have been reading and posting on here since December, and it feels like all the people I had become accustomed to seeing have all made their final decisions for the fall. Yet, here I am... I had no clue that the application process would be this stressful (or long!). I was sure that I would know where I was going before April. Yet, here I am not knowing which corner of the US I will be living in 4 months! Though I'm not sure how much commiserating on these forums has helped to assuage my agony. However, as with most things, a few weeks after my decision for the fall has become final I will probably look back on this time and think, "it wasn't that bad..."

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... I am still waiting to hear back from all of my schools. It is amazing to see how in November when I applied I was confident and excited, then with each passing month the optimistic confidence has dwindled into this state of frustration and utter pessimism...

Yep, this definitely describes me. I'm glad to see I'm not alone in this either. The stress and frustration of just waiting and having no clue where my life will be headed in the fall (if anywhere) is just really getting to me.

If I wasn't working, I would just sit and stare miserably at my email all day.

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I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that you are being compared to your peers, and essentially being judged on your abilities. As much as the schools try to reassure you in rejection letters that there were "lots of well-qualified applicants" and they had to "turn away many qualified people due to the number of limited spots," it still FEELS like there's an implication that as well-qualified as you might have been, you weren't qualified ENOUGH, and these feelings can haunt you. It's tough being compared with your peers. As subjective as these decisions often become, it hurts, because this is your life, and YOU believe that you are qualified, and you only wish that schools would see it the same way.

Also, I think there is a trend where people who apply to graduate school are used to being the smartest in their class, to doing well, and to having their motivation and hard work pay off. The problem is that when you apply to graduate programs, you're applying against all the other people who were the smartest in THEIR classes, who had THEIR hard work and determination pay off, and then you get confused people asking you, "How could you possibly not get in? You were so smart! You were the best in your class!" Yeah... So was everyone else that applied. I can bet you money that nearly every student that applied to my desired programs wanted to get in as much as I did, and cried as much as I did when they got their rejections, and celebrated as much as I did when their acceptances came. As much as I consider them to be rivals, they are just like me in that regard, and it's probably very difficult for adcoms to choose between so many candidates who want to be at their school so very, very badly.

I think those aspects of the process make it maddening, even to those who originally had the attitude of che sarà, sarà. Even so, I'm a firm believer in persistence, and I think if you can get through the process (which may take more than once, even for candidates who would be WONDERFUL in graduate school), there will be an amazing payoff once you finally get in. :D

I definitely can attest to the sentiments described. I am not a competitve person. For me, the competition is with myself, in the fact that I always wanted to be the best that I can be. This whole process really is maddening and can take a toll on one's self-esteem. I know that the programs that I applied to in nature are competitive, but this constant comparing of stats and what not can at times really affect our mental health. For me, I just tride to tell myself that my worth is not tied to the outcome of my application. To to the other applicants, try to remember that you are still an amazing, accomplished candidate and do not try tie in you self-worth to a particular outcome. I know it is hard to not take a rejection personally.

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my worth is not tied to the outcome of my application

I need to remember this. Actually, I need to frame it and hang it on my wall so I don't forget this.

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I need to remember this. Actually, I need to frame it and hang it on my wall so I don't forget this.

That's not a bad idea, even if I can't convince myself that it's true, heh.

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Before people start funding a liquor and gun budget, remember you may not hear until after April 15th as well

Gave me a good laugh on the inside, especially in hindsight since I was crying my heart out due to hearing 3 rejections in the same week and assuming that my significant other was ignoring me during such a difficult time... Still waiting to hear back, so good luck to all

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Definitely spent all of last week crying over one rejection and all of this week over being put on the waitlist of my top school. Very stressed out :(

I know what it is like to be rejected and waitlisted at my top choice! I've been living with this for several weeks now. It seems like this process is never going to end.

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Definitely spent all of last week crying over one rejection and all of this week over being put on the waitlist of my top school. Very stressed out :(

I'm in an extremely similar position. It's a horrible feeling, especially knowing you getting in hinges on people declining the offer (you know, since they have so MANY offers! lol). Hang in there. It's not helpful, I know.. my husband keeps giving me that advice but either way, GOOD LUCK!!!!

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I'm in an extremely similar position. It's a horrible feeling, especially knowing you getting in hinges on people declining the offer (you know, since they have so MANY offers! lol). Hang in there. It's not helpful, I know.. my husband keeps giving me that advice but either way, GOOD LUCK!!!!

It's heartbreaking isn't it? Thank you so much though and good luck to you as well! :)

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I guess misery loves company, because I feel a bit better having read this thread. Some folks think I'm stressing out way more than I need to be, and maybe that's true...but it's hard to be waiting, waiting, waiting, not knowing what's going to happen with what you anticipate to be a huge new chapter in your life. It's a big step. It's complicated. There are so many things to consider. Just knowing one way or another would be helpful. I've heard from two, am waiting on my top choice. My fault for putting it in so late, but what can you do. I agree, vacations all around!

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