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Okay so this is my problem: I applied to grad school this year (masters) and I chose not to tell my friends about it. First, because I wasn't expecting to get in and second, because I really didn't want to make a big deal about it. This may sound like a superficial issue, but we are a really close knit group--so keeping such a big thing secret is like betraying the friendship.

So anyway I found out I got in and I am feeling super guilty about it all. I feel like I should have told them, maybe we all could have applied together or at least they would have known. Now I am confronted with the task of telling them. i am afraid they're going to be like "so why didn't you tell us in the first place?" "did you not trust us, why are you secretive?" etc. etc. It's really putting alot of stress on me and I am acting really rude and nervous around them. i don't know how to tell them!

I feel so bad...to the point of I'm thinking of deferring admission (if possible) so that I would just avoid this fiasco. Yeah, right? I sound insane. But I really value my friendships and I don't want to strain it over a secret like this!!!

Need advice, food for thought, please?

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If your friends don't understand, you need new friends. Most people who are not involved in applying for schools don't know what a big deal it is, so I doubt they will even care/notice that you didn't tell them.

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Breaking the news is simple. "Oh my god, I applied to grad school, and holy shit I got in!!!" Anybody who can't be excited for you is inherently made of fail. Sure you may get questions about why you didn't say something about it sooner. That's simple too. "Didn't expect to actually get anywhere." More explaination is not required. If they're proper friends, they'll just tease you mercilessly.

Seriously though, just let yourself be excited and tell them!

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It doesn't matter what led up to this - what matters now is that the longer you wait, the more awkward and anxious you (and your friends?) will feel.

So I think you should tell them as soon as possible. Maybe something like this:

"<Friend>, you know how I've always been interested in <your subject>? I decided to take a big gamble and apply for a Master's program, but I was nervous about it and didn't think I would ever get in. So I decided I wanted to think about it as little as possible and didn't tell anyone. But I got accepted!"

A.k.a, be honest :)

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i'd just say you applied on a whim, you didn't want to say anything because you didn't want to make a big deal about it/didnt think you would get in.

those are the reasons you said yourself- so it is total honesty. if i found out one of my close friends got accepted into grad school, even if they didn't tell me they had applied, i would still be ridiculously, over-the-moon proud of them. i'd seriously be too busy celebrating the great news to even consider and think of reasons why they hadn't said anything.

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haha I have the opposite problem. I told myself I wasn't going to tell anyone about it in case I didn't get in, but I couldn't suffer the process in silence. I hope your friends are very excited for you! Just be excited and act as though it was never a problem, that there's no guilt, and the rest will follow.

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also,

there are just some things you have to do on your own, independent of your friends. you got into grad school all on your own. some friends (like it was mentioned above) don't get the entire process of applying, waiting, and learning whether you were successful or not.

this is all an experience that is "yours", and you owned the process- kept it secret until you knew the outcome. there's nothing wrong with that at all.

i do hope that your friends are supportive of all this!

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Hello everyone,

Thank you for all of the advice, it is really helpful!

Keeping it a secret for so long was really really hard, if I had to do it over I would probably just tell everyone openly. I will take what everyone said and apply it next time I see them. I will just say i did it on a whim and I wasn't expecting to get in. As long as they don't hate me for life I will be okay :)

On a side note, everyone on gradcafe is so supportive, kind and quick to reply! I feel like a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders *sigh of relief*

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I kept my applying a secret from most of my friends for pretty much the same reasons (plus one of my good friends is married to my husbands boss and we didn't want to mess his work up if I didn't get in). I just told everyone the reason I didn't tell was that I really didn't think I'd get in and I felt like I'd be setting myself up to feel even more like a failure if I didn't get in anywhere after getting all excited about it and telling everyone. It actually went over fine. Like someone mentioned above, people who haven't applied for grad school generally don't know what a big deal it really is to apply and so on.

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