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Rejected... ouch


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Today I received a rejection from letter from the only school I applied to, which happens to be my undergrad school.  I suppose it may have been naive to apply to only one school but honestly, it's the only program I really wanted to do.  I actually said that if I didn't get in I would not go to grad school and tried to accept the possibility that I might not but also I was pretty confident in my chances, particularly because one of my former professors who is involved in the program that I applied to wrote me a recommendation and was really enthusiastic about it (hope to see you here!)  I didn't even ask for funding so I can't blame it on that.  I didn't have the best gpa ever or anything but I have been out of school for a few years and have experience to show for it.  My math section of the GRE was pretty weak, I must admit, but I was hoping it wouldn't come to that...


Also, everyone I talked to about this which is, like, everyone I know (I wasn't going to tell anyone that I was applying but I suck at not telling everyone everything about my life, apparently) thought I would get in for sure so not getting in is slightly humiliating.  I have no idea what to do now, as I am currently living with my parents because my year-long job (an Americorps position) recently ended and have no job prospects (though I haven't really been looking for a permanent full time job because of this.)  And I am feeling pretty dejected... I really have no idea what I even want to do with my life right now.


But I'm just venting.  Anyways, the point of my rant is that I want to follow up to see how I could improve my application for next year, if I decide to reapply.  Has anyone done this?  Who should I contact?  Does anyone have any other advice?

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Hi Zelda!!! 



DO NOT WORRY. Please, really, really, do not worry. If you worry too much, your mind may fog good ideas. The bright side is that you know you need to solve something: Are you ready for grad school? Do you want to go there? What the heck do you want from yourself? No one can answer these questions but you. Surely, help is always accepted, but you are the captain of your soul, as Mandela would put it. Let see if I can help you a little bit.


I know everything looks pretty dark right now and you feel down in the dumps. Let me tell you something you probably have already heard: it is not the end of the world. Believe me. I know it looks as it is, but it really is not. I also happen to know why it seems to be the end of the world: because you had plans, sorry: you had the plan and someone blew it (not you) so now with no plan B it is difficult to see the horizon.


Now, this happened to me once when I was 18 and it took me a while to find my north again. This path took me to know my best friends and my current job. Back in the day, I started four undergrad courses in one year (here you don't have majors/minors). 


What I would do is give yourself some time to clear your mind and answer those questions. Go out, do sports, find a job that you like. I work as a teacher and I love it but I realised that my true true passion is research. Maybe you need to undergo some experience to understand what you want. It took me a month to decide I wanted to leave my country to go to the USA to pursue a PhD. Clearly, your parents support you. Do not avoid the decision, face it. If you do not know what to do then do something that might throw some light on the matter. Your time is precious so do not waste it. 


I always say I am a second-chancer. I always need the second time to get in school, to get published, you name it. Maybe you also need some extra time, give it to yourself!!!


I hope my message is conveyed properly: do not stop seeking what you want, the fact that you do not know it does not mean you do not want it. Give it time to gains perspective, and when you can see the big picture, analyse what might have gone wrong and/or what you could improve. And if you happen to discover that it is not the right time for grad school, then it is not the right time, there is nothing wrong with that. It is not humiliating. Really. It is not. 


All the best!!!!

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Sorry to hear that, but there's an inherent risk in applying to 1 school only. Did you really believe that your UG school was the ONLY program that you wanted to do?


I know lots of people apply a second time, so don't give up if thats what you truly want to do.

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