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meep95

what if I don't get in anywhere???(thoughts I have while waiting)

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I know logically I am a strong applicant. But what if I came off badly in the interviews? What if I don't get funding and can't afford school? What if no where accepts me?

Yes, I'm catastrophizing. But who else is feeling this way, and what are you doing to stop these thoughts/distract yourself?

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Up until yesterday, I had similar thoughts. Looking at it objectively helps put things into perspective for me, it doesn't really help the anxiety but it helps the distortion. If programs don't select you, there's a good chance that there's larger factors at play and it wasn't anything you did, at least not a single glaring factor. Especially if you've made it to the interview stage.

And netflixing helps for distraction. A month free if you don't have it already... Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Mad Men. Def the way to go. :)

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Work towards securing a plan B, C, etc. More baskets for your eggs. Research jobs that you can get in your area now with your current resume. Do a projected budget analysis to make sure that the lower tier of income for these jobs will be marginally livable. Polish the generic/skeleton resume and make notes on how you want specifically tailored versions to look. Consider the job application time-line: when should you apply to line up interviews so that they could be scheduled after a reasonable number of rejections?

Then look at jobs that you could get if you had just one or two more skills/qualifications/volunteer positions that can be secured without spending outside your budget - it must be free for me and I assume many of us. Broaden your backup plan job search to include these qualifications. Are there other jobs, an ample amount, to go with these new CV bullet points? Or would it benefit an extremely long-term perspective in some other fashion?

Begin working on these skills/qualifications/positions in a way that can be externally verified beyond word of mouth. You always need to be able to cite your sources. If it suites your circumstances, apply for the "I can get now" jobs. Working on the other skills for the next level will provide a good talking point in the interviews. Think positively and selectively so that your state of mind is conducive to employment, you can sort your thoughts after you put food on the table. If you end up in an unfortunate scenario where schools/now-jobs are not an immediate option, you have established a behavioral foundation for personal growth that will help formulate a new plan.

If all you're after is short-term distractions: take a walk, hit the gym, podcasts, Netflix, yoga, vidya, practice meditation, clean your apartment, learn to cook something new, develop a skill with no financial benefit.

There's still a good month of responses for many departments. I haven't heard anything from the schools I've applied to, but in my field you generally need to be published to get a first-wave offer. There are unofficial waitlists that will make March the exciting/devastating month for many of us.

I do hope you get in, good luck.

Edited by SolKit
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From what i gather, getting into grad school with funding depends on a lot of factors and as applicants, we cannot possibly have control over all of them. The way I think of it is: I have done what I have done, I have made a few mistakes in my application too, but there's nothing I can do to change it now, so there's just no use worrying about it! I've done my part -they'll do there part, if I get in, it's great, if I don't it's just as great, really, because I'll have other work to do (everyone does) and next year I'll put in a better application if I want.

Of course, it is not easy (read impossible) to stop worrying, but it's just part of life, ain't it?

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I didn't get in anywhere on my second grad app cycle. I was super despondent and my self esteem crumbled, but it gave me the chance to do something other than school.

I became an EMT, earning the highest marks in my course and working full time both for a professional company and my town volunteer squad. Going to academic conferences as an independent researcher was one of the hardest things I'd done up until then, but it helped me to network and have a successful third round.

It definitely was a character building experience and helped quell a lot of my anxieties about being useless outside of school. There are worse things than getting rejected.

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