This is a long nonsensical post about my Grad School Admission anxiety.
I have to get it out. I’m terrified that I won’t get into grad school.
In high school I had a friend who, on the advice of her guidance counselor, only applied to Yale. The counselor figured she was a shoe in. She didn’t get in and had to scramble to find another place to go. She did, and is now very successful, so happy ending.
I didn’t worry about getting into college because I could lean on my SAT scores, which were high enough to exempt me from freshman math and english. When I transferred to Umass as a non traditional student, I wasn’t worried because University Without Walls is a pretty accepting program and I had reasonably good grades prior to my final semester at Salem.
I didn’t plan to pursue my masters right now. After Stewart and I returned from a fairly demoralizing and enlightening vacation, we started changing some parts of our life…planning to move, aggressively looking for new jobs, planning in the long run to move to Austin to be closer to his family. Then Stewart got a new job. He had his interview before my graduation and got the job, and a substantial pay raise the following week.
Between his new job and the move, I can work part time, which was always a condition for me going to grad school. So, the second week of May, I began to look at places to apply for the spring.
I have been looking into programs for a year now. I toyed around with the idea of a couple of the Umass programs–MPH, MEd in special education. There was one program that I was intensely interested in. As it happened, they still were accepting applications for the fall. And then the scramble started. I managed to get my application in before the deadline. And now I am waiting.
I know why I’m this nervous. I didn’t nail the GRE. I did average (or as Stewart keeps trying to helpfully point out, above average), I feel like I tanked the test. I didn’t have as much time to study as I (obviously) needed and I am terrible with math. I have it on good authority that the test doesn’t have as much to do with functionally getting into grad school, but it is a tangible beacon saying, “Hey, You’re average.” And I worry that average just isn’t going to cut it.
The other piece of this is that I am apparently saddled with potential. I have, according to sources, the ability to do more than I’m doing. There are constant reminders that I am a slacker and that I have not accomplished enough. I’m sure most of it is going on in my head, because no one comes out and says, “You need to do more with your life.”
So, with all of this, why is it a big deal that I accomplish something that I didn’t even think about doing until 2 months ago? Because failure fucking sucks. Will I get over it? Yes. Will I try again, probably with a little more preparation? Yes.
Do I want it to come to that? Ugh, no. Because the only that sucks more than failure is having to tell people about you failure.
So the only option is either to not fail or to fulfill potential another way.