Thought process

Vessi, one of our student workers, and I were reminiscing about the fears we had about applying for graduate school. We boiled our thought process down to something like this:

  1. Ah shucks, to do what I want to do, I need an advanced degree.
  2. How do I even go about getting into graduate school?
  3. Google, can you help me out here?
  4. Really? I need to take the GRE?
  5. I have not taken a math class since my freshman year. I’m no longer going to Grad school. Dang you Mathematics!
  6. Wait, I’ve got this, I can do it, I mean, I graduated from college right?
  7. Searches Amazon for GRE study guide. Purchases said study guide. Settles in for a nice Friday night at home, brew some chamomile tea, grab a blanket….mind starts to drift, friends text to say come out. Forgets about study guide for one night. Repeats this practice, GRE book remains unopened.
  8. Registers for GRE, think to yourself “wish I had studied more”
  9. Takes GRE, think to yourself “wish I had studied more”
  10. Dismisses GRE as test that only measures ability to hold still and pretend to know the answer for 3 hours.
  11. OK, that’s done, what else is required, a personal statement?
  12. Google, can you help me out here?
  13. I like quotes, I want them to know how much I want to change the world, I’m going to use a Ghandi quote (3 months later, admission committee members puts a check mark next to yet another Ghandi quote).
  14. Applications submitted, application fees paid, think to yourself, why did I apply to so many schools? That was expensive!
  15. Wait
  16. Continue to wait
  17. Checks phone every 20 minutes while waiting
  18. The Admission Office said early March, it is now March 11th, why I have I not heard anything?
  19. I’m tired of waiting, does this admission office know the agony they are causing?
  20. Call Admission Office, ask when notifications are sent out, not happy with answer…
  21. Notification email arrives while you are with friends. Think to yourself. “No way am I opening this now. Later, tonight perhaps, when I’m alone.”
  22. Another day passes without the email being opened, kind of mad your iPhone says you have 1 unread email, you know exactly what to do, just not now.
  23. Ok, I’m doing it, I’m opening the email
  24. Hey, I got admitted! (different responses here depending on if you got funding or not)
  25. Now what?
  26. I should visit campus.
  27. You visit campus. Not too shabby!
  28. Um, wait, what, how do I pay for this?? Yikes, I need a plan.
  29. Plans are tough to come by. Gulp–loans?
  30. Full speed ahead, I want this, I’ve been thinking about this for years!
  31. Deposit paid, I’m doing this!
  32. What did I just do, do I want to do this?
  33. A few weeks till classes start and you meet fellow students. They seem smart…smarter than me. Doh!
  34. A few more weeks go by, first day of class is tomorrow. For the first time, you think to yourself, “am I actually smart enough for grad school?”
  35. You get the syllabus. DOES THIS PROFESSOR HAVE A SOUL? So much reading!!!
  36. Classes start, something funny happens, you like it, you actually like it
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