If you’re preparing for graduate school, you’ve probably had a lot of feelings lately, especially if you applied while you’re still in school. Most of your friends and family members probably don’t get it, but "Parks and Recreation" will always understand you.
1. Realizing you have to go.
Realizing you have to go to graduate school is a terrible feeling. I knew what I wanted to do, but up until the second semester of my freshman year, I was under the impression that it could be done with just a bachelor’s degree. Boy, was I wrong!
2. Preparing for the GRE.
Every question is tricky! The preparation books are expensive, the test is expensive, sending it to schools is expensive! Also, I’m in school. I have other things to study for! All this grammar is making my head hurt.
3. Writing a CV.
Writing a CV is 1000 times worse than writing a resume. What have I done for the last 4 years?! Why should any school take me?! Does that one research paper I wrote for that class count as research experience?
4. Getting letters of recommendation.
First, asking is so nerve-wracking. Asking is basically saying: I have absolutely nothing to offer you, but if you write me this letter I might eventually be useful!
Second, what the heck are you going to say about me? I was in your class and didn’t screw up that badly? Here’s my CV (which probably needs editing) and my personal statement (which also needs editing) so that you know what I did during the rest of my time in school. Hope you can find something that’ll magically make me seem competent.
5. Submitting the applications.
I am so tired of answering the same exact 50 questions for every single application. No, I haven’t committed any crimes, my GPA is on my transcript (which I had to pay to send you), same with my GRE scores. No, I promise I really do live in Florida. Here are a million documents that say so. Oh, you want different documents than the other schools? Why? Just why?
6. Paying for applications.
Why is applying so expensive? If I don’t get in, what happens to that $75? Do I get it back? Should I even apply to this school? I don’t really want to go there, but I might not get into the schools I want to. But it’s so expensive! Not to mention the GRE and transcripts.
Waiting to hear back from schools is the worst part. There is literally nothing else that I can do to make them want to take me, just tell me if I got in. Everyone keeps asking me if I’ve heard back, and the answer is no! If I had I would have told you if I got an interview.
There is almost no good way to prepare for these interviews. You never know the questions, and sometimes they’re group interviews, which means you get to be self-conscious over your answers and cringe at the bad answers that others give. You also get to hear all the awesome answers that are given after yours so you get to second guess yourself.
Then there come the countless questions from friends and family after about how you think you did.
9. More waiting!
More waiting! Many schools indicate that you’re on the wait-list by just not emailing you, so you spend the entirety of the next week stressing out and checking your email 15 times a day. Yet again, people ask you a million times if you’ve heard back which just stresses you out more. And makes you check your email again.
10. Getting a yes.
This is pretty much the best feeling ever. If your top choice school took you, congratulations! Now you can go ahead and accept the offer and every other school can go take a long walk off a short pier!
11. Getting a no.
This is so heartbreaking and invalidating. But remember, just because you didn’t get in at this school doesn’t mean that no school will take you.
Your value is not in what an admission board decides. Just remember: