Graduate school is kind of a big deal. I’ve talked before about education inflation and how the College Degree is the new High School Diploma, but it’s still a depressing and very humbling thing to not get into the Graduate Program of your choice. Especially if you have everything banked on this door in life.
Everything’s fine. really.
I definitely went through the 5 stages of grief. I didn’t realize this until I entered the depression stage and then the anger stage where I emailed the school asking why I had been rejected. (Don’t worry, I was polite about it, and people are always encouraged to ask why their application has been rejected). I then realized that what I was feeling for the first day after receiving the news was DENIAL. I told all my cozies that I was relieved, that I didn’t even like the school to begin with, and that I was better off going somewhere else. And then the following stages of grief hit me like a ton of bricks and I was like:
“Oh. I guess this really did matter to me a lot and I am sad now.”
As this Idealist article states,
the admissions denial letter represents a closed door to an opportunity you were counting on.
Yeah, more like getting rejected from Graduate School is like getting a door of opportunity slammed shut in your face. It’s like a breakup. It’s painful and it sucks.
Don’t fall into existential dread. Vacuum the rug.
But what I will not allow myself to do is wallow in self pity. The old me would have done this. And while I am still in the depression stage of my grief process, it is a tempting idea. But I will not! I refuse to let one rejection defeat me. Of course it’s painful, but this weekend I am going to apply to more schools. I watched a youtube video where a man applied to EIGHT schools that rejected him before receiving his first acceptance letter.
It doesn’t matter how you get that piece of paper. All that matters is that you get it.
I also went to my friends, family, and boyfriend for support. They were not disappointed in me. They said encouraging things like “at least you had to guts to try!” and “Don’t give up!” and “Goddamn it Kat, can’t you see I’m reading?” Yes, support was given by all. One of my best Scorpio gal-pals immediately made me think of 5 things I had accomplished since graduating college. I came up with:
- Sought help for my depression ALONE
- Wrote an 80k word book (although never published it)
- PUBLISHED a short story
- Started a blog
- Got hired part time at a really cool place with no help from my parents or family connections
All of that grieving energy I had would better serve me by turning it into an actionable plan, right? I think it’s important to keep yourself busy when you take a hit like that. So I’ve been putting all that energy into preparing my application for other schools. Most people apply to more than one school at a time anyways.
And hey, even if I try and fail, I figure it’s better to try. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, right?
How many of you are trying for grad school too? And dreading the next round of looming and imprisoning student loans?
Peace & Love,