Sunday, 8 December 2013

The Final Lap

I'm at the point in grad school applications where things are getting increasingly difficult and quitting seems like an easier option than finishing.  The other day, a curious google search of grad school message boards turned into an evening of questioning myself.  Who do I think I am? What makes me think I want to get in?  I've been driven by my passion for the field of psychology.  The voice in my head goes "Passion is not what gets you into grad school, Amanda.  It's good grades.  It's about looking back on all those nights you chose to have a drink instead of studying and about the all nighters you pulled for papers you shoved to the bottom of a to do pile." I feel stupid for applying to graduate school when I see people in the 90th percentile of the GRE applying places, with four years of research experience, and a GPA that makes mine look like I did nothing but have a wild five years of university.

The drive to give up is only further pushed over the edge by a personal statement.  The other day I argued with someone that I'm terrible at self-reflecting.  I understand there's a difference between the two, but a personal statement requires your goals and your interests.  I've only recently been able to do things for myself that many have done their entire life.  Like goal setting.  I used to not make goals, because if you don't set out an expectation you can't fail right?  I also never share my research interests with people, because I've been faced with people consistently telling me "that's  a dying field" or "that's really weird" or "what a waste of money".  Being vulnerable is difficult.  Opening yourself  up to a university and telling them "look, I want to go here.  I want to get into your university and this is what I want to study" is hard, because there's going to be a big pile of rejection that is going to make me feel like I'm not interesting.   I know many people think I'm over thinking a very simple process but for me, it feels like a slow torture.

And up until this point, the drive to applying to graduate school has been difficult, but it's been fun.  It's been challenging myself to do something, but it felt like there was no end in sight so it was easy to do.  But now that the rejection seems real, that feeling of I'm not as special as I think I am is sitting in, the desire to save myself the pain is fighting to outweigh the desire to carry on.

I'm about to spend the majority of my Sunday suppressing the overwhelming quitting desire in the pit of my stomach to spit out a personal statement for my top school.

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