Chances are there not to just correct mistakes, but to determine worth.
Lately I’ve had this interesting feeling. It’s a mix of anticipation and excitement all into one. It’s like my stomach is doing flips. You see I’ve recently started researching grad programs for Fall 2015. This is the second time I’m going into this process and while it should be less terrifying since I’ve already done this before, it isn’t because I don’t want to go through the process again and have it not work out.
There are about 3 schools from last year’s potential list on this one. Those schools are Western Illinois University, University of Vermont, and University of Nebraska – Lincoln. WIU and UVM were my top 2 programs last year, while UNL was cut earlier in the process. I’m considering reapplying/applying to these particular programs because they have things I want out of a program. However, UVM and WIU are the two programs that I’m nervous about the most. UVM was my #1 program last year and I didn’t even get an interview. WIU was my #2! I made it to the interviews, met some amazing people and fell in love with their program. However, I didn’t get an offer. So my track record with those two programs may not be the best. I just don’t want a repeat. The pressure is on with those two schools to make it further than I did last time at least, mainly in the case of UVM. In terms of WIU, the question is more of a “will I make it to interviews again?” Quite a few people from my interview days this past year are in the program so it will be awesome to see them again, but it could also be weird as I’ll be in the same position I was in a year prior. It’ll be interesting to say the least. Hopefully, they still see something in me to give me a second chance. Now UNL, I cut from my list because I only had money to apply to 5 programs and it just wasn’t in my top 5. Now I’m giving it another shot. Let’s see what it has to offer.
My consideration list is currently has 7 programs on it and I’m considering adding more before creating my short list. Thankfully, my attention isn’t being split with school so I can really focus on prepping for this process. Plan is to have all of my applications in by December 15th. I can totally get it done though. All of the programs I’m applying to with the exception of 1 have a December deadline. While I have 5 months before that deadline, I want to get started ASAP so I can make sure I’m prepared. Unfortunately I’m experiencing a couple drawbacks. Drawback #1: I want to contact current students in programs but many haven’t started classes or been in them long. I don’t necessarily want to ask first years about their programs until they’ve at least had some time both in class and in their assistantship. These conversations play a big role in my considerations about a program. Drawback #2: I have recommenders in mind, BUT school hasn’t started yet and the first week at UT is crazy. Also, I want to give them a copy of my resume and personal statement/statement of purpose before they write them. While I have a consideration list, I don’t necessarily know where I’m applying so that’s a bust for now.
I know that there is plenty of time to get these things done, but like I said before I’m anxious. All of my friends and future colleagues are posting pictures and status and tweets about how great their cohorts and staffs are. I’m ready for those experience. On the flip side, part of me is terrified. I’ve questioned if I am even cut out for this field. I’ve wondered if I’m even capable of graduate study. I wonder sometimes how I got my bachelor’s. Not saying that I didn’t do the work, but it’s hard to believe that I’m an adult. I think about the things I love: cartoons, video games, Batman, young adult novels, etc. How will that help me in the role of a professional. I love the field of student affairs and it intrigues me like no other, but everything you’re interested in doesn’t mean you’re made for it. A person could love science, but suck at it. Should that person be a professional scientist, I don’t think so. I love student affairs but am I cut out for it. Not starting a program like some of my friends is hitting me harder than I thought. It’s kinda feels like I wasn’t cut out for grad school or student affairs. I don’t think I could handle applying for grad programs twice and not starting a program either time.
It’s about fit, that’s what all Student Affairs pros say. And it didn’t fit last year. Yes, I’m experiencing a moment of self-doubt. It’ll just be helpful to know I have people rooting for me and knowing that I have everything it takes to be awesome. It’ll fit this year. I don’t think I’m a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. Like despite not being a RA anymore, my brain still functions like RA. I think of door tags ideas and see things that I’d want to make a bulletin board out of. It’s totally weird, but if that is any indicate of my passion, I’m gonna make it. Maybe I just need a pep talk before diving into this process.