Waiting is hard. It is even harder when you are anticipating either an acceptance or a rejection from a graduate program. Many will say that you should be patient and that your news is coming. While this is very true, the anxiety and excitement can have tremendous effects on you and your body.
A majority of grad programs usually send out their interview invites/acceptance starting at the 3rd week of January and will continue to do so until early February. For many, including myself, this time period is filled with anxiety and excitement and hopefulness. Starting on last Monday, I began to check my email regularly to see if I heard from any programs. Nothing. Tuesday was the same thing. Nothing. Wednesday, I received an email from a program and nearly had a heart attack. It wasn’t an acceptance nor a rejection. It simply said that the program had a ton of applications to sort through so it was taking a little bit longer to review them all. Ok. Thursday followed suit with the days before. Friday, I checked continuously until 6pm. Nothing. I was ok with that. It just meant that my programs in particular were probably going to send there results out the following week. Saturday, everything changed.
Saturday was nothing how I imagined it would be. I woke up and proceeded to go about my day normally. I got called into work so I got dressed and left. Halfway to work I started to feel nauseous and short of breath. I could barely lift my arm and my vision blurred. I couldn’t see anything. Honestly this was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. I proceeded to get off the bus but as I moved it felt like I was there but not there as well. Like I was watching things go on without any control of my actions. I got off the bus, took two step and then hit the ground. I got up, used Siri to call my dad, and walked straight ahead. This entire time I couldn’t see because my vision was still blurred. I found my way to a bench and sat down. Eventually, my body started to return to normal. When I looked around and realized where I was, I noticed that I was at the hospital. I checked in, told the doctors my symptoms, had a series of tests ran and waited. Initially the doctors thought I suffered a panic attack. That scared me because I had never had one before. Later they said it might have been vertigo. Also scary. Both of these scared me because both can occur at any moment without warning. Besides the diagnosis, they said that I had a clean bill of health. My heart rate was good. My brain was fine. I was happy about that. As I walked out of the hospital, I received a phone call telling me that I was invited to interview for a grad program.
I shared my story because this is a stressful time for people. You have to take care of yourself in these times. Stress and anxiety are mental health issues. While some may think it’s perfectly normal to experience these things, you still have to take care of yourself because they can lead to panic attacks and other conditions that are NO FUN. Find ways to relax and do things that you enjoy. Distract yourself and detach from your phone and/or email. By doing these things, time will fly by and before you know it, the email will be in your inbox. Another thing that can add to your stress or anxiety is focusing on another person’s journey and accomplishments. Remember that your journey is your own and that you will end up where you need to be.
Being patient is hard, but your time will come. Just keep the faith and above all else, take care of yourself.