The most important piece of advice I’ve heard from professors about graduate school is to take care of yourself. Two years ago, I was accepted into an MA program at a Boston area college. I ultimately decline this offer of admission due to financial costs. That summer, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. My entire life went through an upheaval, and I am still coping with the diagnosis.
Hearing professors say the most important advice is to take care of yourself – mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually – has made me reflect back on my decision not to start graduate school a couple of years ago. I knew I made the right decision, but now I understand why it was truly the right decision: I needed to focus on taking care of myself.
Wherever I go, I need to remember to take care of myself. I often put others before myself, but I need to remember to take time to focus on myself. This means making it a habit every day to spend time doing something that would benefit me. I just need to start that routine.
Today, I visited a campus in a very remote part of Rhode Island. The drive down there was long, and the rainy weather did not help to alleviate the commute. The roads were flanked by desolate fields barren of any visible vivacity. Stores and other signs of consumerist civilization were absent.
Being immersed in this scene, I began to reflect on my upcoming decision on where to attend grad school. While I am not making any final decisions, I know wherever I attend, I need to feel connected to home. And where I went today, well, I didn’t feel connected. If anything, I felt like I needed to get home as soon as possible.
It would be one thing to move away from home. Disconnecting from home is something I seek to avoid entirely.
I can now say I have heard back from all my grad schools. While I have been accepted into MA programs, I have also been wait listed for a doctoral program.
My reaction to being wait listed for a doctoral program? “So close!!!!!” A doctoral program is the program I would ultimately like to end up in and knowing that I am so close to one is painfully frustrating. Plus, this doctoral program is in Florida – sunny, warm, non-New England weather Florida – which makes being wait listed for it more upsetting.
Although there is the possibility a slot could open up, and I could be offered a place in the program, I am aware of how competitive PhD programs are and am not holding out much hope for that possibility to happen. It would be a very long shot.
I have explored my options, and now I wait to see what will happen. No matter what does happen, I know everything happens for a reason. I just need to keep reminding myself of that.
Why am I thankful? Because March has been one very long month, and it’s almost over!
I often post about being thankful for the end of a season/month as well as an upcoming season/month because to me those things signify life moving forward. And I like to keep moving forward because I believe that as good as things are, they become better as life goes on.
I’ve been really nervous/afraid lately. There is a lot going on in my life, and it’s like all the tabs open in my mind are trying to run script at the same time and are causing my brain to panic and keep having error messages pop up on screen no matter how many times I keep clicking the close button.
I try to subscribe to the mantra “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.” The hard part, however, is letting go, realizing that things are beyond my control, releasing the metaphorical grip that keeps trying to hold on. Finding freedom in accepting the unknown.
Most people would not call me stubborn. I try to be as polite as possible and when I refuse to budge on something, it often takes them by surprise.
I think stubbornness is a good quality to have, both as a person and as a writer. As a person, being stubborn means you stand up for yourself and refuse to give into others. Similarly, as a writer, being stubborn helps you to stand firm in your writing, allowing you defend the integrity of a piece.
There will always be someone who disagrees with you, who tries to bully you, and who tries to change your writing in a way that makes you hesitate. As difficult as it may be, when you come across that person, you have to show your stubborn side. At the end of the day, you are the only one able to fully, one-hundred percent look out for yourself.