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Things I’ve Learned While Completing Grad School Applications

One of the most important things that I am doing this semester is applying to grad school. It’s been such an interesting process creating my portfolio and trying to turn my life into a single personal statement. As I’m examining my life experiences I found myself understanding my goals and passions with newfound clarity. Here are a few recent discoveries that I found while applying to grad school.

You’re willing to put the work in.

Applying to grad school was like a full-time job for me during the quarantine. I used to wake up every morning at around nine and would not stop working in graduate school until my parents came home at five. You’d think that’d make a dent in my application but I still know I have a little bit of a ways to go before I can submit my applications. It’s harder to get hours in during school but, I spend a lot of my free time working on them. A few years later, I know I’ll be pleasantly surprised by my past self and how hard I worked on my applications.

I’m really passionate about my future career.

I always told people that I never wanted to end up with a job when I was older. The word “job” shows a bit of disdain for the work you do. Instead, I always told people that I was ready to start a “career” where I’m really passionate about what I do. Working on grad school applications really helped me understand how excited I am to take a huge step in entering a new career.

It’s terrifying to put yourself out there.

While I’m writing personal statements I keep on having the same thought over and over again. “I hope they’ll like me”. It’s a simplification of the reality of my situation but I find myself hoping that these schools really want me to attend their institutions. 

Having a group of people with the same goals is life-saving.
If you want something strongly enough it *will* take over your life.
You can’t imagine letting go.

I know it sounds crazy but I can’t imagine letting my application go but I can’t wait for the day where I’m just playing the waiting game. I’m the type of person who doesn’t like it when things are out of my hands and I hate surprises. After all, is there anything more terrifying than the great unknown?

The application process for graduate school is surprising to me. I feel like I’ve learned so much about myself through the application process. And although I dread it I can’t wait until I find out what the waiting process will teach me.

Destiny is currently enrolled in Columbia University's MFA Writing program. She is a national writer at Her Campus and the former editor-in-chief of Her Campus Rowan. She likes thrifting, romance novels, cooking shows, and can often be found binging documentaries.
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