I returned from my 36-hour stint in Austin two weekends ago, and I struggled to get into the groove of the new and final semester. Currently, I am semi-caught up, which was a huge obstacle (along with the terror in presenting at a major conference), but my new concern involves a constant check-in with my emails. I want to know…but, then again, I do not want to know.
I expected to leave my grad school worries in 2018…at least most of them. After all, the past is the past, and I cannot change what transpired in the latter half of 2018. Instead, I hope for the best. It is all that I can do. However, nerves are washing over me. It is endless thoughts, an array of questions, a cascade of doubts, constant ideas about what I could have done, including the idea of more, versus what I did. It is officially grad school notification season, and I am checking my emails on my phone and laptop multiple times a day. This week, I actually intend to check the mail, something I otherwise rarely do (Nothing is ever for me, so why bother?). I have no idea which method I would be notified by, and it is not something these institutions specify on their websites. So, I wait, watch, and worry…and then wait, watch, and worry again.
I prepare and plan for the worst, and I am slowly coming to grips with the fact I may be rejected. Grad school is highly competitive. Currently, universities’ grad school programs for political science only admit undergraduates into their PhD programs (which is what I am applying for) if they demonstrate academic talent…superb talent. Sometimes this means accepting 10 to 12 students each year, despite upwards of 150 applications. This is where the nerves come into play. What if I am not one of those students? It is something I must be prepared for because life (For some, it is their Maker.) rarely gives us everything we want, but instead, it (insert [Maker]) gives us the things we truly need. The truth is: This is what I want, this is the immediate future I envisioned for myself, this is what I have spent the past year and a half preparing for. But, is this what I need? Is this for me in the long, more permanent future? Only time will tell, and I struggle with whether I will be ready and willing to listen when it speaks.
This weekend, I am cleaning up my thesis, which is nearly done. Thankfully. I also am brainstorming research paper topics on Tudor and Stuart Britain. And, besides glancing/taking notes on my reading assignments for next week, I may begin painting. Two years ago, I promised my mom I would paint two onions (Odd, yes? However, I am from the sweet onion capital of the world, so…go figure.) and a map of Georgia with its key highlights/features for her office. After two years, I think it is time to actually do that project I agreed to do, don’t you? Have a lovely weekend!