The Waiting Game

The Waiting Game


Candid Cerebrations | The Waiting Game

And no, I’m not talking about the book or the movie.

Waiting to hear back from grad programs suck!

Did I tell you about my dream back in December where Columbia University sent me a single word email. Do you know what that one word was? “No.” But it’s okay, because I actually got a pretty good night’s sleep after tossing and turning the few before obsessing over a typo I overlooked in my applications.

December 15th – My first rejection. And from my top choice too. Ouch! Did you even review my application before tossing it on the trash heap?

By January, I was feeling really discouraged. I had been in contact with some professors I want to work with and they seemed interested in me but yet still no interview invites. Cue second rejection and <insert self-doubt> I was starting to wonder if there was something glaringly wrong with my application that I somehow didn’t notice the millions times I went through it before submitting (for the record, self awareness that you’re being irrational does not help you stop being irrational). Am I just that terrible of an applicant?!

So I contacted OHSU (my second rejection) about how I could improve my application. I got some feedback that made me feel better. They said my GRE scores were great, GPA slightly below the median but completely fine, the only thing I’m really missing is wet laboratory research experience.

Okay, I can fix that!
A. Get a job doing lab work
B. Go to a master’s program

So I decided to quickly throw out a master’s application to Stony Brook before my cruise. The deadline was 1/15 and I eked out my application just in time. And I was accepted 1/20. (Cheers!)

Do I still have some hope that I’ll get accepted to a doctoral program? Barely. But it doesn’t matter because I am okay with the idea of earning my master’s first.

Yesterday, I let my boss/PI know about my acceptance and how I’m excited especially since I felt my chances of getting any positive word back about doctoral programs right now seem slim to none. He gave me a nice pep talk on how I should have some faith. Paraphrasing a bit – “So what if you’re not a school’s top choice. Those top choices will get offers at multiple schools and will have to turn some down and that’s when the second choices get contacted.”

Makes sense. That glimmer of hope got a little brighter. Then I get an email from U Wash “We are sorry to have to tell you…”

P.S. My (younger!) sister had an interview for vet school last week. I’m so proud of her and excited for her! But I’d be lying to say I’m not feeling a bit green.



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