This summer marks a weirdly pivotal point in my life. I'm about to start my senior year of my undergraduate degree. Heck, come next June I'm going to have my degrees and be free to explore the world and my career.
But I have to admit, that is incredibly daunting, especially once I consider that fact that my entire life I have only ever seen myself as two things: following in my parents' footsteps or becoming an academic. I am clearly not following in my parents' footsteps. I'm too far into my undergraduate career to switch into engineering or pre-medicine (and I sure as hell would be miserable if I ever switched into those). That leaves the latter, academic.
This summer is the summer that I look into graduate school, the ever imposing added year to three years of education that will lead to a mastery in my field and the ability to be competitive in applications for a pHD. But with the territory comes things like the lack of a common app, the absence of safety schools, and the dreadful GRE.
I feel the same as I did back when I was in my senior year of high school. I feel like a hot mess. Applying to schools is single-handedly one of the most stressful academic experiences. You have to market yourself and your credentials in order to be picked from hundreds of other applications for just a select few slots. It's ego-shattering if I'm being quite frank.
I have this gnawing sense of fear that I may not get in to any of the schools I apply to. Yet, I'm also thrilled at the prospect of possibly getting into one. I have learnt I just have to take what will come with grace. And if all else fails a gap year between undergraduate and graduate school is not bad. It's a way to mature myself as an individual and learn more about myself than I ever could.
So here's to hoping that I find references, my personal statements are fine, my GPA doesn't crumble, and my sanity stays strong (at least until March or April).