How To: Wait for Graduate School Admissions Results

I enjoy writing How To lists. It’s a fact. One day I might even write a how to list on how to write how to lists (just silly enough to be worth my time and energy).

Anyways, as anyone who reads my blog will already know, I am currently applying for PhD programmes in Political Science. I say “applying” because at institutions around the country, a team of crack academics and administrators are pouring over stacks of applications… and mine is somewhere in the pile. I finished my active part in mid-November when I pressed [SUBMIT] on my online forms and waited (somewhat patiently) while my GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and transcripts found their way into my file. Now, almost 2 months after submission, waiting is the name of the game. And, if you will excuse the colloquialism, it blows. So how does an impatient, anxious, and hyperactive individual such as myself wait for a dozen or-so graduate admissions committees to cast their judgement?…

1. I eat. Unfortunately, my tendency to eat when nervous has been compounded over the past 3 weeks by the following factors: I am in England where a single candy bar costs a pound and 5 pounds of candy costs only 50 pence more, it is christmas (special tin of quality street chocolate…. don’t mind if I do!) , I haven’t played water polo or done yoga since I got here (so I am never hungry for “caveman food”), and my parents indulge my eating whims. Bottom line, every time I get anxious about graduate admissions (roughly 3-30 times a day) I eat. I am going to have to work out every day for a month to fit into my graduation mumu (sorry, graduation gown…).

2. I talk. Incessantly. About every aspect of my applications. In detail. It’s a good thing my parents love my unconditionally because I could drive anyone else insane within a week.

3. I read Grad Cafe forums (though I have not yet gotten to the stage where I actually post on said website). Something about the shared-panic experience makes me feel a bit better (though no less anxious). On the other hand, when A-Types with perfect GPAs, GRE scores, and a work-record that would put Kofi Annan to shame ask about their chances of getting into graduate school… I start wailing and rolling around on the floor in near-physical pain.

4. I read. Anything and everything. Graduate school admissions woes tend to hover in the back of my mind at times like these. A blessed relief.

5. I work on my MA thesis. Oh yeah… I have now applied for graduation in May and my thesis has to be submitted to the university by April 20th. Good times. So now I have a bit more than 3 months to produce a top-notch 10,000 word paper (35 pages… which admittedly is not that long) and defend said paper from the ravagings of my comittee (which may have reason to exact revenge after I nagged them for weeks about submitting more than a dozen letters of recommendation).

So… from now until February I will be eating, talking, trolling the web, reading, working, rinsing, and repeating. Good times.

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2 responses to “How To: Wait for Graduate School Admissions Results

  1. Didn’t I tell you to stay the hell away from those forums?! There is literally nothing of value to be learned there after you submit your applications, and almost nothing they can teach you even as you’re applying. It’s just a worthless pit of worry interspersed with occasional bragging.

    On a lighter note, lol programmies 😀 British spelling is so amusing.

  2. You have a valid point…

    Also… silly americans… taking away e’s and u’s like they are going out of style. Don’t you know the value of a good u! (all else aside, it makes scrabble a bit easier).

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