Applying to grad school is can be a nerve wracking experience. You expose yourself and your ego to a lot of schools and programs that you care a lot about but who don\’t know you at all (or, at least, very little). Putting yourself out there is scary because you can be rejected. And, if you\’re like me, you will likely be rejected by at least one of the schools to which you apply.
But, if you\’re like me, you can learn a lot from that experience. Here\’s what I learned.
- Getting rejected isn\’t fun
- Sometimes you\’re not a good fit
- Sometimes you are a good fit and the other party just doesn\’t see it right away
- Persistence pays off
I was able to rationalize some of the rejections by recognizing that the school and I really weren\’t a great match; we cold have worked out, but we might not have thrived. For some of the schools that rejected me, I\’m still convinced that we actually were a good fit and I just didn\’t present myself in quite the right way to make them agree. But, in the end, persistence did pay off.
- Getting into grad school is not a summation of your worth as a human being–it just feels like it
- Being rejected doesn\’t necessarily mean that you\’re not cut out for grad work, it might just mean you\’re not a good fit (which might say more about the program than yourself)
- It\’s not over until the fat lady sings. I was rejected by the first five schools I heard back from before I started receiving acceptance letters.
- All it takes is one. You can only attend one PhD program, so gaining entry/funding to one is all you need, so try not to take the rejections too hard.
- Acceptance makes everything better. And that\’s a fact.