What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

01 April 2013

A is for Admissions

Welcome to the Cheeky version of the A to Z Challenge, in which I plan to document the ins and outs of my expensive new hobby, grad school. Here goes.

All this work just to get one
of these that reads, "I'm happy
to inform you that you'll be
sending us all your money
for the foreseeable future."
From ba1969 on stock.xchng.
The admissions process is over a year behind me, so I don't think about it often, but it was a doozy. It all began when I signed up to take the GRE, and then spent an entire summer studying for the math portion (on which I still did abysmally, BTW), only to remember two weeks before the test that I hadn't spent any time on increasing my vocabulary. Why is this a problem? Well, one person after another, including random strangers on the internet, said the GRE is all about knowing a lot of words. If you have a large vocabulary, you do well; if not, kiss grad school good-bye. I don't know if my vocabulary is that big or not, but after two weeks of panic I took the GRE and got a decent score.

Next: Recommendation letters from three profs for each of three schools. That was fun. I ended up having a total of five professors write nine letters between them, because I chose my recommenders to fit (ish) to the schools that I applied to. Which meant that five profs read my personal statement, which was humiliating, for no reason other than I wanted as few people as possible to read my personal statement.

And speaking of which... I visited the Undergraduate Writing Center, where I worked, three times in the course of writing my personal statement, and had three different co-workers go over it with me in different stages of writing. That was uncomfortable.

And finally, the deadlines. I don't remember a lot about that final week before everything was due, except that I was scrambling around trying to get it all done and politely remind my recommendation-writing professors that it was their deadline, too, all while managing the UT NaNoWriMo club (yes, grad school deadlines happen as soon as NaNoWriMo ends! Aaargh) and trying to finish my own novel. Oh, yeah, and that was the semester I took 18 hours. Yikes.

Would I do it again? Yes, and probably will, if I decide to go on to the Ph.D. level. But it was still an awful process to get through. In the end, I was accepted to two schools and rejected from one. So, here I am being all graduate all over the place.

How do you feel about admissions? GREs? Deadlines?


TaMara Sloan said...

I admire you for undertaking grad school. I earned my Master's in Education 13 years ago. The admissions process is a huge pain!

Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

Anonymous said...

Congrats on getting through the red tape and signing up again.

Cindy Dwyer said...

When I took the GREs I studied for math and winged the English. Certain parts of math - like Trigonometry, I decided to not even bother with. I skipped every single one and just focused on getting as many of the others right as I could.

It'll all be worth it in the end!

Donna L Martin said...

Good luck with the challenge and with school! I participated last year in A to Z and had a blast!

Donna L Martin

Mia Hayson said...

Hate them! Admissions was so tedious, especially since everybody knew and liked me already ahhhh.


Mia Hayson said...

Uhm, I hate admissions, that is. I LOVED THIS POST.



Congrats on grad school. I got my M. Ed. In 93. Loved the post.

Juliet Bond said...

Toying with the PhD question myself and yes, the GRE's are maybe number one on my list of why I haven't done that yet... Nice to have found like minded folk. Please visit and become a member at http://citymusecountrymuse2012.blogspot.com/ where we are posting an original poem every day during the A-Z challenge.

M. J. Joachim said...

Sounds like a long, detailed, tedious process. Glad you're past it. Good luck with your studies.

JEFritz said...

Admissions are the test if you can withstand college. This one should have been under C, for crucible :).

Bryan Reddish said...

Oh, my gosh. I would have died. Congrats on getting in to 2!