I have been rejected by three of the four graduate schools I applied for. I have an interview with the fourth school tomorrow morning. I am terrified that during the interview I will seem desperate for them to accept me and they'll get weirded out. The truth is, though: I am desperate. This interview is the last chance for my plans to work out the way I want them to work out. I don't know what I'll do with myself if I don't go to grad school next fall.

I was talking to Simba (or are you Nala? I can't remember) about this on chat this morning. Teachers and professors and guidance counselors and parents push us to make a solid future plan. Everything has to be planned out far in advance, and if we don't have a plan, we're seen as irresponsible or unfocused. Well, what if we're not irresponsible-- what if life decided to dump on us and we're left with no choice but to drift for awhile? I'm worried that, if my fourth school says they don't want me, I will be a drifter . I like having my life planned out. I like knowing I will have a place and a purpose for a few years. I want that security. Not having it is giving me an ulcer. All I know now is that my future is in the hands of the people who will listen to me butcher a piano sight reading excerpt tomorrow.


written by Ruthie @ 7:02 PM  
7 thoughts:
  • At 1/29/2008 4:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Come home, find a job and then start the application process for next year....the reasons they reject can be quite bizarre. Maybe you're not applying to the right schools. If their standards are sky-high, then you are probably one of hundreds that got turned down.

  • At 1/29/2008 7:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Whoa, whoa, whoa, perspective check!! Don't listen to the doom and gloom you're pouring on your own head!
    Your future is not in the hands of these people, only your preferred timetable. Look at the big picture and relax. It's not the end of the world to be delayed a bit. You'll only "drift" if you have no destination in mind. Spend a year practicing and polishing your plans and researching schools and you'll be better prepared to get in next time.
    You won't end up living in a bus station eating stale Fritos out of a trash can. You have an education, 2 years of teaching experience in a foreign country and a family who loves you and will be there. You'll be fine.

  • At 1/29/2008 6:04 PM, Blogger Bella's Mum and Papa said…

    I know these types of comments aren't always helpful, but I was just reading yesterday from Psalm 139 (I think verse 16) about how God knows each of our days before we existed. Take comfort that God has a plan for each day of your life. But I can COMPLETELY relate to the frustrations of things not going as you had planned. Chin up!

  • At 2/01/2008 12:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am Simba; you had it right; not to worry;) And I apologize for reading this, and responding to it, so many days later=( I'm glad things went as well as they did for you during the interview; with any luck, you won't have to worry about making plans for next year. But keeping with the vein of the above comments--allow me to add my own perspective: What everyone has said so far is all right and good and everything. But it leaves a lot of questions open. Do you really want to move home for that year? Could you live with your parents again? If you got an apartment, do you have money for that kind of life? Do you have a car that can get you to work and back, and wherever you need to go? And do you think you could get a job--in DSM, or anywhere? What exactly are you qualified to do? Do you even need a job, or would you prefer to spend some of your savings to pay for your expenses instead? As well-intentioned as the previous comments have been, I am afraid they are a bit too warm-and-fuzzy for my taste; ie they're coming out of a mindset that is, like the rest of the world, screaming "Don't be a drifter, Ruthie; it will be so easy for you to make a plan; just practice for a year, reapply, and things will be perfect!" And I hate to say it, but things don't always work that way. I tried like hell to have a plan. And every plan I made (and I made several dozen, I promise) was hacked to hell by life. What it comes down to is just what we discussed the other day: whatever happens, we are required to roll with it. And that often screws up our plans. The thing is--you will be fine, no matter what happens. Whether you get into IU or not--somedays you will want to die, somedays you will want to get rip-roaring drunk, and somedays you will be just stellar=) On ANY of those days--give me a call. I'll be here.
    Sorry to have written you a novel--but as we discussed, it is SO important to understand that you have to go on, NO MATTER WHAT, and that the best-laid plans of mice and men...often get f***ed worse than you could ever imagine; just take a look at my life. Okay? I love you, and you KNOW I wish the best for you with IU and absolutely everything else in your life. Between my scrappiness and your drive and focus, we're good for each other, come what may=) I love you, Nala!!

  • At 2/02/2008 12:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "just practice for a year, reapply, and things will be perfect!"

    Not what I said at all (!), and I think that simply giving up on grad school is a bad idea after one try at applying. I find the mindset that "plans fail so don't even try to make them" to be dangerous. If the alternative to warm and fuzzy is cold and hard, I'll err on the side of optimism.

    Yes, plans do fail, but not always, as was suggested. In my 55 years of life, persistence matters a lot. Don't let your dreams go that easily. Try again next year if it's what you want, and in the meantime, get practical (something I agree with Simba on), and figure out what else you like to do that can support you and start doing it. You don't need a nailed-down 'plan' so much as you need to not be immobilized by doubt and failure.

    At the risk of writing my own novel, when I was a little older and likely broker than you, I wanted to get my PhD, but had to work and pay off some debt first. So I started working at a bakery, eventually a caterer, and to make a long story short, now I have my own small specialty bakery AND I teach at a community college. My PhD came 10 years later than I expected, but I got it, and found another career in the meantime. Turns out you can have more than one. I'm not remotely wealthy, but I am happy.

    So keep playing and keep studying music because you love it (whether or not it's your eventual job), and find a way to support yourself that you also like. But don't give up on your dream just yet.

  • At 2/02/2008 3:49 PM, Blogger Katie Berglof said…

    Hey Ruthie,
    You are a very strong person, and you'll pull through. Everything happens for a reason and there can always be something positive in what may seem like a negative situation. I believe God gives us challenging times to make us stronger, and that it is a great opportunity for personal insight as well.

    College has been quite a gigantic quest for me, I definitely would have never dreamed it would take me 5 years, 3 colleges, including a semester off, and 5 horn professors later....my family sees me as irresponsible, especially compared to my older sister who just achieved getting a Ph.D. in 7 years only.

    For a while I thought I was hopeless and almost gave up, but I finally had a life-altering experience that made me realize that I wasn't seeing the big picture. My path in life may have been altered many times, but my dreams never die. I also wasn't seeing the worth in all that I've been given and experienced.

    I strongly believe I've been given the experience needed for what is suppose to happen next in life, that there is no other way things could have been, to me there is no such thing as "what if's?"....there are way too many coincidences that have happened in my life to question why anymore. Though I still find myself doing that, especially when something seems to block my path.

    I worry about graduate school too and my future. I dislike the feeling of not being sure of myself either. When I feel that way, I'm reminded of my trust in God, that there is always light at the end of the tunnel...and it always works out, although not in the most straight forward direction or most predictable way.

    You're strong Ruthie, I know you'll pull through it, you are a magnificent person. Know that no matter what happens, God will in one way or another re-assure you he has your back. :-)

  • At 2/02/2008 4:07 PM, Blogger Katie Berglof said…

    p.s. I don't think any plans in life should be considered a failure even if they don't work out the way expected.

    When I graduated from high school I didn't get accepted to UNI, because of my ACT (UNI was my 1st choice). I was literally devastated. But I've gained SO much from all the experiences I've had. What may seem like a never ending college career is a HUGE blessing to me now in so many ways. And oddly enough, I would have never imagined that I would end up at UNI 3 years later studying with Dr. Tritle. God may have well said: "I'll give you want, but first you need to go through some other things." I've gained a lot more out of it than I would have ever imagined.

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Name: Ruthie
Home: Japan
About Me: I want to know who God is and what his truth is. I love getting lost in beautiful music and cloudless star-filled skies, especially in the fall. I hate being bored. I like big cities. I want to travel the world.
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