Dear aspiring graduate students,
Spring is in the air! The birds are chirping, and a grad school rejection letter is in your inbox. Okay, this may not be completely true, but some of you may feel this way during this time of year. Grad school is a tough road to hoe, and the application process is no exception.
I applied to graduate school twice: once during my senior year of undergrad and again at the end of my Master’s program. The first time around, I, like Karly, applied to at least 12 schools with about a half-half split of PhD and Masters programs. At the time, I was still undecided about which type of program would be better for me because I was switching research areas. After all of those applications, I went on three interviews and was waitlisted at another school. Ultimately I received at least 9 rejection letters. If that’s not a blow to the ego, I don’t know what is. I made the decision to accept a spot in the Master’s program at Illinois State University. It’s a decision I’m still glad I made to this day.
The second time around, I only applied to 3 PhD programs. This resulted in two more rejection letters. So here I am at UTEP — two rounds of grad school applications later and (almost) two graduate degrees to show for it.
Through all of this emotional turmoil, it’s important to not get too discouraged. Getting a rejection letter doesn’t feel the best, but maybe it’s a sign that you weren’t right for that program. I would much rather get rejected from a program instead of accepting a position there and finding out later that it wasn’t a good fit. Or you could also think of rejections as a test of your faith. I’ve had friends who had to apply multiple years in a row before they got accepted, but they still love what they do despite the hardships it took to get there. Don’t let those rejection letters keep you down! Keep your chin up!
Written by Jen Blush