Monday, December 30, 2013

Post Submission, All Holiday, New Years Resolutions

Its that weird time between Christmas and New Years where I am the most unproductive of the year. I'm pretty sure I've slept an average of 12 hours a day since last Friday. I have NO idea why I am so exhausted considering I have done NOTHING. Since my application has gone in, the monkey on my back jumped off and went back into the jungle. Now is just the wait it out.

My Christmas was fairly uneventful and I enjoyed the time with my family. In the past I'd prefer to be at home in my room on the internet but this year it was different. I was happy to get everyone their gifts and spend time with them. I think as we've all gotten older we like each other more LOL. We've all grown so it is a good thing.

As for my New Year Resolutions, its basically the same thing every year. But I will say there are a lot more adult resolutions this year. Besides wanting to lose weight, I'd really like to officially set up my 403b account. I don't know why I've waiting this long to contribute towards my retirement but I will do that once I'm back in the office. I also hope to join the gym at work. No more excuses. I'd like to pay off all my debts (with the exception of my student loans) and really kick my savings into high gear. I would also like to move out of my mom's house by the end of the year. These seem like simple resolutions, but I know its going to take a lot of work on my part. While I'm quick to start things, I end to quit fairly quickly. I'm really hoping 2014 will be different.

Besides that, I just want to get more involved at church and be more optimistic. I think I'm in my head way too much. Sometimes I need to remember that I can't control everything and that is okay. Not everything is going to go the way I want and that is okay as well. I should only focus on the things that I can change.

I will say that while 2013 had its ups and downs, its been a great year. I'm really excited for 2014 and wish everyone a Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Waiting Game Has Begun

So the deadline for the PhD program was December 1st and then all the supplemental documents needed to be in by December 16th. I have literally EVERYTHING in. I'm stressed though. I mean there is a weight off my back now that I am no longer trying to put the application together and study for the GRE, but now I'm anxious. I mean I almost had a panic attack the other day and really started to doubt myself yesterday.

I started to wonder if I was worthy of getting into the program. I mean if you look at my average GPA and my below average GRE scores, I really don't seem like a good candidate at all. I have the connections, good work experience, and great recommendations, but academically I haven't really proven I'm a good candidate. And there is where the problem is. Are they willing to accept me based on my work, skills, and network over my grades and test scores? How good of a candidate am I compared to the others that are applying?

I put a lot of money into this application. I put all my eggs into one basket. I know you are supposed to apply to multiple schools but honestly, I didn't want to. I know people in the department I want to go to, I've worked with some of them before, and I literally work 3 floors below them everyday. But that doesn't change the fact that I should have applied to other schools through SOPHAS. In the very least, applied to a master's program.

I'm bad at waiting. My current academic mentor, Caryn, who is currently in program said it would be around February before I found out whether I got in or not. OMG FEBRUARY?!?! Its bad enough I have been waiting since about May to start working on the application and my research paper, now I have to wait until February to even see if it paid off?

I think I'm just overreacting. I think the best part of the process is reading my recommendation letters. Well I read 2 of the 3. I legit almost cried. My boss Cheri and my previous/current boss Derrick both wrote amazing letters for me. I think it all overwhelmed me because I didn't realized how far I'd come. I didn't realize how much they valued me and I surely didn't realize how much they believed in me. Its one thing to hear it which I was lucky enough to get constant feedback from them and its another for them to tell complete strangers about how awesome I am. I think it also reminded me about just how much they mean to me. They have both been so influential in my life. They have both mentored me and given me advice and support that I will cherish forever. I really can't even put into words how much leeway they gave me. I was sure they'd both fire me multiple times, but they gave me proper feedback and more chances than I can count. They are both amazing. I love them like family. They feel like secondary parents. They both treat me like I'm their child.

Either way, I think I just need to occupy myself and stop being so hard on myself. There are people out there that believe in me and that is honestly all that matters. LETS DO THIS!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

I Cried, I Studied, I Submitted

Though its been a good amount of time since my last update, I finally got some much needed leeway. I OFFICIALLY submitted my application to the PhD program and I'm excited and beyond nervous at the same time. It is hard to just sit back and wait for that email or piece of mail to tell me what my next 5 years will look like.

But on top of that, I finished my research paper. While it could use some editing, it is all but ready to submit to a journal. I'm not sure if I'm going to send it to a general Public Health journal or to a journal focused on smoking. All I know is that I'm SOOO excited that its FINALLY over.

I literally have been stressing to the point of losing my hair. While not all of it has been work or application related, I was stressed nonetheless. I was wondering if I was ready to take such a large leap so soon after college. I started reading how people took skip years where they traveled and saw the world. I have been working. I love the experience I've gotten but I also wish I'd taken time out to actually done some traveling as well. I still have most of 2014.

I had originally scheduled my GRE for November 23rd and as it got closer, realized just how unprepared I was. So I spent the $50 and pushed it to December 4th. Am I ready for it? No. But this is as close as I'm going to get. I don't want to stress myself more than I have to especially considering that I have horrible test anxiety. I don't do well on standardized tests. I'm surprised I did so well on the SAT to be honest, considering I didn't even study for it. But I will say that I have actually invested in this exam. Between the $600 prep course, 2 GRE test prep books, and an additional GRE math workbook I'm hoping to improve my scores from 2011.

Now is the hard part. Do I write a supplemental statement discussing my medical issues which not only explain my average grades, but also my difficulty with standardized tests? I am an able student. I am a determined person, I just tend to be better when I'm discussing subjects, not being timed during a test. I've gotten a bunch of answers which don't necessary help me. I'm not sure what to do. But I know I'll make the right decision.

Regardless, once my 8am GRE is over with, I will be relieved beyond comprehension and rest for 13 hours. Okay maybe not that long, but I'm sure I will eat the HEARTIEST of breakfasts.

Heres to the future!!