The Emotional Roller Coaster of Submitting Applications

Just a two weeks ago I revealed my feelings on waiting for application portals to open. It seems that they must have been the magic words, because since then all the application portals have opened. I must be a wizard. Hogwarts, where is my letter?

After months of prepping and planning like a serial killer, my time to shine has finally arrived. I have not only created my applications and started the process of furiously uploading documents, but I have also submitted three of them. With stress sweat stains and shaking hands, I sent my applications to the University of Cambridge, University of St Andrews, LSE, and the University of Edinburgh off into the universe. For how eager and excited I was leading up to the moment, actually turning in the applications and surrendering my power felt incredibly nerve wracking.

It is not new information that I am a burrito of stress and anxiety much of the time. My ability to over think and over analyze situations is more of an art than a skill. Honestly, I could win awards for it. Where is my Oscar for this?

I wish I could attribute my middle school drama classes for my flair for the dramatic, but I know that in reality my deep-rooted fear of not being enough is to blame. I would go into more detail about that, but it is sad, not very interesting, and more of a conversation for my future therapist rather than you, dear reader.  

While I want to think of the application process as an exciting time of possibility and new adventures, it also provides ample time for self reflection and criticism. It is all too easy to get lost down the rabbit hole after editing your same personal statement for hours at a time or staring at your transcripts and wishing you had just studied a little more for your Economics final so that your GPA would be higher. ‘What ifs’ and ‘should haves’ are common precursors to thoughts, and everything amounts to one, long trip along self pity lane. I think the last time I felt this unsure about myself and my accomplishments was back in 2013 when I was awaiting the admission decision from UC Berkeley. Hopefully the end results of my worrying this time around will be more fruitful.

I realize that this post is mostly incoherent ramblings and thoughts that do not quite pan out, not to mention a sharp contrast from the confidence I exuded in my last post about personal statements. But that is simply the reality of applying to graduate school, or my reality at least: skyscraper highs and rock bottom lows. My emotions are on a roller coaster.

I imagine that in the next few weeks, these feelings will intensify. Once I finish sending my last few applications off, it will be time to play yet another waiting game. I can only imagine how annoying I will become… I wish I could say that it would be a temporary state until I find out if I got into any schools, but I know in my heart that the next year of my life will be a whirlwind of constant impatience, anxiety, and planning. My poor family. Thank goodness for unconditional love, am I right?

If you, dear reader, are also experiencing a state of excited anxiety, then I hope this post brought you some level of comfort, and you know that you aren’t alone in your feelings… Or, at the very least, you can take comfort in knowing that there is someone out there in the universe that is crazier and more neurotic than you. 

Cheers,

The Travel Smith

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