Category Archives: Grad School Saga

The Moment I Realized I Would Never Get Rid of You

I was on the phone with my dad today. The conversation was supposed to be a normal check-in (like all good daughters, I call my parents a few times a week). He asked me about my life, job prospects and the usual, and I was happy to tell him I had just been offered a position. I told him it could be interesting and exciting and worthwhile and then he told me that I was doing it wrong.

My conversation with my dad ended in tears and I couldn’t figure out why. That was until I realized it was because of you. You, the constant reminder of my ineptitude, the one whom I run away from as a child flees a monster, the ever-present fixture in my post-high school life.

When I was young, it was easy to get away from you. I excelled in school so I never had to encounter you there. And if I did do an event that forced me to deal with you I could quit because why play the game if you know you’ll lose?

But of course, the man who never let me win and yet always made me play was the same one compelling me to keep moving forward in spite of you. And like so many of those games 15 years ago, this interaction ended in tears.

I’m not good at running at the wall, forcing it to move. If I get hurt the first time, I’m not coming back again to see if things change. At least not anymore. I think it’s because I’ve let you compel me. There was a time when I’d wake up every morning anticipating the moment when I would play basketball against my dad. And when I lost, I’d go back and practice until it was time to face him again and lose again. But then something happened. I don’t know what it was. But somewhere along the way I got so afraid of you that I stopped playing the game.

Even now, I’m really afraid of you. And I don’t like you. And I’m really torn about what to do next and where to go. But I’m also afraid that I’ll look back on my life and see a series of unfinished plans. But I’m even more afraid that I’ll look back and convince myself that it’s okay that those things were unfinished.

I never beat my dad in basketball and I think it was because before I was old enough or good enough to beat him I had already quit over my frustration with encountering you. But I always encounter you. And I guess I’m starting to see that my fear of you has led me to make a lot of safe decisions.

So I don’t know. I don’t know what to do about you. I just want to play basketball with my dad.

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I’m Leaving

3 years ago, there was a moment in time when I wanted to leave. I wrote about it once or twice on this blog and thought about it even more. And now, three years later, I’m finally going. 

Some of the circumstances surrounding my exit are similar. Last time, I had been recently heartbroken/crushed by the loss of a friendship. I had just graduated school and I had no idea what I was doing next. On top of all that, I was under intermittent stress from living with my parents and there was no end in sight. 

Now, I’m in a similar relationship limbo – though not as a result of a lost friendship – constantly reminded about my marital status. I’ve finished my MA program but I’m still jobless and wondering what to do next with life. And, of course, as I write this, I’m waiting for the train from my parents’ house back to NYC. 

Last time, I left. I went to Philly for a year and had one of the most important years of my life so far. I grew, I learned, and I became the version of myself I’ve liked the most in my short life. This time I’m leaving again. Granted, it’ll be a trip 49 weeks short of a year, but I find myself feeling some of the same things I felt before. Fear of going someplace new and living alone, residual anger over clipped conversations and a lack of control, excitement about entering into a new stage of life, and amazement at how twisty and turny life can be. 

I don’t know if this trip will be life-changing and important or just another few stamps on my passport. I’m trying not to expect much of either. But I do hope it’ll be a chance for me to relax and think. Because those are things I haven’t done in a while. I hope I can put the stress of 25-year-old-life, disappointment, and NYC away for a while and just enjoy the moment, not worrying about the past or the future. 
So here’s my official blog announcement: I’m leaving on June 14. Maybe I’ll keep you posted about all the stops I make. 

Graduation

After 25 years and 3 graduation/commencement ceremonies, I finally understand what it’s all for.

It wasn’t until yesterday evening, when my brother came up to hug me from behind, that I finally understood it. I always stress so much about graduation ceremonies. I imagine it’s the introvert part of me (though I recently took an online test and I got that I was an ENFP! Gasp!) that feels that social anxiety. I would’ve been content to quietly receive my degree in the mail and never go through any formal recognition process. I would’ve been happy to know I had graduated and move on with my everyday life. I would’ve been fine trying to figure out next steps, planning trips, applying for jobs, and just figuring out what to do with my life. But I would’ve completed missed the point of graduation.

A few days ago, I wrote about my fear of disappointing people. It’s a constant fear I have and it’s especially prevalent when I feel like I’ve failed in some way. It stems from self-doubt, not any actual disappointment I’ve perceived from family and friends. But it also stems from a deep-seated arrogance and self-absorption, so that when I think I’m unable to maintain the charade of accomplishment – when I’ve finally been found out as an impostor – I assume that everyone can see me as I am: an emperor without her clothes.

But I realized yesterday that, in fact, I’m not a naked emperor. I’m not walking through life attempting to convince everyone that I’m clothed in splendid garments. I’m the opposite. I’m the dream you have where you’re naked in front of an auditorium of people. My nudity isn’t real, I’m just convinced of it at any given moment.

I’m realizing that I’m actually clothed with the love and acceptance of my family and friends. And that’s what graduation is for. It’s so that they can see you be the person they know you always could be. It’s so they can acknowledge your accomplishments and celebrate them with you. It’s so they can keep adding on layers and layers of splendid garments.

I’m turning 25 tomorrow, an accomplishment (can I really call it that though?) I’ve felt ambivalent about over the past few weeks (I was just at a party talking to a friend about being single and 25 and unsure of life and living in NYC). And I’m glad I had this epiphany before I made it to a quarter-century. Because that’s the knowledge I want to take into the next quarter-century, if God lets me make it there. My family (and friends) are my constant reminders of God’s love for me. And sometimes it takes a graduation celebration to remember that.

Hopeful (Part 1)

*When I initially wrote this post, I realized it was getting uncontrollably long so I chopped off the back half and I’ll post that tomorrow. Stay tuned for the twist ending!*

**For the past few months I’ve been obsessed with the Hamilton soundtrack and one of the songs from that soundtrack is “Helpless”. For some reason, I often end up wanting to call it “hopeless”. So when I went to write this blog post I thought, Oh yeah, like the opposite of the Hamilton song. Indeed, the title of this blog is not the opposite of the Hamilton song, but I’m going to link to the song anyway because it’s a great song, the soundtrack is amazing, and Hamilton is awesome. And I will argue that with anyone (I’m looking at you Vonny D)! I’ll link to the song here.**

A few days ago, I was feeling kind of low. There was no particular reason, just a few reasons piled up on each other. My sister just moved into my place with me for the summer, which is super fun, but also means I have the additional stress of another human constantly in a space that was originally just mine. My plan to connect with a professor was thwarted by my mother’s good intentions, leaving me in a place where I couldn’t be too mad but I also couldn’t do what I had originally planned either. Commencement is next week, a fact that is stressful in its own right because I hate all the graduation stuff about school, but it’s also stressful because it reminds me that I really should be thinking about what to do next. All these things and more have contributed to a slightly more on-edge version of myself. It sucks, but such is life.

So you can imagine how dramatically my week changed when I received two hope-inducing emails. But let me first provide the backstory for them:

I love TV. Most people know this about me. I watch a lot of television (and movies, to a lesser extent) and I have strong obsessive opinions about the shows that I watch. So last summer at a family reunion/barbecue, after being told a story about my dad’s childhood by my uncle, I decided to begin working on a pilot script. I don’t really know what the plan was – maybe I just wanted to see if I could do it – so I wrote the first 8 pages.

Some of you reading this might not find this to be a huge surprise. During my senior spring in college, I took a class on screenwriting. That was my first attempt at writing a script, though that time it was for a feature length movie. I never finished that script and it’s since been lost to history and the inability to back up files when changing laptops. It wasn’t good, but it would be interesting to revisit it to see if a three-year removal from the project would give me any new insights.

Anyway, I wrote the first 8 pages of this new pilot script and then I stopped. This time, it wasn’t because it was bad or tedious, but because it was a drama, and writing dramas takes a bit more thought and energy, resources I did not have in abundance when I began the project. Instead I decided to write a comedy pilot and that was pretty fun.

However, before I put the drama script to rest I emailed it to my brother. In March. So it was really surprising when I got an email in May, saying, “this is really good! I want to read more!” It was especially surprising because my phone shows me the text of emails in the banner up top, so I woke up one morning to those words from my brother, but I had no idea what he was responding to (the email had no subject line – my fault – and the banner didn’t show the message I had sent). In any case, when I found out what he had been referring to, I was pretty happy. I knew it didn’t mean much (my siblings are always pretty encouraging and non-critical of my work) but it still felt pretty good. Hopefulness increase: +3.

 

Who Do You Want to Be?

I was hanging out with an old friend Monday night and he asked me that question.

After spending the day doing laundry and delaying a much-needed shower, I got a text from a friend telling me he was free and he wanted to hang out. My schedule had cleared up too, so I decided to go. I figured I could probably get a free meal from the whole thing, which was important because my bank account has not been especially robust these past few days.

We went to Washington Square Park (a park I discovered I kind of hate) and went to a movie theater in Union Square. Much of the walk to the theater was filled with statements about how long it’s been and questions about who I am now (all statements and questions I hate).

Finally, we made it to a fancy pizza place. While we sat with the food in front of us, he finally asked the fateful question: So, tell me, Danielle, who do you want to be?

Upon hearing the question, I was immediately filled with rage. We argued for a few minutes about why I didn’t want to answer such a crap question (if I were a more edgy Christian I wouldn’t be using the word ‘crap’) and eventually gave up because he clearly wanted to make a point that I didn’t care to hear and I couldn’t explain my disdain for the question clearly enough. So now, on this blog, I will explain my hatred for his dumb question.

A few years ago, I probably wouldn’t have hated his question. I probably would’ve leapt at the chance to divulge my life philosophy and explain the type of person I wanted to be. But now, that’s probably the last thing I want to do. I don’t care about who people want to be. I barely care about who I want to be. Because all that tells you is who my ideal person is.

There are things I want to do in my life. There are certain values I want to uphold. And I care about being seen as the person I want to be. But in all honesty – and this may sound a little haughty – I am the person I want to be.

Like I said, I have goals and dreams and interests and stuff. And I can always think of ways to better myself. But every morning when I wake up, I make decisions that set me on the path to being the person I am by the end of the day. And the person I am at the end of the day is the person I wanted to be, subconsciously or not, that day.

The question for me is less, who do you want to be, and more, who are you? When I wrong someone I can’t apologize to them and say “sorry, I just haven’t been able to live up to the person I want to be. Forgive me.” That’s crap. When I wrong someone, I have to admit to them and myself that that’s who I am, for better or worse.

I’m not advocating some kind of staunch individualism and obstinacy á la Howard Roark from The Fountainhead. That’s a dangerous philosophy. I’m saying that we’re imperfect people and sometimes focusing on who we want to be separates us from who we are and who we can be. I want to be generous with my time, money, and skills. But wanting it doesn’t make it so. And wanting it doesn’t absolve me from guilt when I’m stingy with all those resources.

I’ve given up trying to figure out who I want to be and instead replaced that practice with being, doing, acting, and reacting. And hopefully, sometimes, I end up becoming the person I can be.

Aging Up Where I Belong

I used to spend ridiculous amounts of time playing the Sims. It’s an addictive game. One of the things I loved about the Sims was when they went from teenagers to young adults. The Sims calls it Aging Up. 14 days of teenage life would go by and the young Sim would Age Up into a young adult. And then the fun began!

Once they were adults I could find them a mate, get them a job and make them start having babies and start the whole process all over again. When you type it out, it sounds so boring but when you play it you lose hours of your life. (I just realized I still have The Sims 3 on my laptop. I know what I’ll be doing tonight!)

Anyway, spending years in front of a computer playing The Sims made some of that Simlish music and Sim lifestyle seep into my brain. Here I am, 22, probably halfway through my young adulthood (in Sim time) with no mate, no career, and no idea what to do next. Oftentimes, I would make my Sims rich so that they could have a few kids but only one would have to carry on the family legacy. I’m thoughtful like that. Unfortunately, my parents didn’t do that. I can’t just live in their house forever and make money painting (even though Buzzfeed thinks painting is my hidden talent. I’m sorry Buzzfeed, but you are so wrong).

I was talking to Steph and Nat on Wednesday (we had to reschedule our usual weekly meeting). Nat started relating her anxiety about the next steps in her life. She’s in D.C. now and she’ll probably be there next year but she has no idea what she wants to do after that. She especially feels pressured because her boyfriend knows what he wants to do and she feels like, based on their life timeline, she’s running out of idle time.

Of course, Steph and I told her not to worry. “You’re only 23! You have so much life ahead of you!” It’s true, that’s why we said it. That doesn’t make it less stressful.

Once you start to realize how quickly life goes by, you can’t help but plan out your next ten years and get nervous. Here are mine:

If by God’s grace I get into a Ph.D. program, I’ll be spending the next 5 (at least) years of my life studying things. In five years, I’ll be 28. During those years, I would love to meet someone but I would hate to meet someone who was also getting a Ph.D. in Classics (or any Ph.D. at all really). Who really cares though? Say I meet someone, Ph.D. candidate or normie, and we hit it off and we even get married before I graduate (that’s actually my dream because I want my Dr. name to be the same as my married name). Now what? When do the babies happen? Do the babies even happen?

Before a year ago, it wasn’t a realized goal for me to be a professor. Now that that is a goal of mine, I can’t help but wonder how anyone could do it! How could a woman have a child while applying for professorial jobs or while being a professor? Women do it all the time, but I have no idea how. It doesn’t seem like there are enough years.

Anyway, that was one scenario. In the other scenario, I’m still single at 28. That’s a whole new set of pains because now I have to worry about getting married and then having kids and all this stuff, all while in my late 20s. The rational part of me is like “Well, Hollywood, women do it all the time!” Accurate.

There’s also the scenario where I don’t get into a Ph.D. program and then either spend another year at Penn or do something else with my time because I’ll have decided that Classics hates me. That scenario opens up a whole other can of worms that I would not want to eat. Best case: I’d be done with a Ph.D. at 29. Worst case: I’d be homeless (that’s the worst case scenario in every one of my life projections).

There is a final scenario where I decide not to get married or have kids (while still doing all the other stuff). This isn’t ideal but it could happen. I’d be a coolish aunt.

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My real dream though, is that I end up where I’m supposed to be. Realistically, I don’t think any of these scenarios would be too bad if I were in the right place.

DP

Insignificance and Misdirection

I just finished talking to C Rollz and Baby Cheeks. Those were, legit, two of the best conversations I’ve had all month.

Recently, I’ve been feeling really stressed about grad school applications. You’d think being rejected last year would make a second rejection easier this year easier but it really doesn’t. I’ve actually found it to be more stressful.

C Rollz, helped me to see how I was thinking wrong. “What if God brought you here, to Philly, but still doesn’t intend for you to go to grad school?” A question I never really thought of. I always figured either I made the right choice coming to Philly and “right choice” = grad school, or I made the wrong choice and “wrong choice” = some horrible other fate. I always think of life as so black and white, it’s hard for me to consider other alternatives.

Next, I got a crazy good pep talk from Baby Cheeks. She reminded me that even if I didn’t get into grad school, I wasn’t any less loved. What’s more, she enumerated all the ways God has been crazy awesome and faithful. Faithful. That’s a word I’ve been getting a lot. Probably because I haven’t been very faithful recently. A year ago, I didn’t expect to be at Penn studying Classics (only partly because I hadn’t applied). Honestly, I didn’t expect to graduate from Princeton (I always expected some crazy thing to happen at the last minute like I’d fail my thesis or die. I’m being serious. I legitimately expected at least one of these two things to happen to me before June 4). I have a really bad track record when it comes to my predictions of the future. God doesn’t.

Right now, I keep asking God to prove Himself to me. I want Him to show me I’ve made all the right choices and I’m on the right track. But God doesn’t need to prove Himself to me. He’s always been faithful. If anything, I should be the one proving myself to him because I’m pretty fickle and sometimes unreliable. God doesn’t owe me anything. He doesn’t owe me graduate school. He didn’t owe me a Princeton degree. He didn’t owe me acceptance into UPenn. He didn’t owe me a loving family. He didn’t owe me amazing friends. He doesn’t owe me anything.

What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

That’s always been one of my fave verses. It’s a good one to remember.

DP

Young Adult Life

So many thoughts have been swirling through my head!

I’m trying not to check my email so much because I realized I’m much more stressed/anxious/nervous about grad school stuff than I had previously thought. I turned off the notifications on my phone. I don’t know if I was this nervous a year ago. I probably was, I just don’t remember.

Yesterday, I had an emotional breakdown. I cried last year too but that was after I had actually gotten all the rejections. This time I cried preemptively. It wasn’t really preemptive though.

I think I cried because I couldn’t deal with the idea of not getting in anywhere. A year ago, I thought I wanted to do Classics but I wasn’t really sure. Now, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. The prospect of not being able to do the one thing I feel like I should be doing is kind of hard to deal with.

I’m not big on plan Bs. I rarely have them. I think they leave little room for spontaneity and freedom. Maybe that’s a naive notion though. In any case, I kind of have a plan B this time around. I was basically offered a job that sounds pretty cool. The only thing is…I’m a brat. I’m a spoiled brat. I don’t know how it happened, it just did. My brother and sister aren’t (at least not in the same way), but I really am.

I’m spoiled because I can’t do things that I don’t want to do. It’s hard for me. Even when money is involved. There have been times I’ve turned down or even canceled job interviews because I knew I wouldn’t want to do the job. I just knew I wouldn’t enjoy it.

I always thought I was the type of person who could just do anything and make myself like it or at least have enough fulfilling relationships that what I did didn’t matter. That was until this past summer. It wasn’t until I was applying for jobs that I realized I just couldn’t do some things. I won’t pretend like I purposely tanked any interviews because I would never do that. (Honestly, I think that’s a little unethical. Or at least inconsiderate.) However, I will admit to not showing up for some (which is equally, if not more, inconsiderate/unethical and for that I am sorry.)

After my breakdown, I prayed because that seemed like the best thing to do. It was. Then, a few hours later, I spoke to my mom and brother. They gave me good, if not somewhat opposing, pep talks. They covered all the bases. Then, I decided to not torture myself. I’m glad I did that. Then, I decided to turn off email notifications and not have that tab continuously open on my browser. I’m pretty happy with that decision.

The other day, my friend asked me what I thought the most confusing thing about being 22 was. The question was, I imagine, partly in jest (maybe ‘in jest’ isn’t the right turn of phrase. More like, ‘not meant to be a super huge philosophical/existential question’). Either way, I think the most confusing thing about being 22 is that you feel everything so potently for the first time and it hurts a little (sometimes a lot). By the time you’re 22, you’ve probably experienced love, loss, heartbreak, loneliness, rejection, acceptance, genuine happiness, genuine sadness, independence, constraints, and a litany of other things. For most, it’s an introduction to the ‘real world’ that you couldn’t have been ready for even if you studied super hard. It’s not a test. It’s life. It’s adult life. And that can be pretty scary. It can also be pretty cool. As T Swift said, “Yeaaaaaaah, we’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time. It’s magical and miserable. oh yeaaaaaaaah!”

I’m not a huge Swift fan but I am feeling 22 and stressed about what my future may look like.

DP

Thesis Update: Rejection, Parents, Life

Still been reading a lot of things that seems kind of fruitless right now. Hopefully that will change. My new goal is to be basically done with my thesis this weekend (including revisions). It sounds crazy because I still have a chapter that I need to write and major revisions I need to make but I figure I won’t have many distractions this weekend (my best friends/the people I spend the majority of my time with will be away for the weekend) so it’s a possibility. I’m just excited to be done with it soon.

Since coming to Princeton, I’ve experienced more rejection than I ever have in my entire life. It’s been pretty humbling. Usually it’s sad at first though. I just got my last bit of rejection when I heard back from another grad school program. Having gotten bad news from all but one program, which I have yet to hear from, I felt like I should call my parents and let them know that my plans for next year were really up in the air. I was just planning to call my mom and dad and tell them that they should be praying about my future plans and that I really had no idea what the next step was going to be for me.

When I got on the phone with my mom, everything was fine. I told her about my recent string of rejections in a pretty calm tone and we talked a little bit about other options. Then, all of a sudden, the waterworks came. I wasn’t sad that I didn’t get into those schools. They were nice but I wasn’t banking on being in those places. I was upset that in that moment, it felt like my future was unknown and my Princeton career had culminated in these rejections.

Let me explain: I, like many other Princetonians, was good at high school. I never had to work hard and I got good grades. When I got to Princeton, things changed a lot. At first, it just seemed like I would have to work harder to get the better grades, but at a certain point it felt like no matter how hard I was working, I still wasn’t going to get the grade I thought I deserved.

A lot of Princeton students feel this way for sure. It’s a pretty frustrating, feeling. So getting that most recent rejection was just a reminder of what I’ve felt my Princeton career has been. I was disappointed and upset and I just didn’t really want to deal with it.

When the sadness came, my mom showed me yet again how much people change. I remember not too long ago on a ride back to campus explaining to my parents that I wasn’t going to be pre-med anymore and I didn’t want to be a doctor. I remember how confused they both were when I told them I had no idea what I was going to do but I wasn’t majoring in psych, or chem, or bio, or any other thing I had previously thought I would pursue. I remember sitting in the back seat crying while trying to explain during this heated discussion that maybe I wanted to study religion or english or even classics. Thinking back to that moment makes me feel so small. I was just a kid and all I could do was tell the adults who raised me that I didn’t want to do what I had been saying I wanted to do for so long.

So the other day, when I called my mom, I expected a similar reaction. It’s not that my parents are overbearing or anything, they just expect us to do well and they don’t want to watch us fail (like any parent, really). So I expected a slightly heated conversation with my mom forcing me to figure out what I really wanted to do. I figured I’d sit through it and end up a little more disappointed and down on myself than before but then I’d get over it. I was preparing myself for the worse.

But the worse never came. Instead, my mom told me what I wanted to hear 3 years ago but was probably more helpful in that moment: You’re still young, you have your whole life ahead of you. One failure won’t determine your future. It’s ok that you don’t know what’s next. God’s already taken care of it. Even now, thinking about myself a few years ago and thinking about where I am now, I can’t help but cry. Not because I’m sad about anything but because 1) things and people in my life really have changed so much and 2) in a way everything is exactly the same.

So I thank God for my parents, because they really do remind me of God’s love for me. There’s not a day I call them when they don’t tell me how proud they are of me (and I haven’t even done anything!) and that makes me feel good and loved. I have no idea what the next year of my life will look like and that’s one of the scariest things I’ve ever faced but it’s good to know I have people who love me and won’t let me give up.

Onwards and upwards!

The End Is Near

Not of the world (I mean, it could be near, but I hope you wouldn’t rely on the blog of a college student to tell you that), but of my grad school apps. I feel bad for doing a Christmas post the week before Christmas because I knew there was a good chance I’d write another post before Christmas but it wouldn’t be Christmas related. I’m rambling though, back to grad school stuff.

The decision to apply to grad school was a hard one for me. I talked to a lot of people about it including my former roommate, my current roommate, my senior pre-med friend, a Sachs scholarship-winning friend, my parents, high school friends, and of course, God. There was a lot of talking. And everyone told me something slightly different that I’ll quickly share.

My former roommate (whom I’ve gotten to chill with a lot more this semester) talked to me about it around the beginning of the wavering. At the time I told her I was considering a 1-2 year fellowship and then grad school. She was applying to law school at the time. Her advice: apply to both. Don’t take chances with your future, apply to both and see what happens. My current roommate didn’t give me much advice, she just talked it through with me, though I did gain some valuable insight from talking with her. My two friends had decided to take time off so their advice to me was to do what I wanted and not let outside influence affect my decision in the wrong way. My parents really wanted me to apply to grad school. They gave me a litany of reasons why I would get in and why it would be the right decision for me. My friends from high school had all types of answers. Some had no idea what they’d be doing next year while others were already in med school or had jobs lined up. Needless to say, no one gave me the answer I was really looking for. In fact, this doesn’t even get to be one of those stories  where after praying continually, I heard God’s voice from on high and he told me exactly what to do, what job to apply for or what school to apply to. It just wasn’t that easy.

But the one thing I got from talking to my current roommate, the thing that really pushes me each day to finish applications, is a brief exchange we had. She was doing the thing where she tells me that my major is impractical (which I don’t disagree with) and Latin and Greek are dumb and useless. (This sounds really harsh when I type it but it’s all in jest. I don’t take her seriously anyway ;).) She said, in her sassy tone, why do you want to study Classics anyway? To which I replied, because I honestly couldn’t see myself doing anything else. At that point, I realized I couldn’t heed the advice of my former roommate. I had to go all in. And not because I think I’m definitely going to get in to a school. I don’t think God has promised me that, at least not yet. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I got rejected straight across the board. I imagine people think I’m being humble or overly cautious when I say that God willing I’ll be in grad school next year, but I’m really not. There is almost no reason I should get in: I don’t deserve it, I wasn’t a stellar undergrad, I didn’t get a full school on the GRE…the list goes on. No matter how much I want it, it can only happen if God wills it. And it would be one of those awesome things where I’d have to praise God for it. 

So I sit here, ready to submit my final grad school app. It’s $95 for NYU. It’s ridiculously expensive. I’m too nervous to hit send right now – and I’m also wondering if I should wait until I get paid 2 weeks from now – so I’m just sitting and waiting. I think I’m nervous because once I hit that button, it’ll really be out of my hands. But now that I think about it, it’s been out of my hands this whole time anyway. God just let me think I had something to do with it. Sometimes it’s freeing to know that your life isn’t all about you. But maybe that’s a post for another day.