Category Archives: Grad School Saga

Pressing On

I’m so blessed to have one of the coolest brothers in the world who answers the questions I’ve been asking myself and God over the past few days (totes God speaking through him)! There are always reasons to hold on and he’s helped me see that. Hopefully the next few weeks will be times of excitement and rejoicing but even if they aren’t I’ll keep pressing on. But I’m really excited for the future!

 

“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14

I’m gonna do that.

 

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Option 2: Work for a Year

The second possibility for my year off is to spend a year working. Here are the pros and cons:

Pros: Make money for grad school, gain useful experience, do something interesting

Cons: Hate the job

For me, that con is much bigger than any of the pros. Having experienced a pretty bad job, I don’t want to get into a situation like that again, especially not for an entire year.

I think those are my only options (work and travel). I could expound on the work opportunities a little more but who would really want to read that? I wouldn’t even want to write that!

Pax Christi,

DJP

Option 1: Travel the World

One of the options I’m considering for a gap year is a year of travel. The idea of traveling the world is super exciting so I’m looking into different ways of doing it.

Option 1: Just travel the world

Pros: This is a pretty sweet option. I could go anywhere, do anything, meet randos, have a good time, and have good stories to tell my future children.

Cons: It would cost some moolah, I could meet scary randos, I might have a horrible time (though that’s kind of unlikely)

Option 2: Missions trip

Pros: I’m not much of a missions trip type of person (whatever that means) so it would certainly take me out of my comfort zone

Cons: I’m not much of a missions trip type of person (whatever that means) so it would certainly take me out of my comfort zone

Yeah, it’s the same pro and con.

Now, to expand on the pros and cons of these options. 

Traveling the world, in any capacity, is almost always a pro. The experiences I’d have, the things I’d learn, the people I’d meet, are honestly enough to get me to go this route. Factor in a talk I heard from Lorri a few months back about going on a missions trip and you get the perfect reason to spend my gap year abroad. Of course, there are general cons too.

Going abroad for a year means a year away from my family, friends, and basically everything I care deeply about. For me, that’s the scariest con there can be. My mind immediately goes to the possibility of losing touch, not so much with my family, but with my friends. I think of how hard it is to go a day without talking to my best friend and then I imagine doing that for a year. That’s brutal.

Of course, that’s not a good thing. One of my biggest sins/shortcomings/struggles is that I idolize relationships. So even though I can objectively see the benefit of separating myself from that idol in some way, I can’t help but think about how painful that separation would be. The fact that this verse keeps popping into my mind isn’t helpful either because I feel like God is just reminding me of how wrong my ‘cons’ are:

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

And this one:

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

Strugs.

 

Pax Christi,

DJP

The Future

I’ve spent countless hours thinking about my future. I wonder what I’ll do, who I’ll marry, what my friends will be like, what my family will be like, what I’ll be like. Recently, I’ve been thinking about my plans and my options and my desires.

For the past few days, I’ve been thinking long and hard about what my plans are for next year. Do I want to go to grad school now or do I want to take a year off and do something else? I’m slowly becoming more attracted to the latter option, for various reasons, so I’m looking into one-year fellowship opportunities. I’m also just thinking about how I would want to spend a year of my life before diving back into academics.

Talking to a friend the other day on the way to a football game, I remembered how important a year can be. Though I never would have even considered taking a gap year before undergrad, I look back now and think of how useful it might have been. So when I look ahead now, I think about how one year would benefit me. I don’t want to spend the next 5-7 years doing school the way I’ve done it for the past 15 years: cruising by, slightly unmotivated, relying on some innate talent. I don’t want to waste the next few years of my life.

Still, when I think about what a gap year could be for me, I can’t help but think of some of my apprehensions as well. I have so many apprehensions. So I’m researching, praying, applying, praying, and then praying some more. Instead of including all my thoughts in this one post, I’ll make the next few about this topic, since it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

Let the fun begin!

 

Pax Christi,

DJP

Statement of Purpose: The End

Possible endings for my statement of purpose:

  • And that’s why you never take advice from a baby before nap time.
  • I can’t believe you’ve read this far.
  • So do you think that was enough for me to get into your grad school?
  • If this paper wasn’t enough to convince you of my astounding talent, allow me to offer you all the money in my bank account, i.e., $843.45.
  • I’m sorry, I’m usually not this emotional.
  • Want to keep reading? Check me out at landofthebrave.wordpress.com!
  • “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.” Now that’s how you end a book!
  • In conclusion…
  • The end.

Okay, now I should actually start writing my real statement of purpose. I don’t know how it’ll stack up to these though!

Pax Christi,

DJP

Statement of Purpose: The Middle

Onward and upward!

  • So as I climbed up the ladder into my kitchen window, I thought, How can I incorporate this into an essay 13 years from now? Needless to say, I figured it out.
  • Almost falling asleep in that Anthro class turned out to be the best thing that had happened to me that week.
  • I’ve never understood the saying “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”. Why would anyone skin a cat?
  • Nectarines are probably called that because they taste like the nectar of the gods. Speaking of the gods, this is a grad school essay.
  • We used to summer in the Hamptons but that wasn’t classy enough. Being a professor is classier.
  • For me, school is like a drug addiction. I couldn’t just stop after 16 years. I had to come back for more.
  • Honestly, I want to be able to move out of my parents’ house one day. This seems like the only fun way to do it.
  • Fortunately, I’ve never had another bad experience tutoring kids. The worst they do now is punch me.
  • I put this sentence in to see if you’re still reading this.
  • John 16:33. Boom! I’m not afraid of you admissions officers!
  • I’m going to copy/paste this sentence for the whole 2 pages. I’m going to copy/paste this sentence for the whole 2 pages.

This paper just keeps getting better.

 

Pax Christi,

DJP

Final installment coming soon!

Statement of Purpose: The Beginning

“Describes past and present work as it relates to your intended field of study, educational objectives, career plans, and reasons for choosing your field. The statement should be concisely written and not exceed one to two double-spaced pages.”

Two double-spaced pages?!?!!? That’s ridiculous!

Possible beginnings to this essay/personal statement:

  • I’m awesome. ‘Nuff said.
  • I just, like, really, really, really, wanna make the world a better place!
  • I’m deciding to spend the next 6+ years of my life studying and talking about stuff that happened 2000 years ago. Isn’t that enough?
  • I woke up one morning and then boom! I wanted to go to grad school.
  • God made me do it. Seriously.
  • I want to learn ALL THE THINGS!
  • My career plans are to one day be ruler of the free world and reform the American political system. I’m thinking grad school might somehow help with that.
  • Past and present work? Yeah, my Dad’s a king so I don’t really worry about that.
  • I’m going to copy/paste this sentence for the whole 2 pages. I’m going to copy/paste this sentence for the whole 2 pages.

Right now I’m leaning towards option 6. 🙂

 

Pax Christi,

DJP

Next up: The middle!