I am having breakdown after breakdown with these graduate school essays. Is it that I really just don’t want to apply? I think not. Is it that I am scared of applying? Likely.
I am scared for various reasons.
I do not want to be rejected. I am good enough for this program. But I might not be a good match for it. So, if the school decides that I am not a good match, and rejects my application, what then? If the school accepts me, and I later find out that I am not a good match, and I end up hating the program, what then? What if I am a good match for the program/school, but I end up just not liking the studies? And am I applying because it just feels like something safe to pursue? So many of my co-agers seem to have resorted to graduate school whenever something else for work has not panned out as hoped. Do I resist applying, because I am worried that it will look like a sort of ‘I messed up and had no back-up plan, so I have to go to graduate school,’ kind of thing?
I like being prestigious. I enjoy being snobby. (Not like crazy, but to a certain degree, I mean.) I love the schools I have already attended, and I love being able to tell people that I attended them. They are special, well-known, highly acclaimed, and amazing quality schools. I feel like this one is nowhere near the same caliber, and holds very little respect in its name. The only way I would be comfortable attending it, would be if I had something amazing afterward, be it a spectacular PhD program or seemingly unreal work success. It is the kind of place where I would want to work, not attend school. Just like my teaching last semester, I want to be able to share about the school as someone who supports it as an outsider. Attending the school would feel in adequate for my own abilities, skills, and knowledge. I want a graduate degree, but I think I don’t want it from here.
However, is this fear coming forth, creating excuses for me? I suppose the best plan of action would be to apply to the program, and then see what happens. If they accept me, great. Now I get to choose to attend or not. If they reject me, great. Now I get to choose what else to do with my talents and my time. (I think I want to do the latter already.)
Okay. So, let’s finish this application, and let’s rock it!
P.S. And I know that I want the degree so that I can further my career in teaching, expanding it to English, as well as creating the possibility of teaching at the college level. However, I think that is precisely what has been holding gem back from seeing what is really there for me. That just makes so much sense. It is difficult to set aside things that make beautiful sense. If I take the step of this graduate program now, then I can begin teaching English quite soon. However, I love teaching high school. And I love doing other things, too. I am substitute teaching today. I love subbing regularly in a school, where I get to know the students just enough, but am not stuck to one subject area alone. Long-term subbing is kind of the best. Yes, it pays way less than regular teaching. But I love it. I want to teach part-time. Period. Even when I consider my life post-Master-degree, I still see myself teaching only part-time. I think what I fear the most is what I will do in order to sustain a part-time teaching lifestyle financially. Or, rather, how to figure out what to do. If I don’t manage that now, I will spend the next two and a half years freaking out about just that – if only in the background of my mind. I think I want to figure that out now. Now. 🙂