I ran across this blog yesterday and liked the aesthetic of it (and the writing, too). Reading through some of the posts today, I found one in particular that I can totally relate to. It’s about applying to graduate school, and the different kinds of crazy the process drives you to, mostly in anticipation of what the committee members will think of every detail that really has nothing to do with your qualifications. I have gone to some pretty ridiculous perfectionistic lengths of late. Here is an example from the last week:
- Finish online portion of application just to get that part out of the way. It involves submitting an essay, or it would have been done weeks ago.
- All of the online information has to be submitted in hard copy as well, and it sounds like the hard copy is what matters more — the online application is just for record-keeping.
- Re-read essay.
- Change my mind with regard to my “statement of research and inquiry.” Like, completely. Which isn’t to say I’m not interested in what I wrote the first time, but I found a better way to say it.
- Re-write essay.
- Drive to work to print essay.
- Collate application, seal envelope.
- Realize I forgot to cite the one source I mention in the essay.
- Re-think the citation of said source — it’s an in-press article. What if it isn’t printed? What if it makes me sound ridiculous?
- Change essay so that a specific article is not cited.
- Re-print one page of essay, walk to car where rest of application is waiting to be taken to post office.
- Realize I don’t have a stapler to attach page two to page one
- Go back to work to use stapler
- Drive to post office
Later in the week I found this whole web forum for people applying to psychology graduate programs. Reading about other peoples’ neuroses made me feel a lot better. I mean, sure — I have a spreadsheet or two that I use to track all of this stuff, and I did ask a friend if he thought I had to wear heels to look professional for an interview, etc., etc., etc. But all in all I’m feeling pretty good, pretty confident that I can be true to myself in this process, and that I know myself well enough to know what that entails. I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but I don’t think I would have felt like this at 22.