Applying to grad school took so much energy! The process was quite different when I applied to grad school at Monterrey Tech in 2002. I remember filling in the application and writing -on the spot- a statement of purpose. I don’t remember if I had to submit letters of reference or just the contact info and I had to write an admissions exam. I remember the application process to be very simple, plus I saw the whole thing as being “part of my benefits” as a staff member.
This time is different. My decision of pursuing a graduate degree is important in many levels: it means moving to another city, quitting my job and reshaping my identity as a student. Most importantly, it means that I know that I don’t know enough and that I WANT to be accepted into this program, so there is more at stake.
There were a couple of situations that I found interesting. It was a little bit of a challenge to remind my referees of the letter of recommendation, I’m not used to be pushy but when the deadline was approaching, well I had no other option. Now I know I should have asked for the letters with much more anticipation. I found that my referees were away, extremely busy or forgetful.
The statement of purpose took a lot of time and mental energy. I wanted it to be perfect, in a way that it reflected who I am and why I want to go back to school; it took several weeks and various drafts to complete. The statement started as a normative statement -based on what I had written in the summer- , then became a cheesy one, in a later version I described every experience I had as an undergrad and after too much frustration one Saturday afternoon I just wrote something that felt true and connected. I might post it at some point…
Now I’m waiting, I check my online application status almost every day -well not during the holidays. I feel excited and scared. I can’t wait!