The ‘waiting game’ pressure

Patience is a virtue which I lack. I’ve never been good at waiting and I’m certainly not one of those people who copes well with the feeling of being in limbo waiting it out.

Right now I’m waiting for grad school admissions decisions. It’s been a year since I decided that I wanted to apply for my Master’s degree so it’s been quite a long wait just to apply. But now that applications are in and under review I feel as though time has slowed to a crawl. I have a countdown on my phone that tells me the number of days left until I might know my admissions status based on the dates that decisions were released last year. If I’m totally honest with myself, this countdown is it’s own form of self-torture.

I’m one of those people who needs to plan for things as far in advance as possible. I need a plan A, B, C, and D. Unfortunately, with the grad school programs that I applied to being so competitive in nature, my plan A, B and C all seem equally fragile and uncertain. I applied to three schools so far and I’ve ranked them in my mind based on which one is my dream school as well as the pros and cons of each school. However, I am acutely aware that ranking the schools in my mind before knowing if I’ve even been accepted to any of them is a bit redundant. I just can’t help myself; my urge to plan for the future kicks in and I find myself spending hours online researching the programs and where I might live if I have to move and wondering if I can afford to get my own place or if I will have to live with another roommate.

Up until this week I also had what I considered to be a fairly strong plan D in case plan A, B, and C did not turn out the way that I wanted. However, after speaking with one of my higher-ups at work I realized that my backup plan might not be such a good plan after all. My backup plan was another program at a school which sounded quite good online; however, after consulting my boss’s boss (a man who’s opinion I highly respect) I learned that the school is not highly regarded within the field that I am pursuing and would therefore be a waste of my time and money.

During this conversation, the boss also told me that he believed that my application would be in the top 5% based on my grades and experiences; however, I’ve heard so many people talk about the programs as being competitive that I have a hard time believing that about my application. I don’t think I’ll be able to have any real confidence in my application until (and if) I receive an invitation for admission into one or more of the programs that I applied to.

The next four to six weeks are going to be rough. My anxiety is higher than it has been in quite some time and I find myself experiencing a lot of self-doubt in the face of so much uncertainty. I am a person who needs to feel in control, so being in a situation in which I have very little control is extremely difficult for me to tolerate mentally and emotionally. The stress of the waiting game is really getting to me and I’m not really sure how to get through the next few weeks without becoming even more anxious and stressed out than I already am.

Mid-March can’t come soon enough for those of us who are going through the grad school waiting game.



2 thoughts on “The ‘waiting game’ pressure

  1. DaisyWillows says:

    Hey Alya. I feel you. I hate the un known and un certainty. What can I say? to help you feel less anxious.. I bet you have heard of ‘be in’ the moment. Focus on today and not what might be. Easier said than done. What a you doing a masters in? I wish I had the money to do mine. One of my favourite sayings is ‘the only thing that is constant is change’ – Everything will work out in the end, I’m sure you will make it so -wherever you end up -you will work hard and that work will pay off. 🙂

    • Discoverecovery says:

      Thanks 🙂 I want to do a masters in social work to become a therapist eventually! It’s just super competitive which is stressful because the admissions decision will make or break my ability pursue my dream starting this year. Gahhh!

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