Sunday, January 18, 2009

applying to graduate school aka what has been sucking every minute of my time lately

Throughout my BASW program I have considered going to graduate school. We have gone back and forth with the idea, always leaning towards going. As the application deadline got closer, the feeling that I should apply got stronger, so the past couple of months I have been working on my application stuff a little here and there as I had time (which, let's be honest, was not very often). After Christmas, I was really down to the wire (the deadline was January 15th), so I made it my top priority and everything else in my life pretty much fell apart. Seriously. (Our Christmas decorations are still not put away, for example) The program I'm applying to is extremely competitive. I have been told that only between 1-5 people from my current program get accepted. At the orientation meeting, I was told that my application must be flawless (no pressure). Keeping my essay in the perameters they required was the most difficult part (four pages for a two-part essay, 12 pt. font, double spaced. Not an easy thing to do). I also had to have a current resume, reference letters, a GPA worksheet, transcripts (when you've attended seven schools, this is not an easy - or cheap - task), applications to the school and to the program, and then I had to sign a bunch of documents. It was mostly the essay and resume that took so long, as well as the presentation. Anyway, I am so glad it is done. Words cannot express the relief I felt as I handed it in last Monday (Julie and I drove our applications up together. My hands, arms and lips were tingly the whole way up there. I was super nervous.) I find out in March. I'm trying not to think about it until then (other than documenting the experience here).

I finished putting all of the application materials together early Sunday morning at 4:00am (I was trying to finish before Sunday because I didn't want to work on it on the Sabbath). The night before that I had stayed up until 3:00am (and kept W and Josh up that early, too, helping me. Thanks guys.). After church on Sunday I laid down to take a nap at 3:00pm and when I woke up it was 12:30am! I was really surprised. I guess I needed the sleep.

Here is some visual documentation of this painful process.
[Click on the group of pictures to see them bigger]

1. The reject pile. Rough drafts, papers with mistakes, etc. 2. W helping me fix the formatting on one of my documents. (He was such a huge help to me with this whole thing) 3. This is how I felt at 3:00am last Saturday night / Sunday morning. I was so ready to be done. 4. The application packet in progress. 5. A smile. Putting my application packet together. Finally! 6. Getting closer... 7. Sitting back to take a break for a minute. 8. The folder I put everything into. I labeled each pocket and put the materials inside (the application packet, transcripts, reference letters, etc.) 9. Another shot of the application materials. 10. The pretty Peace Lilies W surprised me with on Monday after I turned everything in. I love them. And him.

It might seem silly to document something like this and make such a big deal out of it but to us, it felt like one of those huge things in your of those defining moments. Like my mission. Like getting married. This really feels that big to us. I have worked so hard to get to the point where I could actually be considered for this program. I guess that's why I put so much into it and was so nervous about the whole thing. I am feeling a lot of peace about it now though, for which I am grateful. Even if I don't get in, I am really okay with it because I know I put a lot of effort into it and represented myself the best I could.


I have a list of things I want to blog about. Hoping to get to that soon.


Stephanie said...

Wow, Ashley. I'm totally in awe of your diligence, patience and hard work. I have to admit, I cringe every time I read about writing papers, doing resumes, etc. I am so impressed at how well you handle it all. I am so NOT organized! Anyway, good luck!

*C said...

WOW!! Talk about intense! I hope you get in! Good luck! It's a shame that after all that hard work you have to wait until March to find out.

Krystell said...

Sounds completely fun! ;0) You will have to let us know when you hear back!!

When do you finish your degree? Just curious!? I was wondering if I could visit ya in June-ish!?!? Just wondering? Let me know if it's bad timing? Bad anything k!