Last Monday I took my GRE. I was nervous about it. Not about the test - I figure you are as ready as you can be by the time it comes around. No. I was comfortable with how much I prepared.
Rather I was nervous about what it meant.
Having taken this test, I was officially committed to an idea - the idea of attending graduate school and everything that means. In my case, it means moving across the country.
There are no programs in California that interest me. None. When I began looking at things it became clear I was going to have to move far. The schools to which I am applying are all well past the Rockies and each in very different segments of the country. Each of them is scary for one reason or another.
One is Lesotho in the middle of South Africa...or an island in shark infested waters...whichever metaphor you prefer. Either way, it makes me nervous.
Another is in Flatland, coated in vanilla and sprinkled with a dash of whiteness. I get bored thinking about it.
The third is a dream. It just happens to be in Siberia where the sun never shines and the houses have second story doors opening out to seasonal 9 foot snow drifts.
This is my current feeling, though it may be misplaced, delusional, or just wrong. Whatever the case, these are the pictures I have constructed around each school. They are all good schools, and each one is perfectly positioned to help me achieve my goals. I am confident that I would do well at any of them. Of course I have a first choice and my heart tells me that is where I belong, but there are other prospective students. There are other applications.
And I have to submit mine just like everyone else to be carefully scrutinized.
This brings me to my next steps: personal statements, transcripts, recommendations, and curricula vitae.
Time to research so I can make my application as attractive as possible. Because this is happening. I am moving across the country. It is the right thing for me to do and I won't let anything stop me. I am committed.