How I Got Into Grad School

So first, I want to start by apologizing for missing not one but two posts this week! I was traveling and spending time with my boyfriend, so I was distracted, but that is no excuse! I promise I will do better!

A few posts back, I talked about how I’ve been feeling since graduating and what the journey of the job search experience is really like, but in that post, I also mentioned that I went to grad school and I wanted to talk about that whole process in a separate post, so here it is.

I want to start with how I even came to the realization that grad school was for me and I want you to know that all the way up until a few months before graduation for undergrad I had ZERO intentions of getting my Masters. There are people that know going into their freshman year that they are going to get their Master’s, yeah that wasn’t me.

Truthfully, I love school, but I never saw myself getting more than one degree until I met the woman who would convince me otherwise.

So let me set the scene… It is March and I am sitting in my capstone class (which is like a final class that everyone in every major has to take in order to complete their degree) waiting for the speaker to enter the room. She walks in with a current MA student and they introduce themselves. Now, I am sitting in my chair, 100% open minded and willing to listen to their spiel.

As they start talking, I start realizing my potential. I start envisioning my future in the program and I begin checking all the boxes when they start describing “the ideal student.” Mind you, they came to talk to my class about 1 month before the applications were due. After the speech, I talked to both the MA Coordinator and the MA student that were there and set up times to meet with both of them to pick their brains. I met with the MA student first and asked him about the program and what he thought and all the juicy deets. Then, I went to the MA Coordinator with financial and deadline questions to see if I was even able to do it.

After speaking with her, I learned that finances wouldn’t be an issue AND I have about a week and a half to get my application in. YIKES. So I kicked my butt in to high gear once I learned this and started working on my application.

The Application:

So, the application had a few parts: a certain score on the GRE, 3 recommendation letters, official transcripts, resume, and personal statement. I took the GRE and got a few points below the score I needed, but I didn’t have time to retake the test, so I had to just go with it. I got all the other paperwork that I needed and turned that baby in!

For those of you who don’t know what the GRE is, it stands for Graduate Record Examination and it is a standardized test that includes analytical writing, quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning. Most people study for months for this test, but I studied a total of maybe 1 hour…

This part of the process was extremely stressful because of the time that I had to do everything, but this felt like the first test of many. If I could complete all of the necessary steps to get my application in, I think I could handle grad school.

Finding Out:

So here comes the fun part. After waiting a few weeks, I finally got a call. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. I was at the mall shopping for a dress because that weekend my sister and her future mother-in-law were going to be in town because she was wedding dress shopping and we were going to dinner that night.

I saw that I had a missed called from a Morgantown number and I had a voicemail. I still have the voicemail on my phone because it always takes me back to that place and gives me that special feeling.

The MA Coordinator said that she called “with exciting news” and I called her back immediately. SHE OFFERED ME A POSITION IN THE PROGRAM. This was one of those moments where my life was going to change forever. I started crying right then and there in the mall next to some bizarre tornado wind simulator (which I have NO idea why anyone would want to experience that), but I digress.

I scheduled a meeting with her to come to her office that following Monday and sign my contract! I truly couldn’t believe that I was going to get my Master’s and not only that, but I would complete it in 10 months AND the program was fully paid for AND I got a monthly stipend.

What Am I Going To Do With It?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten this question. “So, what are you going to do with that..?” I always feel like I have to explain my entire situation just so people accept my answer. When I get asked this, I tell people that I don’t know, BUT the program was paid for and it was only 10 months and now I’m more educated, and blah blah blah. I wish I didn’t have to explain myself all of the time when it comes to my degree, but truthfully I have NO idea what I will do with it.

If I do nothing in the field of Communication Studies or anything that is remotely similar, I won’t lose sleep over it. I know that this might bother people and confuse them, but I didn’t go to school simply to get a degree and then slave away at a job. I went to college for the experience. I learned far more outside of the classroom than I did in the classroom.

So anyway, here I am not using either of my degrees the way they were intended and that is COMPLETELY fine. Don’t feel pressured to do something in the field of your degree because you might think that otherwise college was a waste.

I’m going to end this here, but I do plan to do a post in the future about things I learned from grad school that (you guessed it) weren’t learned in the classroom, and I want to do a post about imposter syndrome, because it is something that I’ve experienced not only in grad school but several other times throughout my life and I’m sure others have too.

OH and before I forget, I have decided that I am going to cut back on my 2 posts a week and only do 1. I know that having 2 posts isn’t a lot but I feel like I can put way more effort into 1 post rather than put out half-assed posts throughout the week. I hope you understand and you will stick around. After this week, I will only be posting on Sundays!

4 Comments

  1. February 21, 2019 / 1:44 pm

    It’s so totally okay to not know what you’re going to do with your degree, but I know there can be so much pressure around it! You’ll find your path and your education will somehow play a hand in it, even if there isn’t a direct correlation 🙂 Congrats on working towards your degree!

    • Kendall
      Author
      February 21, 2019 / 6:21 pm

      Thank you so much!! I appreciate you saying that because I feel like there is always so much pressure to use your degree in some way, which makes sense because you go to school for that specific degree, but life doesn’t always work out that way.

  2. February 21, 2019 / 1:50 pm

    Haha that’s so relatable about saving the voicemail! I have a tendency to save sentimental voicemails too.

    As someone who tends to feel resentful about going to college, this was helpful for me to read! I did learn a lot from the college experience that I probably wouldn’t have learned otherwise.

    Also, congratulations on your Masters! I’m sure it was NOT easy. It’s also amazing that finances were no issue for you!

    • Kendall
      Author
      February 21, 2019 / 6:22 pm

      Thank you so much for reading!!! Yeah when I got a new phone I was so concerned about my voicemail not transferring haha but it did!!

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