• Alia

The Grind Is Grinding Me

There is a lot to think about as I begin one of my last semesters as an undergraduate. I feel blessed  to be so near completion after a very long and hard fought struggle; I also feel scared to think about where to go from here, but I know that I have to have a plan.

I started by focusing on the graduate schools that I wanted to attend based on geographical location and familiarized myself with what they were asking of me. Personal statements, letters of recommendation, transcripts...and then I came to the GRE. UCLA and UCR both require the Psychology subject specific GRE while my parents' alma mater, University of Washington, wanted only the general revised GRE. I was now in a position to have to take two graduate exams and register for them within two weeks to make sure that I sat for the exams in time to have my scores reported by December 1st, which was the first deadline. I basically found that I had about three deadlines wrapped into one: register by a certain date, test by a certain date, get the scores by a certain date, and if all of that fell to pieces then I had to wait another year to even apply.

I had a co-worker ask me, "Why did you wait until the last minute?" I just stared at her intently before responding because it was a question that I had asked myself before going to work. The answer that I had come up with was this: I had not intended, nor did I ever think, that I would be pushing things like this. I always thought that I would be studying to take the MCAT in order to become a psychiatrist and I had not planned on doing so until I had taken all of the prerequisite sciences for admission into medical school. Then, I abandoned the dream of my M.D. because I felt that I had not positioned myself favorably to compete for admission into medical school. I then turned my sights to my Ph.D. and realized that applications should be done one year in advance and that you can only apply once a year. Quel Surprise! That meant that right here, right now, I would have to start my preparations to not only apply to school, but move to that location whether or not I get in so that I can establish residency. It is terrifying for a person that has always lived, very comfortably, at home. It is time, however, to take my baby steps into the world after undergrad. I can't fulfill the rest of my dreams without doing just that.