I make fun of myself a lot. I also make fun of the world in general a lot, but I’m going to get real here for a second.
Since I’m all about self-promotion, I’m going to share my good news with all of you! I found out this week that I got into the graduate program of my choice. I’m really excited! I have to say, it was not an easy road.
What no one tells you about your senior year in college is that you’re suddenly gripped by this acute sense of panic. One day, you’re just calmly laying in bed when suddenly you get this painfully twisting feeling in the pit of your stomach while simultaneously thinking, “What am I going to do with my life?!”
It’s not fun.
However, I managed to get over that. I think that not being in a lab 14 hours a week and spending 20 plus hours on the work associated with my courses probably gave me some quality time to reflect. Once I was able to calm myself down, I realized that I really wanted to go to grad school, but then I felt that I wasn’t good enough – lovely thoughts, I’m telling you. Around this time, I talked to someone who was able to persuade me to go ahead and apply. She made me see that someone rejecting me from their program wasn’t going to be the end of the world (I still wasn’t fully buying into this idea). So I did what I had to do: I got letters of recommendation, wrote essays, sent in transcripts and took standardized tests.
Somehow, all of this paid off and I got into this really great program for next Fall. Being scared is natural, but it can also hold you back from doing things that you really want to do. Worse than that, you miss out on really great opportunities. Admitting that you want something is really hard because it means that you care. If for some reason your plans don’t pan out, it can be painful. After the experience that I’ve had over the last couple of months, I think that it’s more important to at least try than to be scared of failure (I know, so much easier said than done, but trust me on this one).
If the world went ahead and (this is really cheesy, but I’m going to say it anyway) followed it’s dreams, here is what I think would happen:
1. Regret would not be a part of our lives. It’s a lot better to try and fail than to never know at all. Doubt is a surprisingly disturbing emotion.
2. I’m not saying everyone’s dreams would magically come true, but there would be a good portion of the world who would accomplish a dream.
3. There would be this sense of empowerment. Actually admitting that you care and want X gives you a certain amount of control over your life. Once your end goal is determined, you can go ahead and start taking the steps towards accomplishing that goal.
4. Life would be a lot more awesome. Even if we all went ahead and failed, we would get some really great stories about the experiences that we got out of trying to accomplish something. That would come in handy when there’s an awkward pause in the conversation at a party.
5. You might achieve a dream and that would be really great. I wouldn’t just be great for you, but also for your family and friends too because seeing someone you care about happy makes you happy for them.
I feel really awkward getting all motivational here, but I’m just really happy that I tried and got into this program. Last summer, I was so scared and unable to do anything. I was literally paralyzed. This is a step in the direction to accomplishing my dreams. I really encourage all of you to ahead and try. If you’re not convinced about pursuing X at least talk to someone that will talk you into it. Trust me, it’s really easy to get wrapped up in your head and talk yourself down. Most of the time you’re actually in a better spot than you think you are.
Image via LuisGalarza