Monday, June 25, 2012

The Graduate School Saga

So, most people think I'm crazy because I really really like school.  I always have.  Thats why I want to go on to graduate school.  But one cannot just "go to graduate school" so easily.

For me, going to graduate school started with finding out what I wanted to do with my life; Student Affairs.  I then spent a lot of time looking at what schools I wanted to go to.  From May 2011-October 2011 this list consisted of Michigan State, Central Michigan, University of Louisville and Western Kentucky.

I then took the GRE.  Since I took the "Revised" test, I still am having a hard time figuring out if I did well or not.  I didn't think it was too bad, considering I didn't prep much for it.  I also visited Western Kentucky University and really liked it.

My next step was to look at the application process and decide on who I wanted to use as writers for Letters of Recommendation.  Most schools required at least 1 "Academic Reference."  This posed a problem for me.  Because I had recently changed majors, I didn't have a very close relationship with any of my current professors.  I settled on asking my Academic Advisor.  After all, who knows more about my academic progress than her?  I also selected the Director of Campus life and my former sorority chapter advisor.  They all knew my strengths well enough to speak highly of me.

Now it is October and its starting to get cold in Michigan.  This makes me not want to stay in Michigan but also makes me re-evaluate my grad school choices.  After all, I was choosing based on the schools that I knew in Michigan and in Kentucky.  I didn't really look at many other schools.  So, I went back to the drawing board and looked at bigger schools in the South.  I then realized that a large university is a better fit for my Student Affairs desires.  There were more opportunities for Assistantships and Practicums.  I changed my list to University of Georgia, University of Florida, University of Louisville and Western Kentucky.

This list was so short because many of the programs had application deadlines of December 1st.  I knew there was no way I could get all the materials in for multiple applications by that time.  I panicked and, for a second, considered not going to grad school.  But I kept going.

I actually only ended up applying to UGA and UF.  UGA said no to me, even before the interview round.  I went to two interviews in Gainesville, Florida, one in February and one in June.  After 7 months of waiting for an answer UF looked so promising, but it did not work out in my favor.

I still want to get my Masters in Student Affairs, so I'm going to be making a new list of places to apply to for next fall, or even this upcoming winter, depending on my job prospects.

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