27 January 2010

References are IN

Well, my applications are COMPLETE. 100%. No turning back, no editing, no nothing. My T.A. and professor have uploaded their references, so my applications have been officially submitted. Now I have to try and be patient for the next eight weeks or so. Muchhhh easier said than done!

19 January 2010

DONE...well, maybe

The apps are done! It's a good feeling...and a not so good feeling, all at the same time. I feel relieved that they are done, but now I feel very nervous about getting in, what my references will say about me, etc. So I guess there are mixed feelings. I'm going to stress myself out so much in the next 8 weeks I think.

I'm also still working on deciding if I should apply anywhere else. The good thing about London grad schools is most don't charge an application fee. Crazy, I know! So, there really isn't a harm in applying to more places...except for the fact that my references will have to go through more for me. They don't just upload letters, I guess...they have to fill out some kind of survey rating things like how well they know me, my ability to succeed in school, etc. So, it ultimately IS more work for them if I apply to more places. However, I did mention to them that I may be applying to more schools, so as long as I email them and inform them I don't think they would mind.

Well, I work until 3:30 today, then have to go get fitted for my bridemaid's dress. After that, I think I will come home and research a few more schools. I guess it couldn't hurt, right?

18 January 2010

Almost there...

No, not London...unfortunately. But!, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with regards to my applications. I have my references in order: my PLS 422W professor and my graduate T.A. (Ph.D. student) from PLS 100, 200, and 201. I'm happy with these references. My 422 prof will, no doubt, provide an excellent reference. 422 was my highest level class (in political science and overall), as well as a writing class. I got a 4.0, and it was a small class - a bonus at such a huge school. So, it should be fairly personal. I think my reference from my T.A. will be fine...he's a fourth year Ph.D. student that I had in three separate classes. I'm sure it would be "better" to have another professor, but my classes were all so big that it was your T.A.'s that you really got close to and who saw your work ethic and product.

My mom just called me to let me know she found my passport at home. Score. That was actually a worry of mine for a while. I forgot that I needed it for one application, and I hadn't seen it since I got home from Europe in August. Also throw in the fact that I moved across the state shortly after returning...needless to say, it wasn't the most organized move and I still don't know where half of my things are. So, it was a relief to hear she found it.

So...references: check. Passport number: check. FAFSA started: check.

I'm going to go now and double check all of my applications, and get them submitted either tonight or tomorrow! This sounds kind of lame, but it is almost a little scary...once I've submitted them, it is just a wait to see if I get in or not. Eek. What if I don't? I suppose that would force me to wait at least a year and save money and then I could reapply...which wouldn't be disastrous. But, I would much rather just get in NOW. =]

05 January 2010

To Defer, or Not to Defer....

Well, I heard back from my top two schools regarding their deferral options (should the gods decide to perform miracles and I get in). Both schools allow you to defer your admission for one year. SO, if something doesn't work out with the numbers, or I plain just decide to wait the extra year, I'll be able to hold a spot. That's good - if anything happened, I cringe at the thought of having to go through the process of getting referrals and what not again.

I want to go this year. The question is: (well, a: will I get in?) will I be able to? Time will tell. I think they are pretty quick about decision processes over there - I've read the average wait time is 6-8 weeks or so.

03 January 2010

A Weekend Spent in Thought

I had a lot of time to think this weekend. I obviously didn't work Friday, so I had a nice long weekend in the house to myself for the most part. Kellen went to Chicago for the weekend. My dad came over yesterday morning from Port Huron to help with a few things. He put up my new tv that I got for Christmas, the table that it goes on, our snow blower, and took care of a few other things for us. Then we went to dinner and came back to put on a fire and watch the Red Wings win! It was a nice night.

So anyways, other than that, it was just myself and the dogs this weekend (all 3!). I've been thinking a lot about everything. It still feels very right to me to be doing this. I guess the only thing I am questioniong is the timing. I really want to go next fall - but can I?? I made my budget and figured out how much I can save by September...about half of what I will need in my account for immigration (7400 pounds, which is a little over $12,000, for 9 months). My parents are going to help me, and hopefully financial aid will be able to cover some of my costs. But, it's still stressful to think about. I would have no problem having all of this together if I waited...but I just don't want to. Am I being selfish? childish? silly? I don't know...

I heard back from one of my references, and he said he would be happy to write a letter for me. Great! Just waiting to hear from the other...

01 January 2010

The Beginning...

"Go confidently into the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've always imagined."
-Henry David Thoreau

My mom gave me a gift with this quote on it a few years ago, when I was back in high school. I frequently find myself returning to it, but I don't think it has ever rung so true to me than right now.

I have finally made my decision to officially apply for graduate school. I've been torn on what to do for so long now...but I have decided that for right now, I am going to work on my Master's degree. And I'm going to do it overseas. In London, also known as: my favorite city in the world.

Holy moly though, this has been a whirlwind of a week. The thought has been running through my mind for a while now -- ever since I got back from my study abroad trip a few months back. I fell in love with that city, and all I could think about was returning. Originally, I figured I wouldn't be making any moves until fall of 2011, but the more I got thinking about it, I decided I should just shoot for next fall. Why wait? Why stay here in Michigan at this job that isn't very much fun, while knowing what I want to do and just waiting for the clock to tick down? Yes, it would be nice to make some more money, but you know...that is what FAFSA is for. I'm lucky enough to not have any debt right now. My parents paid for my undergraduate studies...I think I can afford to go into a little bit of debt for a post-grad degree.

Right now, my biggest enemy is the clock. The two schools I would want to go to don't necessarily have deadlines for applications, but I need to get the FAFSA figured out, get a spot secured, figure out housing, make a decent amount of money, etc.

My second biggest stress is the whole business of getting in to a school in the first place!! Technically, the only "requirement" is to have an "upper second class degree", which means a degree with a GPA higher than 3.6. I had a 3.94. But, I only went to state school. I'm working on writing a kick ass personal statement, so hopefully that can put me over the edge. That is my next project, and what part of today and most of tomorrow will be dedicated to.

Gosh, I love London. I keep looking at my pictures from the trip and other pictures and blogs online, and I just get giddy. The thought that I could possibly be living there in 9 months is just amazing and scary and overwhelming and...did I say amazing? I don't want to get my hopes up. It is hard though.

Well, here is to hoping for success in this for me so this blog can continue to exist for the next 2.5 years!