Stories

MEET ME AT THE END OF THE APP

Hediya, 23, thought applying to grad schools would be all about convincing her top choices she was the right candidate. Never did she think the process would end up teaching her something about herself.

I always have a plan A, B, and C. It’s the perfectionist in me. But none of my plans worked post-graduation.

I hated my job to say the least. I wasn’t happy with what I was doing day-to-day and the work was overwhelming. It felt like being a cog in a machine.

It wasn’t long until I decided I wanted to pursue grad school. Yet, I never expected the process of applying to be emotionally draining. I was constantly dealing with rejection and looking for motivation to start the whole process over.

It was time-consuming but also soul searching. Some of my application essays were asking a lot from me. “How have the influences in your life shaped you? How will you pursue your life’s calling?” These were such tough questions since I was still figuring out what I really wanted to do.

I spent an entire summer reflecting, reading my childhood journals, and talking to friends and family to finally put pen to paper. But, crafting my overall story informed me how to then tackle all my general applications. It gave me the confidence to believe in what I was pursuing. I had finally discovered what the world is asking from me rather than what I think I wanted from it.

Surprisingly, the application process helped me not become attached to a particular school or career, but trust the universe will decide what is best for me and my path. The essay that was the easiest to write was the one that worked out. I left no thought in trying to craft a masterpiece and wrote from my heart. I put my most authentic self to paper and came to find the answer of who I was and what I wanted in life.

I felt liberated from caring what my parents wanted or what I thought I needed to do. What mattered most was finding the story of who I was NOW, rather than the future I was forcing happen. Having the time and space to reflect helped me embrace the plan I never imagined exist.

I’ll be starting grad school part-time in the spring and continuing to work full-time. I’m really excited to kick start this next chapter but I’m mostly relieved and grateful to discover the voice I had held within.

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