Monday, December 14, 2009

Graduate school plans.

Due dates for graduate school applications are upon me. I'm applying to the following places:

Washington, Seattle
Carnegie Mellon
Wisconsin, Madison

Unlike undergraduate admissions, it is now a total wildcard where I get in. That, obviously, creates some anxieties. Sometimes, I feel pretty optimistic about my chances. Other times, I find myself rolling in the depths of despair, hating myself for holes in my credentials that other applicants will surely be able to fill. Most of the time, I'm just playing along, curious to see this pan out. I'd like to go to top-tier schools, but I chose all these places because they each have something that I want. I'll make good use of my time, wherever I go.

And anyway, in the event that none of them want me, I have a backup plan of eventually running a restaurant empire. Despite the extremely high start-up costs and the even higher likelihood of failure, the attractiveness of this option ensures that I don't sweat about the state of my future.

India is the place where worrying excessively about anything is unsustainable, unuseful, and counterproductive. It's where I learned to just let things happen to me, and trust that I'll drift into where I'm supposed to be. As long as I enjoy myself and learn a lot in the process, then I'm in the right place, and it's with this mindset that I approach my plans for grad school. Ironic, that I learned to take it easy in a country that is defined by chaos, paradox, and unpredictability.


Lexie said...

I'm surprised you're apply to Northwestern for grad school .. I didnt think most people went to the same school for undergrad & grad school.

Anyway, you are extremely smart and motivated and focused and any of these schools would be lucky to have you. I know that's a cliche thing to say, but it's true.

Robin said...

I like how you didn't put "Michigan, Ann Arbor". We just are Michigan :P

Anyway, don't worry about it now! Just do your best and see what happens. The nice thing about grad schools is that various "credentials" tend to matter less than you think: what matters is that you can, and look like you will, produce good work. Knowing you and your dedication to what you do, I think you're a great candidate for one of these places.

cecil said...

shasta and i are moving to berkeley in a couple of months. i love it there.

i am going to get my masters in library sciences from berkeley probably

Jacob said...


Where would you want to start a restaurant first? And what sort of place? And all that. Last night, I was like "that's a terrible idea. Faye is going to be shitty at everything." I said something like that. Anyway I don't actually doubt you that much.

Jon said...

I'm late to the party, but don't feel like you have holes in your credentials.

From the perspective of looking for a job, I felt way under-qualified for a lot these positions, including the one I'm in now. (Software? I hadn't written C++ since 8th grade...)

Just remember that for everything in which you do excel, there will always be someone there (working with you) who has absolutely no idea what's going on.

Also, it seems like you've applied to cold places for the most part. :(