Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Hunt

Hello again! I suppose if there is something other than student teaching taking up my time and energy these days, it's my hunt for a good graduate school. Before Christmas, I ended up applying to ten schools across seven states. At this point in my semester, I have already received acceptance letters from five of them. I haven't received a rejection letter yet, and that, to be honest, is quite overwhelming.

Of course I see myself as extremely fortunate that I have the ability to choose between so many great schools. So far, I have been accepted to two pretty standard (but still good) state colleges, one private Jesuit college, and and two very elite private colleges -- one in California and one in Maryland. I'm absolutely thrilled to be accepted into all of them. To be totally honest, I have always been somewhat insecure about my academic ability.

To be accepted into such great schools is a bit of an ego-booster. I've talked with several professors about how shocked I am that I've had this many acceptances -- the reason I applied to so many schools, after all, was because I was certain that most would reject me. Realizing that even my "long shot" schools said yes has been an interesting experience, and even though in many ways it validates the hard work I've put into my college career, it's humbling as well.

I really am not a great intellect. I will go ahead and say that right now. I can certainly be lazy at times and like I said in my last post, I procrastinate like it's no one's business. I'm pretty good at making connections and networking -- both online and in person -- but I realize that's not really a skill that takes any kind of work or effort. It's just a personality trait. The fact that I've gotten into so many graduate schools shocks me because, well, I'm just not sure I deserve them.

However, I can't deny that God has opened up some pretty great opportunities for me, and I am going to take them. I don't know how I'm going to decide. There are so many factors to take into consideration, from name recognition to finances to location and distance from friends and family. I will definitely be praying a lot over the next few weeks as more information comes in and I get closer to my decision. I hope you guys will pray as well. God bless!


Pomoprophet said...

California! California! California!

But I thought you had to stay in NC to teach as part of your scholarship?

College Jay said...

I have a seven year window after I graduate in which to do that. I'm only obligated to teach for four years. So I can spend two to three years in grad school and then teach in North Carolina for the last four.

And I can also ask for extra time if I need to, but I don't think I will.

naturgesetz said...

May the Holy Spirit enlighten you to know what choice will best enable you to do your work for God's kingdom.

I think it isn't a question of which grad school is "best," but which one is most likely to give you what you need for your career. So it may be a certain professor who teaches at one, who is tops for what you want to study. Or it may be the department overall at one university, which gives you opportunities to develop in the areas you need — maybe it is their approach to literary criticism, or idk what.

But even more so than for undergrad, the question isn't what is the best school, but which one best supplies your needs. And having doors opened by its name is only one factor.

College Jay said...

Thanks for the advice, Naturgesetz. I appreciate you. You too, Pomoprophet!