It was one year ago last week that I drove up to our house after school and saw, leaning against our front door, a fed-ex envelope. The envelope was from the University of Kansas, and inside was an acceptance letter from the graduate school.
This year is, of course, presenting its own challenges. Juggling parenting a toddler and newborn with getting my PhD is difficult, of course. Add to that my desire to get back into shape, keep my house relatively clean, and on occasion cook a meal and you've got a busy, sometimes hectic and stressful schedule.
But I would take my life right now over what I was going through a year ago a hundred times over. The anxiety, the daily, stomach-churning, ego-ripping anxiety of waiting to hear back from grad programs was one of the most intensely stressful periods of my life (probably second only to the process of applying to grad school). When I got my first acceptance last year, I felt enormous relief, in part because that meant that no matter what, I'd be going on to get my PhD somewhere, and that meant I would never, ever have to go through the process of applying again.
No more standardized tests! No more filling out online applications with redundant information! No more anxious emails to graduate secretaries trying desperately to clarify the requirements for applying! No! More!
Of course, in a few years when I complete my PhD, I will have the stressful experience of having to find a job. But let's not speak of that!
I plan on writing more about the whole process I went through last year a bit more in the coming weeks. Suffice it to say that I'm very, very happy with where I ended up, and ultimately with how the entire process of applying, visiting, and selecting a school went.