Posted by: Nathan | February 16, 2009

Another Round of Grad School Waiting

After another arduous and annoying season of grad school application preparation and paying ridiculous sums for things that I’ve already paid for and should be mine (GRE scores & transcripts), I now begin another season of waiting to hear back from the schools to which I applied. I’ve done this before, but this time is definitely different. The main difference is that this time I don’t have a preference about which school chooses me (and vice versa). I applied to programs and places that I thought would be good for J and me; I don’t feel that having a preference makes a difference. It’s out of my hands.

It’s strange not having a top choice. People always ask me which school I want to attend most, and they look at me strangely when I say I don’t know. These are also the people who ask me where I want to be a professor—ha! How could I possibly imagine or presume which school(s) may want to hire me after a duration of at least five years? They never see the absurdity of the question, of course.

I do not feel anxious this time; I feel, well, resigned. I know applying to PhD programs was the right step to take, and I don’t know much else. In hindsight, I would like to have conducted my last grad school search differently, and maybe I’ve learned from those mistakes. I hope I have.

Waiting is a discipline, and it’s not one I’m good at. It requires me to monitor my thinking. Every day I try not to second guess myself or construct scenarios that will never come about. It’s easy to say that God will take care of everything just as he always has; it’s difficult to believe it. The days will pass, and the answers will come.

Now, I wait.


  1. Thanks for the honest post, Nathan. We’ll certainly be praying for you and J throughout this process.

  2. Ditto! If they don’t want you, you don’t want them. Love and support beaming to you from IA. 🙂

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