Keeping yourself in check

This week I received a notification from one of the grad schools I’d applied to this fall. I got in!

I am beyond grateful for this, especially because the admission offer came in with a partial scholarship – something that’s much harder to get when applying to Master’s programs as opposed to undergrad or PhD programs.

But here’s the thought that came to my mind: What if I didn’t get in?

Would that change anything about how I feel about my qualifications, preparation, or overall candidacy for my chosen field of study?

I’m happy to say that no, that wouldn’t change a thing for me. But that wasn’t always the case. If something like this had happened a few years ago (i.e., not getting into grad school), my ego would’ve been shaken. I would think that I’m not good enough, because some committee didn’t offer me admission into their program. I would tell myself that I need to try harder when, in reality, the rejection could’ve happened because of reasons outside of my control.

Unintentionally, we often give power to people in a position of authority to determine our self-worth.

HR staff, recruiters, admissions committees, influencers – the list goes on.

And if we’re not careful about our emotions, achieving something like getting into grad school can feel like a validation of our self-worth. Conversely, not achieving it can feel devastating.

Don’t let any of those things happen to you. I’m talking to myself here, but you can probably relate.

As far as my grad school plans, I’ll check in later about that.

UPDATE on March 28, 2021: I got accepted to all five schools I’d applied to and received some level of funding from all of them. So this message of keeping yourself in check couldn’t be any more relevant to me.