Rachel’s Survival Guide: What Applying To Grad School Has Taught Me

As I spent my last month and winter break in undergrad I learned many vital lessons about myself and life through the tedious application process of applying for graduate school. From multiple revisions of essays, personal statements, resumes, and studying for admittance tests I began to get overwhelmed, but then I took the time to break everything I ever felt about college down and took a deep look inside myself. Here’s what I learned:

The Myth Debunked

When the stresses of college and pretty much any part of “adulting” begin to take a toll on our life, we start to question if it’s all worth it. The common theory of college being a scam is something that turns a lot of people away from college all together, because drowning yourself in debt for the possibility of “making it” has to be a government based scam right? Well, I’m not here to answer that question, but what I do know that is even though college doesn’t guarantee success it definitely made me the person I am today. Throughout college I have matured into a woman, I’ve made mistakes and learned from them, and I’ve began to blossom into the person I know I was meant to be and even if I had never learned one thing academically, I learned about me. So, scam or not college was needed for me. It was my get away, my escape into the real world and out of my childhood imagination.

Passion, Purpose, Success, Failure

Going through college professors are ultimately trying to prepare you to work for Fortune 500 companies, to become entrepreneurs and CEO. They expect you to have an end goal in mind, a plan, and doing all that you can to get to success. If you’re like me a person who was blindly making her way through, just trying to do everything right and hoping for the best you probably got discouraged. I didn’t have a five-year plan, I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, I had no idea what I was working towards (or so I thought). The whole time I was “blindly” making my way through college I knew all along what I wanted to I was just afraid of one being honest with myself and two sharing that dream with others. Applying for graduate school has taught me that it’s okay to not be chasing the big bucks, and your passion is always with you even if you feel like you don’t know what you’re calling is. The very thing that you want to keep hidden or feel afraid about pursuing is what you should chase after. It’s okay if others don’t understand it, it’s even okay if you don’t have it all figured out. We aren’t psychics. We don’t have to have our life planned out to the T and most importantly if the opportunities are endless, are goals should be just as extreme.

Plan B …so forth and so on

There’s nothing wrong with knowing what you want and wanting to be secure in that one thing until retirement, but if you want to explore your options do just that. We were given a designated time on this earth and we should fulfill every moment. So, if you want to own your own business, start a non-profit, become a singer, write books, direct a play do it. Take that chance and take a risk, use your interests as a side hustle. Invest not only in your pockets, but in yourself. Do things that make you feel alive and happy. Live you life to the fullest and never let another person’s definition of success define yours, because as Audre Lorde once said, “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive”



Rachel Williams48 Posts

Rachel is a 21 year old Management Major at Prairie View A&M University and aspires to one day own her own event planning company. Rachel has a passion for community involvement and uses blogging as an outlet to voice her opinions and inform the public about topics pertaining to religion, relationships, health, beauty, fitness, music, and other "trending topics" from an open and relatable perspective. She just recently started her own website called "Don't Forget The A", a blog and a brand that encourages individuality, confidence and healthy living as well as focusing on the importance of living to make a difference through giving back and leaving a legacy. She plans to earn her Masters in Public Administration to help her advance her career in community engagement and event planning.


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