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Thank you guys times a million for your support of our recent change of plans! Switching gears from building a house to applying to grad school has been challenging in different ways, but so far, incredibly exciting. The biggest change has been the right-now-ness of the grad school decision. Because applications are generally due by February 1st, I need to be taking the GRE's before the second week of January. It's all happening so fast!! That's good for me, though. It keeps me from getting too inside-my-head about it all.
Your feedback has been so kind and encouraging, but I know some of you wonderful readers and friends have had questions that I'd like to take a quick minute to answer here...
If you're going to grad school, does this mean you're no longer building a house?
Yes and no. It means we won't be building a house this year like we thought, which is something I was really sad about at the beginning. We were so excited to sign papers to get that moving - to see all of our planning and dreaming become an actual, physical house with rooms for babies and laughing and birthday celebrations - but all in good time, I keep telling myself. You can't rush life, and as excited as we are about the idea of building a house, it's not the right decision for us right now. I would imagine after school is finished it will be one of the first things we revisit.
Are you going to go to grad school in Virginia?
No! We decided we are ready for a change and after some big discussions, we're looking at schools north of Virginia. I have my sights set on living somewhere with a longer, colder winter than Virginia has. Topping our original list of schools-I-might-apply-to are places like New York, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Michigan, Rhode Island, and Montana.
What program are you applying to?
I'm applying for MA/MS programs in Experimental Psychology. From there, I'll apply to PhD programs and eventually graduate as Dr. St.Clair. That has a nice ring to it, right? I did my undergraduate work in Psychology and worked as a Behavioral Specialist professionally after I graduated. I participated in tons of research projects as an undergrad, and I miss it deeply. I can't wait to get back into that research-research-research mentality that I'm so comfortable with!
Didn't you already go to grad school?
Those of you that have been reading my blog for years know that I completed two semesters of graduate work immediately after graduating with my BS in 2011. Ultimately, I withdrew because I hated the program and didn't see myself pursuing a career in Educational Psychology. Leaving that program was one of the best decisions I ever made.
You also know that over the summer of 2012 I studied my butt off for the GRE's, only to end up not taking the test and deciding that it wasn't the right timing for me. I really believe in that - the listening to your gut aspect of decision making - and I'm excited my gut is now saying LET'S DO THIS GRAD SCHOOL! I toyed with the idea again last winter, when we were living in Georgia, but we so quickly decided to move to Virginia that there was no point in pursuing a degree there.
Long story short? I've always known I'd get my MA or MS eventually, but the timing hasn't been right until now. If all the doors continue to open and my hard work pays off, then next year will be that time! I'm applying for programs that begin in the fall of 2014.
I have no doubt these are going to be the most challenging years yet, but you know what I can't help but think to myself? Fate loves the fearless. I saw it shared on Pinterest the other day and it's become my unofficial grad school mantra. I'd love to hear about your experiences applying to grad school. I don't have many friends who have done it, and the whole process seems entirely overwhelming! So please, share your stories! And if you know any fellow bloggers who are currently navigating the grad school waters, please share links in the comments!