An Open Love Letter

To all my reapplicants-

This one’s for you. It’s May and you’re attacking this CASPA season like nobody’s business. You have your letters of rec locked and loaded, transcripts triple checked, experiences edited and re-edited (and then edited some more) and now… you wait.

You wait patiently some days, less patiently others. Tachycardia hits every time the phone rings or an email pops up on your phone, no matter how much you tell yourself to breathe. There’s no changing it.

Then the almighty interview invitation arrives. You’re ecstatic! You’ve been preparing, day in and day out, and now you’re buying plane tickets and mapping out traffic times. You’ve been practicing interview questions for three months. You are READY for this.

You go to the interview and you destroy it (in the best way possible of course). Or you fall flat on your face (like I did on my first one). It’s the most exhilarating and anxiety-inducing experience all at the same time. But you love it, you’ve worked hard for it, and you own it.

You may get accepted shortly there after- you rejoice! You finally breathe for real, you sleep a good night’s sleep, and you have butterflies around the clock anticipating that first day of school. This will absolutely happen to some of you.

However, you may also get rejected less than twelve hours later (again, personal experience). It’s devastating. You feel the ground open up beneath you, and you silently sob for a long five hour solo car ride on your way to visit your best friend from undergrad. When you get there, they ask how the interview went. You force a smile and say “It was great!” even though you’re lying, because you can’t just yet relive the heartbreak all over again. You left it all out on the highway and you’d like for it to stay there forever.

You may get rejections, interviews, and waitlists all mixed together as the months go on. You tell yourself to stay strong, that it’s gonna happen. Every day you wake up knowing any of these days could be it.  The holidays come and go, AGAIN, and you’re starting to become unconvinced. Again. You get nervous, like, really nervous. It gets harder to keep telling friends and family that you don’t know if you’re going to school or not. But you ask the universe one more time to help you get there, because you know there is nothing else on this planet that will fulfill you like this will.

You hit February. You’re scraping the bottom of the barrel for emotional resilience. The ever-gnawing “what’s plan B?” conversation floats its way to the top of your brain. You smash it back down, knowing there IS no Plan B because you WILL achieve Plan A.

You get one more interview. It goes incredibly well, but so did most of the others. So you wait more. And some more. You’re told that the next Friday you’ll get news, and you believe that it will be good news. Because it has to be.

You go to work and try your best to focus. You know that today is the day.  Morning comes and goes, so does lunchtime. And all of a sudden, its 4 pm and your phone is ringing with the area code they said it would be. You sit there in shock for so long that you miss the call (AGAIN, true story). You call back immediately and can barely speak because you’re crying so many happy tears. And later that night, you feel the weight of a thousand bricks finally, finally lift off your chest, because YOU’VE. DONE. IT. And this moment stays with you forever.

This is me opening my heart to all of you who are still on your journey this year. I know it is grueling; I’ve lived it. This is my reminder to believe in this with not just your whole heart, but your entire being. Your butt needs only one seat at one program to make this dream come true. It is absolutely okay that all of your fibers are dedicated to this goal. Every new day is an opportunity to live with intention and put your best energy forward. Get out and there get it done. I know you can, and you definitely will.

Love,

A Proud Reapplicant (who will never ever let you give up).