So, I'm not a big fan of talking myself up, at least not in a public forum, but I had a great day today. My writing is one thing I am really proud of. It may not come across in this forum so much, since I write everything here in a hurry, and usually only once, but when I take time with a piece, such as a research paper, and put my heart in it, I can write like nobody's business. And it comes very naturally to me. The last two research papers I've had to write for school I wrote about two days before they were due, in one sitting. And I got perfect scores (what professor gives perfect scores on research papers??) on both of them.
So anyway, I've been working my ass off on grad school applications the last 2 or 3 months, primarily on my Statement of Purpose essays. I've been writing, re-writing, sending to friends, writing again. They have to be perfect. It's almost getting to the point where I feel like I'll never even actually send them in, I'll just keep rewriting the essays for years and years. I had an appointment with the writing center at school today, a free service with professionals who look over whatever papers you're working on and critique them for you. I took in two essays for my top two school choices (really the only two I want to go to) today to have the grad school essay person look at them. He had very little to say, except that they were "exceptionally strong" essays, with the perfect balance of professional and personal, and a real voice that didn't sound phony at all. He made a few marks here and there for word choices or grammatical changes, but otherwise, said that there wasn't much to be improved upon. When I was leaving, he said something to the effect of, "It's really nice to see a student who's really figured out what they want and going for it. Good luck."
So I left there already feeling like a million bucks, then went to see 3 of my professors to drop off letters of recommendation forms, envelopes, and instructions. I had a little sit-down with two of them (one of them wasn't in), and both of them talked to me for several minutes about how great I was, what a strong student I was, how mature I was, and pleasant to have around, and that any grad school would be honored to have me there. And I know these professors. One of them is who I went to Mexico with, and got drunk with on a few occasions in nice restaurants in Monterrey, where he just kept the wine coming and we'd talk for hours, about politics, relationships, the world, other students. The other one I've had many classes with, and have known for my entire school career thus far, and she loves me. She takes me out to lunch and shit. So I know they're not just blowing smoke up my ass. And I know I'll get some kick-ass letters from them. And from the third one, too. She told me last semester, "When you start applying to grad schools, make sure you let me write one of your letters for you."
(Then after all that goodness, I got to go see a matinee of an incredible movie with one of my very favorite people.)
I've been feeling very pessimisstic about grad schools lately, and fearful that I won't get in anywhere. Which I think is natural, but I feel a lot better about it after today. And all those days when I'm exhausted and frustrated and broke and just kind of over it all, and I've been at school for 4 hours, then I have to go to work for 9 hours, and come home and do homework or write a paper, now feel really, really worth it.