There’s a special kind of stress reserved solely for the graduate school process. If not simply for the fact that someone somewhere about four years ago told you when you were applying for college and studying for the SATs that you’d never have to go through this again. They just lied. Or rather you’ve learned that the job market sucks and you need more degrees to actually get a job that makes enough money to you know sustain your life. Whatever the case may be here you are again. Studying for the GRE, paying for the damn GRE. Filling out applications, paying for these damn applications, making yourself appealing for sale again. All while still in school. Some people take a gap year to complete their graduate school applications adequately; those people are smart and value their sleep. People like me do things that sound nice in theory like researching their schools in September, starting my applications in late October, when most deadlines are early December, the same week of finals. Though a lot of the applications are due in December some schools also have due dates in January and February. Each application has different requirements; a different amount of essays and a different amount of poems. Which means each application was written specifically for a certain program or had to be edited. Which means sleep and I didn’t get along until the last application went in in February. And you’d think that now it’s over. Now you can rest and relax and just look forward to graduation. Except now, you’re waiting for an email or phone call or snail mail letter to tell you where you’re going to be spending your life in may. The next few months are months of waiting for someone to say you look good enough on paper to give a new home. Waiting for someone to tell you that you’ll have somewhere to start your life, you have a future. The not knowing, the stillness of being unsure for so long is enough to cripple, especially for people like me who are so used to having a plan and a back up plan. It’s also a lot different than applying for undergrad because this decision is all my own. Where I end up has nothing to do with what my parents what or any familial obligations, this is a decision that has to be about me. Yet in a lot of ways it is not just mine, it is a balancing act between where I choose to go and what school chooses me back. They don’t tell you about that part either. Truth is a lot of the adult decisions you’re required to make rest on some factor completely out of your control. Truth is applying to undergrad is the beginning of a long life full of applications that only get more tedious. Truth is there are so many aspects of growing up that are always left out. Truth is no one can prepare you for it all even if they tried.