I pulled this from Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom. It is a quote that has stuck with me and rather relative to this post.
I have become spoiled by the world’s events falling in my favor. During my undergrad here at West Virginia University the only thing that has ever held me back from accomplishing my own goals was myself. Perhaps that is the biggest reason I am finding the GRE so ruthless. I could rant how I know this exam does not attest to my competence for grad school, but that’s not what this writing is for. It is for a much greater realization this exam has brought me to.
For many students, the only thing that holds them back is themselves.. that is, until you are about to graduate. We students become narcissists, thinking we are the best of the best. We are failed to prepped and compared to students across the country in any aspect of our undergraduate careers. We become so nestled in the schools (i.e. business schools, journalism schools, nursing schools) within our colleges and universities that we fail to remember there are thousands of students as successful as ourselves all over the country. We forget that although we stand out at our university, somewhere someone else is just as up to par as we are. That is, until we face something like the GRE or the job application process as we are about to graduate.
That is where we get our first bitter taste of ‘the real-world’. My most recent nibbling on that taste has proven just how sugar-coated college has been. There is no spontaneity. For four-years, I have had a plan. I have known my next move, the steps needed to get there and have succeeded with little or no need for a back-up plan.
And now, as I realize that the GRE is in fact going to hold me back from furthering my education, nerves override my own zen.
As I have had to face this reality I begin to question why I wanted to go to grad school in the first place. Most often my answer is to “put off the real world.” I apprehended that my own fear of failure and not finding a job is, in fact, one of the main reasons I was considering grad school in the first place.
For the past couple of months, the stress of the GRE and grad school applications have extinguished any trace of happiness. But lately as I have reweighed my options, I have become more excited by the uncertainty. I refuse to let an exam hold me back from happiness or success. It doesn’t define me as a person or the possibilities in my career as a public relations practioner.
Now, my life is focused on remaining open to the idea of opportunity and letting life take me where it wants to take me. This is a huge step for me. I have always avoided the fear of the unknown, but now I have to find excitement in it.
And maybe this is God’s own doing. He knows how dependent I have become on me taking control of my own life. Maybe this is his way of making me sit back and see where He wants me to be.
Regardless, there is only one way for me to look at this point in my life… I’m young, single, healthy and the ultimate definition of free. It’s just me and my degree taking on the world and learning what it really means to have faith in the Man up above.