I would like to first and foremost say, if I had begun a biology track as an undergraduate, I would never have succeeded. I would never have been able to master the material, study for the exams, and volunteer at a level of expertise that I am doing it now. I just wouldn’t have. I was too young, and not ready for a career.
Now that I am 25, have a family, and have my bachelors degree, I am ready. I spent several years in the professional world, mulling over what to do with my life, and I now have this motivation that is the strongest fire I’ve ever had. I’m finally ready to be mastering the material necessary to be a suitable applicant to graduate school.
Which is, in its own right, terrifying. There is a quote out there, and I’m paraphrasing it here, “We are not afraid of failure, we are most afraid of our own success.” I think this statement is pretty accurate.
I’m terrified to think about a graduate committee. Re-taking the GRE. Original research. This is seriously hard stuff.
The difference between now, and four years ago when I was finishing up my degree, is that I know that the vast majority of students aren’t naturally geniuses. They are hard workers. And thank god I am a hard worker. I know what it is to study for six hours in a row, then go to class for three hours, then study more. I understand what work ethic is, and even more importantly, I know how crucial it is to actually master this information, as opposed to cramming it to pass a test.
Because I have to write the GRE. Because I can’t fake an understanding of chemistry. Because I can’t afford to fail, emotionally and financially.
Is graduate school competitive? You bet it is. Is graduate school something only rich kids with super-human brains can get into? Absolutely not.
So here I am, planning out the sequence of courses I have to take for the next 12 months, and it’s entirely daunting. Environmental science. Graduate-level courses. Chemistry. Soil science.
Coming from the girl who used to be terrified of geometry and the periodic table.
But now? I know it is just going to take work. And serious amounts of studying. And you know what I should be doing now?