This year started out pretty chaotic, but in the end, it was all worth it. (as it always is)
I left Maryland [again] because I was unhappy and spinning my wheels. I could not possibly waste anymore time as I was somehow already 26.
When I moved back out to Colorado I had goals.
1. Get another research job for the resume.
2. Find a GRE tutor and retake GRE.
3. Apply to school.
4. Get MPH.
In that order.
You see, I wasn’t going to apply to school unless I had two research positions on my resume because I just didn’t think my application would be quite strong enough.
In December, I emailed a laboratory at University of Colorado, Boulder to simply inquire about any job or volunteer opportunities for the spring semester. The next day I received an email back saying that they were looking for assistance on a project and to schedule an interview. Wait, what? That’s all it took? That’s, indeed, all it took.
Before I knew it, I was an employee of the university. (step one, DONE)
It was NYE 2017, and instead of raging I was sitting by the fire writing my first personal statement. By the time I blinked, I was writing a protocol, interviewing participants, studying for the GRE (step two, DONE), working my full-time job as well as overtime, and still finding time to sleep 6 hours a night. I was in the midst of chaos and I felt so motivated, accomplished, and proud. By the beginning of April, I was finished the GRE and actively applying to schools. (SHOUT OUT TO THOSE WHO WROTE ME A RECOMMENDATION LETTER) My GRE scores were [still] not as high as I would have hoped given how much I prepared; however, that didn’t seem to matter. I ate an edible and applied to all 3 schools on my list in one night. (step three, DONE) Time to wait.
University of Colorado, Denver: Accepted.
University of Southern Maine: Accepted.
University of Maryland, College Park: Accepted.
I could not believe my eyes. I was accepted into every school I applied to. I remember sitting on my bed and laughing until I cried. This bitch was going back to school.
Now here comes the hard part; choosing.
Denver: “Well we don’t offer assistantships to students in their first semester and we don’t have any money to give you.” You’re already making it so hard to choose…bye.
Southern Maine: “We can give you a small scholarship and a small assistantship.” Okay, cool. You have my attention.
University of Maryland: “If you work this assistantship 20 hours a week until you graduate, we’ll pay your tuition and give you a stipend to live on.” Holy shit, my millennial dream is coming true. Free school? Take that, MITCH.
The decision seemed so obvious, right? Free=free=free=free. But going back to Maryland? Oh God no. ‘Bury me alive’, I thought. Declining Southern Maine’s offer was devastating but inevitably the right decision. I had to stop prioritizing geography, suppress my inner millennial, and begin prioritizing lack of debt, an assistantship opportunity that would look ideal on my resume, and the career possibilities that would come with an MPH from College Park.
Alright Maryland, lets dance.
So here I am. The kid that got B’s and C’s in grade school. The 3.3 undergraduate GPA. The C+ in Anatomy and Physiology II. The double shit GRE scores. The lost 21 year old who didn’t want to pursue Psychology anymore. None of it mattered. I’m going back to school and my tuition is covered.
The saying goes, “Good things come to those who wait.” And you know what? Those people are always going to be waiting.
I say, good things come to those who work their asses [physically] off.
What happens after Maryland? Literally, whatever I want. I am so fricken pumped to find out.
(step four, begin)