Clearly, this was not part of The Plan.
This time last year I was convinced that this was my year. I was guaranteed a spot in the doctoral program of my choosing. I had put in the countless lab hours, slaved over publications, meticulously studied for each class to earn my A’s, and already gone through this process once. I was more refined. I knew what I had to do. I retook the GRE, rewrote my statement of purpose, and carefully selected schools with professors that matched my research interests. I maintained internships in clinical settings and worked in the field. I saved and saved, hoping to make the interview rounds and show the schools just how much I had to offer and charm them into an acceptance letter. I was going to do it. By the laws of probability and pragmatic reasoning, there was no way it couldn’t happen.
You’d think after growing up in Las Vegas, I would realize that there’s no such thing as a sure thing.
So there I sat, hysterically crying into my pile of rejection letters, not sure what to make of this debacle. This did not compute. I’d been through this process twice. I had no funds left to commit to applications, and no will to endure another blanket statement about how, “There were just so many good candidates and not enough placements.”
I had spent the past two years of my life dedicated to the application process. My bank account was overdrawn from application fees and plane tickets to interview weekends. My job had hired my replacement anticipating me leaving for graduate school. I was screwed.
So I did what any other post-grad lacking direction would do.
I booked a flight to Nicaragua to meet up with professional surfer Holly Beck in the hopes of finding inspiration.
Okay, so it might not be what any other post-grad would do. But it sounded better than binge drinking down at The Freaking Frog.
I leave in 13 days to board down Nicaragua’s most active volcano, watch sea turtles hatch, and catch some waves with a surfing legend.
I could not be more excited or terrified.