Holistic still starts somewhere.

Graduate Record Exam, or other entrance exams for graduate programs – the opportunity to showcase your ability to sit through a tedious exam and to maintain the mind to think logically and pick the right answers, while pressure closes in the bubble of exhaustion you already have in reflecting on your life and preparing for unpredictable futures. Yes, I believe we are subjected to multiple futures because however much we prepare for the one we want, something is bound to happen to deter that future, be it good or bad. This is what I have decided to be the meaning of life, the unpredictable courses with effortful but obsolete plans and anxieties. Planning is great, when you envision all of the happiness and successes you will eventually have, but it is also consumed with so much fallacies and unreal expectations.

So I am taking my GRE tomorrow. This is actually my second time taking this exam. The first time I took it, I did not prepare much. I simply thought I could get by without preparation because the GRE did not really require me to know more information than I already do, it required me to be able to sit for 4 hours and play logic games and read carefully. I did ok and definitely did get by. But getting by and being average just doesn’t mean much anymore when you’re preparing to compete for a future with so many other people. This is the problem, the competition. This is what can and will deter you from your future and that’s because planning for your future is not in your control and that is exactly what makes the future so scary. The future is dependent on so much more than your choices and decisions, it includes other’s choices as well. When people say to always chase your dream, they don’t mention the dream being in the hands of another player that have conditions that must be met and that others are vying for the same dream to be relinquished to them. Chasing isn’t just chasing, but fighting and waiting and sacrificing and all of this doesn’t come without some type of mental turmoil and wavering.

Graduate schools don’t clearly state it, but they are also looking for the fighters and the persistent dreamers, and definitely the studious. I understand how high marks and high exam scores can be predictors of graduate achievements, it shows that these students take their education seriously and was rewarded high marks for their preparation for exams and time. Those are factors to be considered when deciding for acceptances into their programs, to determine if the student can achieve and bring something to the university. Though, I do always hope that they can understand those students who aren’t able to excel in this arena, but have excelled in other, just as practical and applicable areas of work.

I went to a school fair and this is what I’ve learn schools usually tell you: we consider the application holistically, visit our website for more information, apply anyway.

I really hope these statements are true rather than planting a sense of hope for all these students. They tell you to apply and ensure you all parts of your application will be looked at, but realistically, after looking at hundreds and thousands or applications, don’t they try to streamline the process and create some sort of screen or filter? I really hope not and I really hope if there is a screen, GPA and GRE are not the factors because all of the efforts I’ve tried to re-identify myself as a competitive applicant will be wasted and that is not fair when I strongly believe I can be just as successful or even more successful than those students who are applying.

I’m just building a lot of anxiety, first with the pressure to do better than average on the exam I’m taking tomorrow to offset the low GPA due to my immature previous self that I can only justify as being incompetent and distracted. But the real anxiety is relying on the hope that someone(s) will allow me the opportunity for the future I have planned for myself. The uncontrollability is excruciatingly scary. I’m just at that point where I have to plan for a future again and the fear of falling and not being good enough never ceases to dwindle. My biggest fear is that all my efforts will be wasted. But I won’t know until I try. I have this bad tendency to not work too hard because of this fear so I can go back to believing that it’s because I didn’t put in my all and that the lost and falling is ok. I need to stop that. I do believe everything is temporary and even if this does not pan out as I hope, I’m a fighter so I’ll just take the punch this time and if necessary, rise up again but with a stronger and better offense to prevent another fall. But I shouldn’t have to fall if I already fight with the best offense I have. Here’s to not just believing but taking action for my life.


About Lynn Vo

I am just another mind with a laptop and fingers that type out the thoughts that invade my brain. I like to share these thoughts because it's extremely selfish of me to keep these thoughts open to only one person who has access to it. Share your thoughts with me and I'll keep them safe.
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