For the past several years, I have gone back and forth about pursuing a PhD. I applied to one program before the pandemic but based on how the program director communicated with me, I knew I’d receive a rejection letter. All the same, holding the letter in my hand many months later still stung a bit. I decided that the “no” I received from the institution was the message from the universe that I wasn’t good enough/smart enough/capable of completing a PhD. So, I gave up.
Fastforward to 2021 when I found an online PhD in English and read good reviews about it. I started the application, but between the lack of confidence and a move across the country, I stopped the application. Yet, the thought stuck around. This past fall 2022 I thought, “why not?” and completed the application. To my surprise, I was accepted! I still don’t know how I will do this.
My program is an online program with a summer residency requirement two summers out of the duration of the program. The upside is, because I am online, I will pay the in-state tuition rate for a university in Virginia. The downside is: I have NO student loan funds available because I attempted a masters in counseling at a private school when I should have been going TO counseling. Finding out this current program can be part-time has provided me with some optimism, as I can try to save my money and make payments.
I suppose this post serves as an “I’m Back” message. I plan to share the experience with all of you as I move along. One thing I promised myself was to be OK with quitting. If I find myself being too overwhelmed, I will make a decision and not feel bad about it. I know there will be several hurdles I am already familiar with: feelings of inadequacy, time management, and money to name a few. So, my message to you today is go for it, whatever “it” is – but don’t be afraid to quit if you know it won’t work out. And for crying out loud, don’t pursue a second graduate degree in the midst of a depressive episode when what you really need is therapy.
More about that another time…