Done with the Graduate School Applications

Writing

Writing (Photo credit: jjpacres)

I completed my last application. I decided about eight, maybe nine months ago that I wanted to apply to school. This was not a sudden decision. I’ve thought about applying since, well, honestly, 1997.

That was the year I was supposed to graduate from Chico State with a degree in theatre. Technically, I had completed my  theatre course, but technically I had not completed my math requirements. So even though I had been one of two students from my class to get passed on to finals through URTAS (a graduate school audition torture process) and I was the only one to get an offer (free ride I must add) to a graduate school, I didn’t go. I wont say why.

Like a bad sequal I’m back to the graduation application except this time I’m applying to creative writing programs. Although the most important part of the application is the writing sample I agonized over the Statement of Purpose. I can’t believe how hard it was to write this particular essay.

Creative writing programs are hard to get into. Since the economy went into a downward spiral more people have decided to go to graduate school, and more people have decided that writing is what is their calling. It makes sense really. Every one has a story to tell (and I truly believe that) but the biggest obstacle to writing is time. Time is money, and no one pays you to write until you’ve written something they want to buy, so what better time to write than when you have nothing but unemployment and time. So I get it, but creative writing applications have increased by 50%. Wow. And, creative writing programs are some of the most selective graduate school programs out all of all MFA programs. Meaning they do not have a lot of places open for new students. Sigh.

I’ve read a lot of advice for applying to graduate school and many of that advice has stated the best thing is to apply to at least 8 to 10 programs. If only. I applied to four. I suppose my odds are pretty low as to getting into a program, and I have mixed feelings about the entire process. Each school I applied to was at least $75 to $80 dollars to apply. If I applied to 10 that would be roughly $980. I couldn’t afford that. I had hoped I could qualify for fee wavers, but I fall into that poor but not poor enough category. It happens. I can accept it, but it means I can only afford to apply to four and that’s stretching it.

What does all this nit picky shit mean? It means that apparently based on what I’ve read my odds are low, and this puts an enormous strain on writing the statement of purpose, even if it (apparently) doesn’t mean anything, because I’m desperately trying to convince them that I am the right person for their  program.

I wont hear any news until next month, so till then I wait before deciding what will be my next move in life. I suppose I should write something while I wait.

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