So last night my boyfriend, E., and I had one of our spontaneous graduate school freak-outs, the kind where we're both doing something else (he was eating pistachios while folding the laundry, i was working on a cover letter) and then suddenly the urge hits one of us: we must freak out about graduate school. NOW. E. came into the office where I was working to tell me about how good the pistachios were, and then I'm not sure what happened but all of a sudden there we were, panicking at the prospect of the graduate school application process that loomed before us.
(Brief backstory: E. is a biostatistician who wants to apply this fall to epidemiology PhD programs. We want to stay together. The dilemma is where could we go that would offer us both good options, who gets priority, and how can we make this happen in the least painful, most fair way possible?)
Back to the office: E. declared that we must start figuring out ASAP how we're going to make this work, then commandeered the desk chair and began looking up all possible public health schools he might apply to, while I rushed to the bookshelves and grabbed my copy of "The MFA Handbook". E. would call out the name of school he'd like to go to, and then I'd madly flip through the list of MFA programs in the book to see if there was a writing program in the same city. (This is not the first time we've done this, but for some reason we start from scratch each time.) E. seemed calmed by this experience, having come up with a list of around 15 schools where there could be some overlap, but I was left feeling frazzled by all the work ahead. Not just in terms of finding schools that are in mutually agreeable locations, but about all the other parts as well--recommendations, writing samples, applications forms, etc. I was feeling like I should have started all this months ago.
But this morning, after a nice morning run, I have regained some perspective, remembering that it's only July, after all, and I've got a lot of resources at my hands, both with the book, and the blog, and those of you who have been through this already or are also starting out on the same path. So yes, I'm going to really start focusing on this application process thing starting now, but I'm going to try to do it in the most rational and resourceful way possible. Anyone else out there who is also starting to think about applications this fall? give me a holler and we'll do this together...