The End and The Beginning, Part 1

The sunset of my youth...and the sunrise of my adulthood.

Hello all! I have been away for some time, traveling and enjoying the last few months of this chapter of my life. I’m writing now to say goodbye to any of you who still remember me and to provide some closure to my little story on this (not so little anymore!) blog. My tenure at Testmasters has come to an end (actually, it ended a little while ago), and I am now on the cusp of starting a new phase of my life — graduate school.

Before school starts next week, I’d like to bookend my brief stint as a blogger with a couple final entries. With this first entry, my hope is to remind those of you still trudging through the trenches of two things:

First, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again now: the GRE is a means to an end. I know that sometimes it feels like there’s no life beyond the GRE, but try, really try, to remember that the GRE is just a stepping stone that helps you get to your REAL final destination, which is grad school! That’s what this whole journey is all about. When you feel overwhelmed by everything, take a step back and remember what made you decide to apply to graduate school in the first place. Maybe it was a particular professor who really inspired you to learn more about a certain subject. Maybe it was a project that you did in college that really piqued your intellectual curiosity. Whatever it was, make sure you have a firm grasp on that, because (from what I hear) it’ll help you get through more than just the GRE!

Second, as much emphasis as we’ve placed on the GRE in this blog, remember that the GRE is not the be-all and end-all of graduate school admissions. I would never de-stress the importance of the GRE, but I will remind everyone out there that the GRE is only one part of you as an applicant. I know it’s not the best thing to say on a blog specifically dedicated to providing tips on overcoming the GRE, but the truth is that some people just aren’t great test takers. But don’t fret! Graduate programs are looking for more than a great score. If you aren’t happy with your score, don’t let it discourage you from achieving your goals! Involve yourself in your field of interest, gain experience, and try again! Nothing, not even a perfect GRE score, is more valuable than experience and dedication.

Don’t lose perspective. Don’t give up. If you love academia, and you love being on the fringe of your field, driving it forward, discovering what’s new, exploring perspectives that haven’t been explored, then you belong in graduate school. Don’t ever let some number on some test tell you otherwise.