After the GRE: Four Things to Start

I didn't die! (And neither will you)

The apocalypse has come and gone, and I am still alive and kicking.  I’ll be taking the next several days to recharge, but unfortunately no longer than that.  The GRE is only one part of the grad school admissions process.  Now comes…well, everything else.  Looking ahead, these are the next four big stops that I can see along the road to grad school.  So much to think about!  I love thinking!  I love it!

1. Program Research
Now that I have a (unofficial) GRE score, I have a better idea of where I should/can apply.  So far, all I’ve done is make a big list of all the schools that might possibly interest me; now the next step is to whittle away at the list until I get down to a reasonable list of four or five schools.  This is by far one of the scariest/exciting-est (not a word) things I’ve ever had to do in my life — I don’t think any other decision will define the rest of my life as much as this one will.  No turning back now!

2. References
One of the few things I haven’t been totally irresponsible about.  I’ve contacted all my references and let them know that I’m applying to grad school.  Now that I’m about one month away from my first deadlines, I need to follow up ASAP and let them know where to send them.  Even though I haven’t decided exactly where I’m applying yet, I should let them know an approximate deadline (and make sure they haven’t forgotten, as professors are wont to do!).

3. Applications
Forms, forms, forms.  What’s your name?  Where did you go to school?  What’s your social security number?  What is your shoe size?  How fast do your nails grow?  Write this essay!  Write another essay!  Blerg.

4. Money
Something I know almost nothing about.  Since I’m (almost definitely) not going to be a Ph.D. student, it’s highly unlikely that I’ll qualify for financial assistance from school.  All I know is that I’m going to have to take out a loan for graduate school, but I have no idea about the process involved in doing that.  More research!  I guess this is preparing me for graduate school (?).  I wish American schools required high school students to take classes about personal finances.  Aside from tuition, I’ll probably have to factor in things like cost of living and transportation.  I may even want to think about what kinds of jobs I can handle while being a full-time student.

Since my GRE is over, my posts will probably be a little more varied (as in I’ll finally be able to use tags other than “GRE” and “GRE prep”), but for those of you who are still preparing for the GRE, no worries — I still have plenty to say about it!  For those of you who are with me, we’ll uncover the questions and answer them together.  Onward ho!

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