It begins with rejection…

Clearly, this was not part of The Plan.

This time last year I was convinced that this was my year. I was guaranteed a spot in the doctoral program of my choosing. I had put in the countless lab hours, slaved over publications, meticulously studied for each class to earn my A’s, and already gone through this process once. I was more refined. I knew what I had to do. I retook the GRE, rewrote my statement of purpose, and carefully selected schools with professors that matched my research interests. I maintained internships in clinical settings and worked in the field. I saved and saved, hoping to make the interview rounds and show the schools just how much I had to offer and charm them into an acceptance letter. I was going to do it. By the laws of probability and pragmatic reasoning, there was no way it couldn’t happen.

You’d think after growing up in Las Vegas, I would realize that there’s no such thing as a sure thing.

So there I sat, hysterically crying into my pile of rejection letters, not sure what to make of this debacle. This did not compute. I’d been through this process twice. I had no funds left to commit to applications, and no will to endure another blanket statement about how, “There were just so many good candidates and not enough placements.”

I had spent the past two years of my life dedicated to the application process. My bank account was overdrawn from application fees and plane tickets to interview weekends. My job had hired my replacement anticipating me leaving for graduate school. I was screwed.

So I did what any other post-grad lacking direction would do.

I booked a flight to Nicaragua to meet up with professional surfer Holly Beck in the hopes of finding inspiration.

Okay, so it might not be what any other post-grad would do. But it sounded better than binge drinking down at The Freaking Frog.

I leave in 13 days to board down Nicaragua’s most active volcano, watch sea turtles hatch, and catch some waves with a surfing legend.

I could not be more excited or terrified.


13 thoughts on “It begins with rejection…

  1. Hey Hilary! Thanks for stoppnig by my blog – I ran across your link to this post and I realize that as a psychology student now, this is the fate im so very much afraid of in the near future. But, it’s great to see how far and what you did with that rejection.

    • Hi Kelsey!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

      Don’t be afraid! We all end up where we are supposed to be. I have many friends who are very happy in a graduate degree program and I have many others who are very happy pursuing other dreams after college. The cool thing about psych is that it ALWAYS applies, even if you don’t get a job in it. I’ve been able to call on all of my training to better relate/communicate, as well as better understand myself and develop coping skills to assist in travels.

      Please let me know if I can help at all. I know I’m not the ‘model’ student, since I’m not currently in a PhD program, but I’m happy to support/help where I can!

      Lots of love and luck to you!

  2. Pingback: How A Year of Blogging Changed My Life | The Nomad Grad

  3. Well Hilary, Thanks for stopping by my blog. I thought I’d stop by yours as well, and no better place to start than at the beginning. If you get back to Sydney feel free to get in touch if you’d like to swap travel stories and get some ideas for what to do in Sydney.


  4. Hi Hilary,
    Thanks for stopping in.
    I tried to click “Like” button – don’t know if it worked. I would like to post a feed to your blog from mine. Positive Las Vegas News.
    Bob Depot

    • Hi Bob,

      You’re very welcome! I enjoy your blog. Sometimes those like buttons can be tricky. I appreciate you taking the time to comment!

      You’ll have to forgive me, I am a little unfamiliar with all the technological terminology. What does it mean to post a feed to my blog?

      Hope you’re well!

      All the best,

    • Thank you so much, September and Morgan! I greatly appreciate your support and enthusiasm!

      I can’t wait to see how you both enjoy traveling in your upcoming excursion. Please stay in touch! =)

  5. Oh Hilary, I love this blog! You are so inspirational. I hope you find the insight you are looking for. I am right with you girl. I wish I had the courage to travel the world like you. Enjoy yourself down there. You will be successful,and find fulfillment in life….look at you, you are definitely on your way to discovering something new.

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