What’s My Backup Plan?

It’s easy to have a backup plan if you’re rich, have six-pack abs, or are Jennifer Lopez.

I’m going to get the worst part out of the way at the beginning: I didn’t get accepted to graduate school. To say this is a setback is an understatement. This is something that I have worked towards intensely for the past year, devoting countless hours of study, applications, interviews, traveling, and stress to. I found a school with a program I loved, and I put all my eggs into that basket. Was this the best decision? Probably not, but I didn’t want to settle and possibly spend two years at a place that I really didn’t want to be. I got the rejection email yesterday. Without them stating what made them not choose me, I knew already what it was: my GPA. I’m not the best student, not because I don’t try hard, but because I find certain things difficult. My GPA wasn’t good enough, and in turn that made me not good enough in their eyes. And what is usually not good enough for one school is not good enough for another. Am I going to try again in year at another school or two? I honestly don’t know. It’s hard for me to think about right now. The worst part about it is that I know I gave everything I had. Many of you would say that something to be proud of, that I gave all my effort. If it came to nothing, why should I feel proud right now? I worked my butt off, I tried as hard as I could, and it didn’t happen. Could I have tried harder? Sure. Could I have made better grades in the previous 3 years leading up to applying to graduate school? Absolutely. Was I an underdog to begin with? Definitely. Does it hurt being rejected after all the work, effort, heart, and soul I put into getting into graduate school? Yes, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t upset. I know I deserved a shot. I know that I’m just as if not more capable than most people who did get accepted, but at the end of the day there’s nothing I can do about it. Am I happy about it? No. To be honest, I have had moments where I’ve been angry at God. I had it all worked out perfectly in my head: Go to graduate school, work hard, get my masters, meet a girl, get married, start my career, live happily ever after. It felt so right, all of it, and now it’s gone.

Everyone I’ve talked to has said, “This just means God has something even better for you!”, and to be honest there have been times where I’ve just cringed on the inside when I hear that. It’s one thing to order pancakes and get waffles instead; it’s another to work for a whole year towards a single goal and have that door close in your face. It’s hard to accept the plans that you thought were right are not going to happen, and since I’m being honest here I’m having a hard time trusting God in all of this. It’s so hard for me to just let go of control and say “OK God! You win! I completely trust you and you know what’s best for me!” I struggle with this because I’m a selfish person, and I plan everything out in my head, and when life doesn’t fit to that plan, I struggle with accepting it sometimes.  I wanted this really bad, and now that it’s gone I’m struggling with what to do. It’s good to have a Plan B. A backup plan. A worst-case-survival plan in case the poop hits the fan. As far as I am concerned, right now I do not have any of those things. I put everything I had into getting accepted and now that possibility is gone. So what do I do now? That’s the question. I honestly have no idea. Full-fledged adulthood is swiftly approaching me, and right now I feel like a little kid who’s lost at the zoo. I have no idea where to go, what to do, or how to get to the polar bears to watch feeding time. And it would be unrealistic for me to have a plan less than 24 hours after hearing this unfortunate news. So, I guess I’m just going to be thinking, praying, and trying to trust that God will make everything turn out OK. Thomas Edison was once asked how he handled all the failures leading to the invention of the lightbulb, and he responded with: “I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”  (Granted Edison was a heartless scoundrel who cheated and stole a lot of his “inventions” and tried to ruin the career of the far more AWESOME Nikola Tesla, but that’s another story for another day). Maybe graduate school is one of those 10,000 ways. I’m praying that God will show me one of the ways that won’t fail. I know this isn’t exactly the most cheerful thing I’ve ever written. Truthfully I debated with myself on whether or not I should even write it. But I feel like I’m not the only one who has struggled with a door closing. I know God has something better out there for me, I just can’t see it yet. Pray for me.

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