Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Accepted, sort of...

Thank you to everyone who took the time to leave me a thoughtful comment on my anniversary entry.  I truly appreciate it!

Now, onto today's bit of news.  I got the acceptance letter from the English department this morning and the graduate coordinator took the hold off my records so I could register.  Acceptance to the College of Graduate Studies at my school is only half-way there.  Graduate candidates also have to be accepted by their major department.  The acceptance letter was very good overall, but I'm not feeling particularly good about it.  I swear to you, I'm not only person who can get good news and be uncomfortable with it.

I'm happy to have gotten registered, but the conditions under which I was accepted are making me feel anxious.  My overall undergraduate GPA is 2.88 right now.  It'll go up after this semester, I'm sure, but not all the way to 3.0.  I have some bad grades from community college, grades I made when I was 18 and couldn't care less, following me around.  Couple those with the C's I made across the board in French and my valiant effort to educate myself hasn't been as valiant as it could have been.  My program GPA is 3.11, my department GPA is 3.33, but my overall remains below a 3.0.  It's terribly frustrating, to say the very least.  Luckily, my school will accept graduate students as provisional/conditional admissions with a GPA of 2.5 so it doesn't really matter.  It also helps that admissions is based solely upon my GPA for my last 60 hours of course work, which is 3.29.  So, you can imagine my confusion when I received a letter that said:

Dear Kristyn,

Congratulations!  The graduate English department has evaluated your application for admission into our program and we are pleased to inform you that we have accepted you on a conditional basis for the spring, 2010 semester.  The committee had some concerns about your undergraduate gpa and we want to ensure that you are ready to complete the necessary requirements for an MA after this spring.

At the graduate level, is it generally expected that students will make As in all their classes, although lower grades sometimes occur; we recommend that you only attempt 6 hours of graduate English classes so that you are more likely to maintain As in your graduate classes this spring.  At the end of the spring semester, we will evaluate your performance and admit you as a fully-fledged graduate student for the fall if you have maintained a 4.0 for the semester.

That's the letter I received, word for word.  They're concerned about my undergraduate GPA.  I don't see why, if they're judging me based upon my GPA for my last 60 hours of coursework, which I have been assured is the procedure.  My overall GPA may be a bit depressing, but my GPA for the last 60 hours is above 3.0 by a bit.  3.0 is all one needs for full admissions.  I could see if they were giving me conditional admissions because I haven't taken the GRE yet, like the College of Graduate Studies did, but based upon my GPA?  I just don't understand.

Then, I about had a flat out heart attack when they said I have to make a 4.0 to receive full admissions for next Fall.  A's and B's are the only acceptable grades for graduate school, if you make a C, you fail.  I can understand that B's aren't desirable grades, they're like making a D as an undergraduate, and I have every intention of giving this 110%, but what if I make an A and a B?  Then what?  Do I lose my admissions status on the weight of a 3.5 GPA?  I really, really, really don't want to fail out of graduate school because I made a B.

So, as you can likely imagine, I'm feeling very nervous.  I know I should be happy, and I am, but I'm also overwhelmed.  I'm overwhelmed and I haven't even technically started graduate school yet.  All these conditional admissions are making me feel like a second class citizen.  I know it's my fault, had I done a little better along the way, or put in a bit more effort, or taken the GRE before applying for grad school I'd be more likely to be a full admit.  Unfortunately, I can't go back and change it and I'm feeling a bit like the pressure of having to make A's is going to undermine my best efforts in that task.  Does that make sense?

I don't know.  Right now, I just need to focus on studying for finals so I can graduate.  Nothing happen without the bachelor's degree firmly in hand.  None of this worry matters at all if I don't graduate.  So, I'm pushing forward with the tasks at hand and wishing that I was better equipped to be optimistic about those things that I should be optimistic about.

Sometimes, pessimism is the furthest thing from pretty!


  1. That's an intimidating situation Kristyn, but I really don't think you'll have any issues getting those A's. It's a mind-set thing. If you don't have the option of getting a B, you'll force yourself to keep pushing forward.

  2. Breathe Kristyn, breathe! It is impossible for you to make all A's in the Spring semester right now, because you aren't in the classes yet, so you have to focus all your energy on the classes for which you are currently enrolled. In other words, don't worry about it yet! And the letter, even in its intimidating form, is still worth celebrating! You are IN! That is WONDERFUL. Sure you are gonna have to make all A's, but you WILL do it because you don't have a choice. It is fantastic that they are still giving you this opportunity to pursue your educational goals, despite the blemishes on your academic record (by the way, I had some terrible grades from junior college as well). So instead of thinking, "Oh no, I have to get all A's" you have to think "whoo hoo! I screwed off in junior college, but they are still giving me a chance to be a grad student!" (Okay, you probably want to kick me now for this ridiculous optimism...) Anyway, just keep putting one foot in front of the next, and you are gonna make it...

  3. The two of you have no idea how much your encouragement means to me right now. Thank you! I'm giving my all to being more optimistic and not worrying about it right now... but it's not easy! I just keep telling myself to focus on right now, but I'm a worrier, a fact to which my ulcer can attest!

    Thank y'all again, I appreciate the encouragement!

  4. Your friends are totally on the money Kris!

    Live in the moment right now and everything will play out beautifully.
    I know and understand that it is a challenge for a "worrier" like us to find the peace and the calm before a (potential) Storm.
    I know that these things are incredible at the moment but once you've met the challenge head on the situation will get a little clearer.
    You're right there and you have some great support to help you achieve your goals. I see amazing wisdom from your Mom and all your friends even here on the blog. Trust us. You can totally do this and you'll be able to one day scoff at those who may have doubted you.

    In the mean time --- HAPPY TURKEY WEEK! And BIG HUGS!
    .-= Mayren´s last blog ..Thanksgiving Week Break =-.

  5. Ok kiddo!! You're gonna make the A's because you have to...I know your capable, so I don't want to hear anymore of it haha...Get your semester finished and don't worry about it until the time comes..."It will all come out in the wash" as your grandpa T use to say.... Celebrate the first victory of being accepted..you deserve it!!

    Love You!! Mom :)

  6. I don't know Kristyn...you might need some new followers. All of this uplifting optimism is going to wind up tarnishing your gloomsday blog (which, by the way, I think you should rename "Pretty Ulcer"). ;-)

  7. Nah, I think I'm more than enough gloom for one blog, all by myself. :P

  8. Thanks, Mayren! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. I love you, too! :D