Quote of the day and my inner most fears

“Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown”

-Unknown Author

This quote is from the book “The Shack” and I was struck at how applicable it was to B-School. The point of attending school is to grow. Growth can come in the form of increased responsibility, leadership abilities, new job titles, or simply a larger salary. This growth involves significant risks, such as loss of income for 2 years, the possibility of not finding a job that pays well enough to make the decision a smart one, and the very real possibility of not finding a job at all.

The unknown can instill fear within people and it can be very hard to deal with. From the early stages of childhood,  the dark is scary because it represents the unknown in life. Is there a monster under the bed, in the closet, or right behind me? This fear extends into adulthood, but manifests itself in different ways.

I can say that I am pretty scared sometimes when thinking about everything that is ahead of me. The fear of rejection is first and foremost, because it would be the first fear I would have to deal with. What if no schools accept me, or the ones I really want to go to don’t. The fear of leaving a job is second on the list. Am I crazy? Why would I leave a well paying job in this economy to try something that isn’t a sure thing? The last fear is of competition. If I do manage to get into a top B-School, how am I ever going to compete with my classmates? I envision everyone who is accepted to B-school as an investment banker/non-profit worker/do-gooder with a degree from a top university and list of ECs that rival that length of the Declaration of Independence. How am I supposed to compete with all these people?

Dealing with these fears can be pretty hard, but I have found that practical aloofness helps me the best. I know that odds of getting into a top school are slim, even for a great candidate, so my hopes are not too high, but I also have confidence that I can do this despite all the odds. Call it denial, or generally aloof, but it seems to work for me.

Anyone else scared when they think of B-School? How do you convince yourself to push through it (curling up into a ball and crying is an acceptable answer)? Have a different interpretation of the quote? Think I am a moron? Wish I stopped with the whole question thing a while ago? Happy hump day! Back with more later.

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3 Responses

  1. My greatest fear in this application cycle is that I might miss out presenting the best aspects of my candidature through my essays and interviews.

    This, inspite of having done well in my professional, academic and extra curricular areas owing to certain cultural gaps and (maybe) my personal shortcomings in presentations.

    However, having invested a substantial amount of time in soul searching (at the end of which I seem to have only a semblance of an idea of what/where/why), researching schools and identifying a good fit with the program and school culture, I must say that I am pretty contented with where I stand and where I might end up. If I fail to get an admit from any school, oh well, I will work on the shortcomings and reapply.

    All in all, I am not aloof to the happenings, but am sufficiently confident that whatever be the path I have to travel on, I will make the best of it! Self-belief is what keeps me going each day.

  2. Rocky’s concerns are valid, but self-reflection, school research, and determining are THE best ways to address those concerns.

    You might be interested in a response to your post at http://blog.accepted.com/acceptedcom_blog/2009/6/22/taming-grad-school-application-jitters-what-if-i-dont-i-get.html .

    Best,
    Linda Abraham

  3. Linda – great advice, and thanks for passing that article along. I am really happy that my post elicited some discussion, both here and by others. I think one of the best ways to overcome your fears is to face them, and there is no better way to do that than put them out in the open for discussion. Thanks for checking out my blog, I look at AAA quite a bit, so keep up the good work!

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