Applying to graduate school at any time can be a stressful experience. During a time of virtual everything, the process of finding and applying to graduate programs can be even more daunting. But there are ways to manage the process and still produce your best applications.
It Takes Longer Than You Think
Graduate school applications require a pretty substantial amount of time and effort. Something I learned while completing my applications was that however long I thought it would take to complete an application, it always took way longer. Try to start working on applications (and taking any exams required for programs!) as early as you can. This will also make the process a lot less stressful because you’ll have more time to really fine-tune things and not rush.
Asking For Help Is Your Best Friend!
Graduate program applications are hard! I ran into a handful of learning curves with my applications, and hands-down, the most beneficial thing was asking people for help. Seek out help from professors, advisors, writing centers, and any other resources available to you. Having as many eyes as possible on your application helps catch any gaps in your work. I also found reaching out to friends also applying to graduate programs to be extremely helpful. We were able to ask each other questions, bounce ideas off of each other, and provide much needed moral support.
Seek Out Resources
There are a lot of free resources out there for studying for entrance exams, as well as fee waiver possibilities for application fees and exams. Start looking for these resources and waivers early on as they sometimes have deadlines.
This can be a very overwhelming process and it’s important to keep yourself motivated and positive as much as possible. Remind yourself often of your capabilities and value as an applicant. The process can be very stressful at times but you can do it!