So here's what happened yesterday:
I got into graduate school.
No, there is too much.
Let me sum up.
I want to be a librarian. More specifically, I want to be a youth services librarian. And I've been taking a lot of steps to achieve that goal. Many of those steps entailed getting as much hands-on experience as I can working in public libraries and school libraries. But the biggest step I took was applying to graduate school for my Master of Library and Information Science (or MLIS). Experience is important -- really important -- when it comes to getting hired as a librarian, but the MLIS is the golden ticket. It's basically the prerequisite for every library job beyond support staff.
I applied in December to just one school. In retrospect, that could have been a huge mistake, putting all of my eggs in one basket like that. And at first, it really seemed like I had fucked myself over majorly. Because the deadline for admissions decisions came and went, and I hadn't heard a thing back from my One and Only School. No acceptance. No rejection. Just dead silence.
I was convinced I'd overestimated myself. I started having tons of negative thoughts: How could I have been so stupid to just apply to one school and assume it was in the bag? This university is ranked #6 in the nation for overall library science -- #3 for youth services. They wouldn't want me, a fresh-from-undergrad wannabe whose GPA barely met the admissions standard, whose GRE scores sucked balls.
Fed up, I turned to the Internet, and I found some forum where people who had applied to library school were discussing their school decisions. I found out that the people who'd applied to my program had already received their acceptances via email. It hit me like a train. I'd been snubbed. I hadn't even gotten a rejection letter.
I was so embarrassed. All of my fears about my shortcomings were true, apparently. I got really upset. Then I got mad. Then I started trying to figure out a Plan B.
This was all about a month and a half ago. Since then, I'd been struggling with where to go next. I half-heartedly filled out another application to another popular MLIS program whose deadline hadn't passed. I looked in vain for more support staff positions in public libraries. And I became more and more panicked about how my career was going to fall into place.
Then yesterday happened.
I was eating breakfast and watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch, waiting for my computer to start up and wondering how it is I never realized what a horrible show Sabrina the Teenage Witch was. I absentmindedly checked my personal e-mail, the address that I can't give out to employers because it's from when I was 15 and thought "liketotally" belonged in an e-mail address.
Then I logged out of that account and signed into my "offical" e-mail, the one I put on my resume and give to stores because I'm too embarrassed to give them the other one. I chomped down on a strawberry and bit my tongue and cried out in pain. Then, dabbing at the inside of my mouth, I glanced at my email and I saw it.
[Fancypants] University MLIS wait list - space available for you this fall
My jaw dropped. I blinked. I read the line over and over and over. I clicked on the subject line.
You are the next person on the wait list for the [Fancypants] University online MLIS program so we'd like to offer you the opportunity to begin your online studies this fall if you'd like.
My heart started pounding. I couldn't believe what I was reading. I'd been on the wait list the whole time? Why hadn't I gotten a letter or an email letting me know? Was this real? Or was it spam? Or maybe a cruel joke from the admissions department? I read on.
The new student orientation will be in late August at the [North Fancypants] campus ... Please let me know ASAP if you'd like to join the fall 2010 cohort so we can help you get registered and send you detailed information about orientation. Classes begin Wednesday, September 1st.
Oh my god. This was real. This was real and I was accepted. I am accepted.
I am going to graduate school, to attend one of the most high-ranking and well-known MLIS programs in the country. I am going to be a youth services librarian.
Of course, I ran around my house screaming and I called my mom and my dad and I frantically texted my sister and my best friends and Matt. Then I went to work and told my co-workers and they were so excited for me. I'm so excited for me. I mean, soon the boring stuff sets in: applying for a loan, registering for classes, learning to deal with bullshit university bureaucracy.
But today I'm not thinking about any of that. Today I'm just basking in the warm glow of Getting What You Wanted. Today, this is me: