10 April 2009

((Posted on Facebook so that all of my friends now know my intentions for the coming years. This is a big deal to me, as having close friends know my goals ultimately forces me to work harder for fear of failing.))

After much consideration over the past year, I have come up with my final list of graduate schools to which I will be applying. I am a goal-oriented person; without something to work towards, I become listless and frustrated with life. As some of you may have witnessed firsthand in the year or so preceding my application to CMRS Oxford, I tend to become rather fixated on achieving my goals. Therefore, I have decided to make my graduate school intentions public so that everyone will know exactly what I am hoping to achieve and why I am no longer able to carry on a viable social life in the coming months. If I suddenly drop out of contact for a few weeks or fail to emerge from my room for days at a time, this is why.

Perhaps I am setting my sights too high, but I do not care. I have been told repeatedly that I should stop trying, that someone such as myself is not of the caliber required by such institutions. I am aware that I will need to maintain almost perfect grades for the next year in order to push myself from meeting the requirements into the realm of possible acceptance. I am willing to work for this. I will push myself to the limits for this. All I am asking for is your support and understanding when I inevitably have a breakdown sometime in November and try to quit school. (As usual, I will not actually quit school, but I will probably refuse to do any work at all for an entire week and then spend the rest of the semester in various stages of stress-induced panic as I realize exactly how foolish I have been.)

This is where I want to be in two years time. This is my public declaration of intent (if anyone cares). That is all.

1. University of Oxford
Course: MPhil in International Relations (2 years) (or) MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy (9 months with the expectation of continuing towards DPhil in Development Studies)

2. University of Cambridge
Course: MPhil in International Relations (2 years with the expectation of continuing towards 2 year PhD

3. London School of Economics
Course: MSc in International Relations (11 months)

4. University of St. Andrews
Course: MRes in International Relations (1 year followed by 3 year PhD)

5. John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
Course: Masters in International Relations, Conflict Resolution concentration (2 years)

6. University of Edinburgh (I apparently get a 10% discount for having studied here...sweet)
Course: MSc in Politics & International Relations (1 year)

(Side note: I am taking both the Foreign Service Officer Test and the GRE in October. Is anyone else taking either test at the same time?)

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