Yesterday I got the official rejection email from a Masters scholarship program I applied for in January. I knew I had been left out already after a previous scholarship recipient posted about this years’ recipients on Twitter but I kept waiting for the email to make it official. The lack of an official email was giving me false hope like a candle light that refuses to burn out when it is just patches of melted wax left. So the mail finally arrived and I dealt with my final stage of grief, acceptance. I had immediately taken steps to work on this rejection the moment I realized that I was left out last week. I am scared of rejection and I give up easy, perhaps, my worst trait. Rejection hurts and it is a kind of pain I do not like to deal with so I run from it by not applying for things. It always amazes me how every new rejection brings with it, it’s own kind of grief and pain. You can never get used to it but I think you can get comfortable with it. I am learning to get comfortable with it as I got 3 rejections last week, a writing fellowship, the scholarship application and a short story submission. Can it get any worse? In my previous low self esteem life, I would have said I am not a writer and will never attempt to do it again but as I said, I am getting comfortable with these “No’s”, (Hello, a new type of darkness, this is a comfortable space). I am actually gearing up to write another piece of bad fiction as I have started to fondly call my “good in my head but trash on paper stories” and put in another scholarship application. It takes a lot for me to push myself and this past year I became comfortable with where I was at, changing the status quo was not something I was keen on. Graduate school was something I did not give much consideration and the thought of putting in applications and getting rejections was not something I wanted to deal with, to be honest. However, attending a few scholarship webinars got me thinking that maybe I should try my luck and I did try with this one scholarship program which was mistake number one. I only applied for one scholarship program. I literally put all of my eggs in one basket and thought they would hatch, I am mad I know. Well they did not and I am back to the drawing board, a place where when it comes to graduate school, I am tired of being in. I have been planning, preparing and applying for graduate school since my senior year of college when I wrote the GRE. To be honest, I thought it would be a walk in the park but now almost 4 years, 4 college acceptances and close to zero funding opportunities later I have begun to wonder if I am wasting my time applying to schools and for scholarship opportunities. The world is competitive and the competition keeps getting stiffer. There is no guarantee that anything you apply for, you will get which is something that does not seem to click in this beautiful brain of mine. When I first applied for grad school, I did not think of tuition and other fees and when I ended up getting into all 3 programs with very little prospects of funding, I then started to think about money. Now I have had to turn down a fourth school because I do not have the money to go. I am not getting any younger and I realize that now is the best time to get this school thing out of the way. Now I have to find a school again and this time I am going to use a different strategy, I am applying to a school that I can afford to pay out of pocket. I am now thinking of ways I can save up money for this. I once had a chat with someone at a school event and she mentioned that being an employee at a university can help in having your tuition reduced or waived so that’s another avenue I might explore. I think that maybe the greatest lesson in all of this, I need to get uncomfortable to move to the next level of this life game.