Qualification Exams: T-Minus ~24 hours

This is just a brief glimpse into my life right now.

Nothing but self doubt.


Why can’t my brain actually be useful?


Not the slapping, necessarily (unless you count banging your head against walls/books/tables), but the tons of self doubt and any low self-esteem issues are creeping out of the boxes I keep them in and teaming up on me. “Why didn’t I study more? Why didn’t I do this or that? Why didn’t I read that one paper about that one topic that they might ask me about? I’ve had two months to get ready–I must have been doing something wrong if I still feel unprepared.” It’s all piling up in these last few hours.


I know it’s not win or lose, per se, which kind of makes it worse, because then it comes down to disappointment. What if I disappoint all these people who have mentored me? Realistically, I know they are on my team. But it doesn’t stop all that self-doubt in my brain from making it ‘me versus them’.


So yeah. This is normal, or so I’m told. Everyone feels like this. Everyone has these doubts. I just have to survive them and do my best. I can’t change the past, so worrying if I made the right call about not having late-night cram sessions or if I picked the wrong papers to read will do nothing to help me right now.

I know no one is ‘against’ me in this. There is only one side: mine. Everyone is rooting for me, even the committee.

And I got this.



P.S.–this will probably be my last pre-quals update. I’ll write an update a few days after quals or so, once I’ve had the chance to let everything sink in, and let you know what happened and how everything went.

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