Okay, so I know I haven’t updated my blog for a while now. I actually have in fact been taking a break from all my writing and reading activities, but there’s a reason for this. As a graduate student, sometimes your studies can overwhelm you and you sometimes don’t have time for other things. A similar thing happened here, although it wasn’t necessarily the workload part of graduate school that has caused me to take a break from writing. Rather, it is because of a setback (though I don’t believe permanent) to my plans to carry through on my ambitions at excelling at the highly intellectually rewarding field that is mathematics. And what setback have I endured this time? Simply put, no acceptance from any PhD program in mathematics from any of my applications. Such an event has certainly been traumatic (not that no acceptance into a program is the worst thing that can happen to someone, just that there has rarely been a time when I couldn’t see the study of math not being part of my life). You might ask why I wasn’t accepted into any of the programs I got into and while I do have a few ideas why, I’m not comfortable disclosing those ideas here as I do believe they are too confidential in nature. I can tell you, however, what I’m doing to better my chances next time and that is to extend my masters over the summer to get in more research experience, which after all is what getting a PhD is all about.
But that is basically why I’ve been taking a break from a lot of things. So that I can let the process of grievance take its course and pass. It is a grievance over a strange type of loss actually. It’s only a temporary loss as I will be trying again later and sending out a second batch of applications to hopefully have at least a few of them accepted. Don’t get me wrong on how I’ve been grieving. I haven’t gone home every night and sulked in a corner because I wasn’t accepted anywhere. That isn’t how I’ve been going through the grieving process. Rather, I have merely taken a break from things that require a lot of energy like writing and reading and to reorganise my time to have more time for other things. For example, I’ve spent a lot of time on my research over the past couple of months and have gotten a few breakthroughs (always an encouraging thing!), more time going out with friends, and more time simply relaxing.
But now that things are resolving themselves, especially with the research, I find the grieving phase to be ending and I can now return to a normal balanced life. A gap year between the masters and phd will probably do me good anyway. It’ll give me a chance to recharge my batteries before going through at least four years straight of it. This event has also shown me that I’ve been taking my math ambitions for granted a bit too much and thus once I’m all settled down into a PhD program I’ll appreciate it all the more (and perhaps even lead to better research results). I do believe that things happen for a reason and even if I don’t make it through graduate school (but I’m still at least 99.99% certain I will), I’ll probably find some way for math, philosophy, and writing to be part of my life no matter what I do. I do like to believe that those who are passionate enough for a subject find a way to succeed as it regardless.