Hello, all you curious MFAers! I may be older than many of you out there, lost in the dredges of MFA applications, wait-lists, scary decisions and binge drinking, but I feel ya.
I sit here today with one admission under my belt and a definite sense of accomplishment. In retrospect, I probably should have taken more time to research and debate my options, but I had some limiting factors like a mortgage, a hubby, and a semi-feral cat that would not have taken kindly to being uprooted from the only backyard he's ever known, so after a lot of thinking and some discussion with my better half, I applied to schools that were: one- in my city, two- 1 hour away, and three- 1- 2 hours away. I can't imagine doing this with kids, but to all of you out there that are, or are planning to do it, I salute you!
It was a tough process and if you've been out of academia for a while, like I have, it can be jarring. It has taken roughly 9 months from the time I decided to apply up until my first notification. The entire process has been one big whirlwind that I'm still dizzy from. Here's how it went:
Internet research. Top 50 MFA Programs. Programs in Florida. Program application requirements. Study for GRE. Take GRE, meh. Hunt down old professors and supervisors for recommendations. Smile at them a lot and offer baked goods. Make final program decisions. Draft a writing sample.Thanksgiving. Revise writing sample. Find another sample. Polish that sample. Get feedback. Christmas. Last minute touch-ups. Submit apps to schools, whew! Keep fingers crossed and wait for responses.
I applied to 3 schools in Florida, and I have been accepted to the 2-year fiction program in my current city. Hopefully with funding, as they are not done with those decisions yet. I was rejected from another school early on, and I'm still waiting to hear back from the third. All in all I am very happy with the way things are turning out. I've researched the professors at my potential program and their strengths play to mine, this is good I think. l am really excited about being a student again and can't wait for August. Even though it seems few people around me understand what I am doing. The phrase,"…writing? what are you going to do with that?" has been uttered enough times that I might self-combust if I hear it again or any of its other variants (i.e.-"writing? that can't be too hard"). Regardless, the last half of 2010 was spent figuring out who I really was, what I wanted to do with myself, and how I was going to make it happen. Now, I'm on my way!
I'll be 31 (I know it's not ancient, but can't help but feel a little out of place) when I enroll in the fall. I was nervous about having classmates that are so much younger, so much more prolific, successful, and impressive, but I've come to realize I'm not much different. We are all committed and determined to be successful. We all want to find our voices and hone our craft. We all have something to say and are trying our hardest to yell it at the top of our lungs. So let us be heard!