Sunday, August 16, 2009

MFA Applications Will Kill Your Soul (But Don't Let That Stop You)

By Wahida Omar

Hey everyone. I know I'm way behind in the posting game. But my fellow Chroniclers have been doing such a great job! No shortage of MFA reading material here.

I arrived in Minneapolis on July 26th, and spent the first couple weeks house sitting and looking at apartments. I found a great little pad, and I just moved in this past Monday. My things arrived from Arizona on Friday. A few of my future classmates are here already too, and we've been having a great time hanging out and poking around the city.

So I've been super busy, but things should start slowing down a bit now---at least until orientation week starts, on August 31st. I have lots of ideas for stuff I want to talk about here, and my fellow first years keep inspiring me with all their awesome posts! I promise you haven't read the last of me.

Meanwhile, here's an excerpt from a post I wrote on my personal blog back in June. Some of you may have read it already, but I figure it's a good starting place for my posts on this blog. It's really, really long, so I'll just leave a snippet here and then include a link.
SO, for months now I've been meaning to post a list of things I learned from the MFA application process. But I just didn't have the strength. Now that I'm safely far, far away from that soul-crushing process, I think I'm ready to give it a go.

Here's the knowledge-like substance I gleaned from the whole torrid affair.

1) MFA APPLICATIONS WILL KILL YOUR SOUL. But pleeeease don't let that stop you. It doesn't feel like it now, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Or insert uplifting cliche of your choice here.
I go on quite a bit after that! You can read the rest of the post here.

I know some of our writers here have just arrived in their new cities, and some are about to start orientation. Good luck! I'm sending you all my very best settling in vibes.


  1. I was hanging out with members of my class and we all agreed that the application process is a very special kind of very expensive hell. I agree, though, that the toil of the application process shouldn't stop anyone from applying! It will make you want to never get out of bed ever again, but you will, I promise. My mentor told me that I should look at applying as "shopping." I'm picking out what I think would be great for me. The power is MY hands, not some unknown, unseen hands from schools halfway across the country. Sure, they decide if they accept you or not, but you have the decision to apply in the first place!

  2. Good point, Brianne, about how the applicants are really the shoppers.

    Thanks for posting a snippet of this, Wahida. I remember reading it earlier. And I definitely agree: it's a crazy, stressful, exhausting experience, but definitely worthwhile :)

  3. Ha---"very special kind of very expensive hell." Exactly right, I love it. And yes, still worth it. You DO have the power!

    I feel bad I'm using leftovers! But I figure we're drawing in some new readers here, so I was hoping this would tide me over until I'm not crazy with settling in :)

  4. It sounds a lot like childbirth; no matter how much anyone seems to convince themselves it won't be as bad as everyone says it is, you never actually hear anyone say it wasn't so bad after all. hahaha.

  5. I think your "leftovers" were a great idea right now given how relevant they are -- given that the next batch of applicants is probably gearing up right now, as we speak! Poor unsuspecting darlings . . .

  6. It really is a process that you have to recover from! I wasn't ready for it to be about a year before I could even think about trying to be normal again lol. Thanks for sharing this here too, it's perfect!


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