So You Matched!

When I underwent Phase II for the second time, I was completely emotionally wiped out. I have talked before about my strategy of applying to every site that had an opening. Faced with the prospect of a third round of applications, I was burning out fast. Then something amazing happened – sites were offering me more interviews than I had time to schedule them. (I do not care how stressed out you are, this is the best possible “problem” you can have while applying for internship. Complaints about finding time for all of your interviews will be met with hostility and being punched in the face, and no one will feel sorry for you.) My point is, I went all in on this phase. I was like someone running away from a serial killer who sees a ravine a head. You take the last bit of energy you have and throw yourself forward, knowing you will either fall to your death or be safe from harm on the other side. (In this scenario the serial killer is not very good at jumping.) I made comments to friends and family after my second Match Day that, if I didn’t get an internship in Phase II, I did not think I had it in me to apply a third time. It was this or dropping out of my program. And now that I am on the verge of starting my internship, I honestly do not know what I would have done had I been put in the position of making good on that promise.

I essentially coasted into the Phase II match on fumes with no energy left for anything else. Then, after the celebration ended, I realized that the journey was far from over. I had to move and figure out how to adjust to a new town. The transition takes energy – save some. Maybe you will be fortunate enough to not have to move for your internship. For a lot of people this is the most feasible option for completing their degree, but if you have the flexibility to relocate, I do recommend considering trying a new place. Having spent my entire life in Minnesota, four years of schooling in Connecticut pulled me out of my shell in a way that staying put never would. For my internship I headed South and am excited for another unique experience. However, moving is stressful.

When I was researching my move, the easiest and most affordable option was to ship my belongings and drive myself and my cats. Side note, cats do NOT like long car rides. I also suggest, if finances allow, taking a trip to apartment hunt prior to the move. Knowing exactly where you are going, and being able to see a place in person prior to signing a lease, is a huge stress relief.

As far as engaging in your new community, it is hard to make friends in adulthood! As someone who has been a full-time student since I was five, I have never had to actually go outside and meet new people. Social situations and friends have always been provided for me by my school. For the first week that I was in Arkansas, I barely left my apartment. Where was I supposed to go? Enter Facebook, of all things. I found a couple of local groups focused on some of my interests, met a couple of people, was introduced to more people,  and now I’m not sure how I will work my internship into my busy social schedule. 🙂

So, thank you for bearing with me as I rambled through my expertise on the internship process. This concludes my series for now, unless someone points out something that I missed. Good luck!

So You’ve Decided To Get A Roommate

Brief update from last week: I did manage to scramble and set up my Phase II applications, and I have gotten some responses from sites (both positive and negative). Right now I do not want to jinx the process and so I will be focusing on other aspects of the Graduate Experience for this blog. Hopefully I will soon have some good news, and at that time I will be more than happy to exhaust all of you with Tales of Internship.

For my fourth year of graduate school, I took the plunge and got a roommate. I realized I could afford a much nicer apartment if I were splitting the rent. (Right now I pay about the same rent for my half of an enormous two-bedroom, two-bathroom with study, fireplace, walk-in closet, and vaulted ceilings for what I was paying for what can only be described as a glorified closet. Possibly more on that at a later date.) However, I had been tolerating tiny, sub-par apartments because they seemed like the better alternative than having to share my space with another person. (I have had some less than ideal roommate experiences. There will not be more on that later for the sake of privacy.)

I met Katelyn at the start of my second year. She was about to enter the program and relocate to the area, and I was looking for someone to sublet my apartment because I had taken a job in Residential Life and had to move to campus. She ended up not subletting from me. Frankly my first grad school apartment was not in the most savory neighborhood. We stayed in touch and bonded over our mutual love of cats the fact that we have both lived in Minnesota. At the end of my third year, I wanted to stay in the same area for a job but did not want to stay in my closet of an apartment that reeked of the last tenant’s cigarettes and where management never fixed anything. Down the road was an infinitely nicer building – recently renovated, responsive, on-site maintenance, et cetera. The problem was, it was twice my current rent and only had two bedroom units. Katelyn had accepted a practicum in the neighborhood and was considering moving to my area (in our second and third years, we do practicum 3 days per week and class 2 days per week, so you can save a bundle on gas if you live closer to externship).


Neither of us could afford the apartment we wanted individually, so we bit the bullet and moved in together. We have our differences – I tend to get up early, she tends to sleep in, I’m a neat freak, Katelyn isn’t – but we get along really well. I think it is largely because of our ingrown Minnesota nice-ness that makes us step back and consider the other’s feelings, and think twice before bringing up a minor issue (because really, is it the end of the world that it’s your roommate’s turn to take out the garbage and they want to do it in the morning and not right this second?). We also compromise – I get the bigger closet to cope with my trauma of the Tiny Apartment, and Katelyn gets the assigned parking spot right in front of the building. But I think the biggest key to our success in not killing each other is named Debbie.

I read a statistic somewhere that said that 75% of roommate arguments stem from disagreements about cleaning. “It’s your turn to vacuum!” “Why haven’t you washed your dishes yet?” and the like. We preempted these arguments by hiring a housekeeper to come by twice a month and clean up after both of us. We split the cost in half, and it ends up being very affordable.

So if you are thinking about defraying your school costs with a roommate, choose someone whose quirks you are familiar with and know you can tolerate, and who can tolerate your quirks. Also invest in a housekeeper. Trust me, it’s the best investment I have made. Oh, and if you have cats, get a unit with a fire place.


Trust me.