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I spent the better part of last semester pulling my hair out over grad school applications. I spent countless hours with my head bent over teeny scraps of paper, paper that had once been 8 pages of my writing sample but had been subjected to the old-school cut-and-paste method. I anguished over my personal statement for weeks. I triple-checked each application before it was sent out. I was confident that I’d be accepted into at least a couple of MFA programs.

I just got my third rejection letter this morning.

I’m probably not as upset as I should be. I imagined myself crying over each and every rejection letter that came in, or using those letters as an excuse to consume disgusting quantities of Cherry Garcia in one sitting. But really, I’m good. I will admit that the anxiety of waiting for two more schools to give me an answer is slowly killing me though. I mean, if you’re going to rip the band-aid off, might as well do it quickly, right?

I haven’t come to a point yet in my writing career where I’m getting this many rejections in such a short span of time, but I know that kind of life is on the horizon for me. In the next few months I’ll be submitting at least five different pieces to various magazines, and I’m not naive enough to believe that all of them will be chosen for publication. I’m going to be more of a reject than a winner, at least for awhile, and I don’t mind belonging to the rejects corner. I have a lot to learn still, and not everyone is going to be okay with the kind of things I write. Besides, I think that finally being accepted somewhere will feel ten times sweeter after a wave of “nos” right?

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Alyssa Pierce

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