Many of you might think this is a cop-out and maybe it is, but I'm trying to think through all of my options with as much long-term awareness as possible.
Here's the thing - I am not functioning at a high-enough level these days to dive back into this process. My husband will be gone all summer long, coming home pretty much just before I need to get into the heart of re-applying. While I told myself that his being gone would give me oodles of time to get stuff done, I did not account for the motivation factor. Currently, m=0. I won't be able to concentrate well enough to study for and re-take the GRE. I don't WANT to go through another year of uncertainty - not knowing where I'll be living in 2010. I don't want to have to spend the first couple months of my husband being back writing personal statements and getting application materials together.
And what the fuck would I be doing it all for anyway? Name recognition??? WTF difference does it make if my CV says PhD, R2, or PhD, Arizona State? I just want to dive in and immerse myself in what I love - why does it matter where I go?
I mean, there are a shitload of post-doc and faculty positions open right now in social psych programs across the country and around the world - I know this, because I get announcements for them on one of my listservs. Are they all going to suddenly fade away in 5 years?
I LOVED R2 city. I LOVED the people there. I saw myself living there with my husband from the moment I got off the plane. The facilities aren't fancy, but no one is running around backstabbing peers either. And I have to ask, are these people I met, the potential grad students at other R1 programs, who were basically airheads who managed to get decent grades from mediocre schools - are they really going to have a better shot than me when it comes to getting faculty positions just because of WHERE they went? Sure, the Yale & Princeton students will - because the Ivies are incestuous and they'll all end up teaching at Harvard & Stanford. But what about the rest of them? The students at R2 are so much smarter and more passionate than the students I met at program #4. Doesn't that mean something?
I mean, I do worry about what my career will look like if I go to R2. Will I be able to overcome the name game and move into a faculty position at an R1? And if not, will I have had enough teaching experience to move into an R2 or a LAC? Will I be forced into industry because of the nature of the program - and if I do, would that be so bad if I still get to do research?
I'm just starting to feel like I've pissed away enough of my twenties by being focused on school to the exclusion of nearly everything else. And all it got me was this position I'm in right now. Maybe it's time to start considering my life as a whole instead of just my career. Maybe I need to just get over myself and stop looking a gift horse in the mouth.
There has to be a reason why my visit to program #4 made me hate a city that I spent my entire life wanting to move to. There has to be a reason why I loved R2 city so much when I was convinced I would hate it before I got on the plane. I think the fact I loved it so much freaked me out, and I started looking for reasons NOT to move across the country.
But then again, maybe the idea of re-applying and facing all that rejection again freaks me out MORE and now I'm trying to rationalize going to R2 because it's the lesser of the 2 evils.
I don't know. I'm so confused. :(