Like most grad applicants, I have lived in anxiety hell since I submitted my applications on January 15th. The anxiety really peaked around March 1st. I refreshed my email every 10-15 minutes and I greeted the mailman at the door in the hopes that the response would suddenly materialize. I felt like Bart Simpson waiting for his spy camera. Instead of a camera, I wanted to know the fate of my future. "Where's my grad school decision?!"
For any future grad school applicants that are reading this, I highly recommend that you stay away from Gradcafe.com while you are waiting for your decision. It will only multiply your anxiety. Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way. I stayed up late almost every night pouring over the posts and stats from the previous year. I read a post from a current student that said the program was behind on processing applications because they had received nearly 700 applications! I mentally prepared myself for a rejection letter.
March 16th: I was up until 3 am writing a paper for an undergraduate course. Out of habit, I checked my email one last time before heading to bed. To my surprise, the email was just sitting there. The answer wasn't hidden in an attachment like the one from Marquette. The subject line read "Notification of Acceptance to Portland State University". I read it several times before I allowed myself to open the email. The email was short, sweet, and positive. I felt like there must have been a mistake. I checked that it was my name, my school, and the right program. I must have read it five times before I woke my husband to share the good news. I heard my voice crack and realized just how excited and relieved I was. After years of hard work, I was finally in a grad school program. Portland is just icing on the cake!