April 15th – the day already beloved by Americans all over for tax forms just got a little bit better for me – it's also the day that my official graduate school decision is due. The day that I have to let everyone know where I want to spend the next five years of my life, where I want to continue my biomedical engineering training, where I want to get my doctoral degree, where I want to contribute to medicine and science.
It’s not you, it’s me
Over the last 2 months I've met a lot of great potential mentors. They've been so great spending time writing long e-mails answering my questions, talking with me on the phone, and showing me around their labs. I really think there are 4 people at different schools who I would be totally happy working with – who would help me grow into a great scientist – who have really exciting research. But I have to choose. Unlike Hermione from the Harry Potter books, I can not be 3 places at once. I have to let people down. I have to give up on the possibility of studying those other things with those other people and look straight ahead.
I made a fancy decision matrix last night to give weighted scores or different attributes of each school. The final scores were so close – nothing conclusive. But as I manipulated the Excel cells to make one of the schools get a slight advantage I could tell that's where my gut was telling me. Decision over.
Now I just have to fill out the paperwork, send some break up e-mails, and then, when all that's behind me, it's time to start getting excited (I hope!).