My reflections from this years application

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My reflections from this years application

Post by jason712 » Sun May 17, 2020 11:37 pm

First off, this may be the wrong place to post this so if so I apologise in advance trust it will be moved to the right location. I also want to thank the people on this forum. Particularly Miriam who has offered much-needed advice both professionally and personally to me over the years.

This year was my third time applying, I was only shortlisted by one university which I'm grateful for and it's interesting how each year I feel myself developing, not only as a clinician but personally as well. I remember years ago the doctorate felt like the ultimate goal itself as if my life would be complete once I got on, kind of like the happily ever afters in the old Disney films. Ignoring the fact that there's always a tomorrow after. Last year I came pretty close to getting on. I was on reserve and called back for a second interview which I sadly didn't get on. I then found out I was number 2 on the reserve list, something I'm quite proud of and actually had the university not gone with a second interview I likely would have been given a place. Going through that emotional rollercoaster I feel made things much more pleasant this year-round, after all, I came close to tasting that success only to then not get it. It came to a point where I did for less prep work for the interview and only really started thinking about it the weekend before. On the day of the interview, I was nervous of course, but more so due to the anticipation of being interviewed rather than what the interview meant.

The interview started, familiar faces from last year, and familiar styles of questions. Yet something was different, I was a lot calmer, more natural, and therefore more reflective. I recall last year my answers being cutup, chewed, and thrown back in my face making me feel like an idiot yet this year there appeared to be none of that. Instead, I was able to demonstrate to them my knowledge and thinking process. When answering one question and having them ask me something contradictory to it, instead of panicking I agreed with them and that actually in line with this new bit of information I've now changed my thought process which I think they liked.

I left that interview not knowing for sure if I got on (how can I?) but feeling pleased with myself and confident with how I answered. Whether or not I get on I'm confident that I answered to the best of my current abilities and have not spent any time ruminating over them - thinking "Oh if only I said this". I'm waiting for the results still and if I don't get on will be naturally disappointed but pleased that I at least did my very best.

This process can be draining and exhausting but I think what helped me the most this year was the realisation that the doctorate won't necessarily mean my life will be perfect, that there are other avenues to this career which have been fruitful for myself as I'm currently in a band 6 role as a manager with the option to do the HICBT training this September. And if I don't get on, I may go and do the training, the doctorate certainly isn't going anywhere but I'm 28 years old and my life continues whether or not I get on.

Anyway, this was just a piece of reflection I've been having that I wanted to share. Remember that a rejection doesn't mean you have to put your life on hold - something I'm guilty of doing. I'm just glad I realised that before I hit my 30s.

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Re: My reflections from this years application

Post by miriam » Wed May 20, 2020 7:25 pm

That's great to hear Jason. Letting go a little of that need to be perfect and seeing the doctoral interviews as the test of whether you are good enough can often reduce the stress and put you in a mindset in which you are able to come across more positively. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you :)

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