My MFA application season is winding down. I still have three programs that have not yet notified, but all three of them, for various reasons, would likely not compare to the possibilities I currently have on the table. The way it's looking now, I'm accepted at West Virginia, first on the waitlist at Kansas, and also waitlisted at Iowa State (not sure where I am on that one).
Recently my mind has been wandering from "Will I get in?" to "How am I going to decide where to attend?" Waitlists are not offers, but since any move up the waitlist may not happen at the last minute before the April 15 decision deadline, I am for the moment treating each program as if I already had an acceptance. I think there is a decent possibility it will come down to West Virginia vs. Kansas. However, Iowa State has, all along, been one of my top two or three programs; a late acceptance there could throw a kink into everything.
It's not an easy decision to make. I'm trying to take into account location, Greg's feelings about location (since he's looking at three years living wherever I go), money, teaching load, faculty, size, opportunities to gain editing and publishing experience, coursework, and elective opportunities. It's crazy for me to think that a month ago I was terrified that I would get no acceptances; now three possible ones feels like too many. I know people who are deciding between four or five top-ranked, competitive programs, and while I envy their bragging rights, I don't know that I envy their difficult decision.
West Virginia has the best money, the smallest cohort, and I have been impressed with every bit of correspondence I've had with faculty, current students, and alums. But they have a heavy teaching load and no journal. Kansas wins for location, being very close to Greg's family, and is the only program for which I've been selected in fiction, the genre I most want to work in. But MFAs compete for coursework and attention with PhD candidates and it's a bigger program. Iowa State has an environmental fieldwork component and the most opportunities for elective coursework and travel. But I'm not sure how I feel about three years in Iowa, especially when I have a chance to live in the mountains again.
In other news, the weather turned beautiful here in Chicago this week, and all of a sudden I am horribly allergic to...something. Benadryl is the only thing that seems to give me relief from the constant itchiness and sneezing, and it comes with a price of zombie-brain. Nothing around here is blooming, so far as I can tell. I have no idea what the hell is going on.
You know. Just another Tuesday.
Labels: grad school