Last week, I heard back from the study abroad office at my school: I didn’t get accepted to the Irish Writing Program. Less than twenty-four hours later, I received a second email saying that they realized they would actually be able to accept a few more applicants, and that I’d gotten in the second time around.
I withdrew from the program, though. Turned in my paperwork yesterday, in fact.
I know this choice might not make a lot of sense to you especially considering how excited I was at the thought of possibly getting into the IWP, but just hear me out, all right? I thought I hadn’t gotten in after all so I went ahead and made plans – plans to take classes over the summer. I’m enrolled in four non-concurrent classes for a total of twelve credit hours, and I’m super excited for all of my courses. And now I kind of want to stick with those plans, that summer schedule.
Also, my parents and I talked about it and decided that I’d probably benefit more from the IWP if I attended after my second year of college, not my first.
(I say “my second year” and not “my sophomore year” because I’m technically a sophomore already, and will probably be considered a junior this fall. My adviser is confident that I have enough credits to graduate in 2018, a full year earlier than I originally anticipated.)
Sometimes when people my age say “my parents and I decided,” what actually happened was that their parents decided something for them and pressured them into obeying, but that wasn’t the case here. I asked my parents, especially my mom, for their input, but I was the one who mentioned it first and ultimately it was my decision.
I got in this year – albeit during the second round of application judging – so I think I have a decent chance of getting accepted next year, considering that I’ll have two full years of writing classes under my belt by that point instead of just one. I think I’ll be better prepared to produce the level of work that is expected from the IWP participants.
Which leads me to my next point: I have a full year now to work on my writing samples and statement of purpose essay instead of, like, a few months. I plan to write and revise and write and revise and ask a few different friends and/or professors for feedback on all of the writing I turn in as part of my application.
I’m mildly worried that I may not get in next year after all, of course, and that I may be overestimating my chances. If I graduate early, I will end up spending only two summers as a college student, so I only have one more chance. But I think I’ll be OK.
So, yeah. I’m spending this summer in Iowa City, and hope to attend the Irish Writing Program next year as a hopefully more mature and more skilled second-year student.
In the meantime, it’s not as though I’ll be bored. I applied for a waitressing job at a diner – although I worked in a restaurant for three years in high school, I was never a waitress, but I can learn. Some of my friends from school will be spending the summer, although the blogging friend I had hoped to meet up with for a few weeks over the summer won’t be able to come.
I wanna go to Iowa City Pride, and Stephen King will be at one of my favorite bookstores to do a reading and signing, and I want to explore the town more since it’ll be quieter and warmer and with fewer people.
So that’s how I’m going to spend my summer! How about you? What are you doing this summer?!