Photo by Imani Clovis on Unsplash
It goes without saying being immersed in the application process is stressful. Regardless your confidence level, it’s likely you feel anxious waiting to hear your results. And the process isn’t a quick and painless one either, with interviews stretched out over weeks and ‘match day’ often actually being ‘match month’. It’s tough. I reached out to interns and RDs who were in your shoes not too long ago to share some of their wisdom. Specifically, I asked them how they felt during the process and what they did about it. So let’s see some of what they had to say.
During the application and matching process, I felt…
“Nervous and anxious all day, but also excited at the prospect that this process was soon going to be over, no matter the outcome”
“Very anxious and unfocused. I was constantly refreshing my email waiting for news on my application.”
“Anxious, nervous, confused.”
“Apprehensive. I hid in the library and tried to keep my brain occupied on other things. I imagined what I would do in both situations; if I got an offer or what I would do if I didn’t.”
“Anxious and pressured. I knew there were many qualified applicants and I was not sure what my chances were.”
(… and then ‘nervous’ and ‘anxious’ were mentioned about 2632950 more times after that.)
After compiling these answers I realized I didn’t really answer the question myself. And then I remembered I still had this picture… and just to make you laugh I’ll share it…
Yes, I was crying on the kitchen floor – well a mix of crying and laughing. The laughing was because I wasn’t sure why I was crying. Exhaustion? Delirious? Stressed? Sleep deprived? Hungry? Too tired to put those groceries away? Bookbag too heavy? No motivation to remove myself from the floor and face life? All of the above?
If there’s anything I’ve learned from going through tough times it’s that it helps to laugh at yourself.
Next question was,
And what did you do to cope with your feelings?
“I found that exercising was a huge stress relief for me.”
“I enjoyed spending time with friends, supporting each other through the internship process was such a huge help!”
“I did a lot of yoga, started thinking about my plan B, hugged my dog, and made sure to treat myself to the things I loved! I watched my favourite movies and shows, I listened to my favourite songs, ate my favourite food etc.”
“Self-care is key.”
“I kept my application process to myself and tried to avoid listening to any competitive or negative talk around me. I stayed positive by carrying on with my regular school life and tried not to let applications consume me.”
“I still made time for other parts of my life. Although they took up the majority of the time, I made it a priority to still see my family and friends, even if it’s for shorter amounts of time. That way it felt like they didn’t 100% consume my life.”
“I focused on one thing at a time. I broke it down into small chunks and started early.”
“I held myself accountable for prioritizing self-care by scheduling activities I enjoyed doing on my calendar.”
“I cried when I felt I needed to cry. I always had a bottle of wine in my fridge and cashews and dark chocolate in my cupboard. But I kept studying.”
“I spent time with my family, friends, and boyfriend (my biggest supporter). Having someone to rely on, spend time with doing things I enjoy, and cry/rant to was my biggest stress relief.”
“Just having someone who will listen to you really helped.”
“I tried to get outside, and take time to relax.”
“I tried to stay optimistic and talked with profs for support.”
“Family and friends. There is nothing stronger than having close ties with people who care about you…and it is never wrong to lean on those supports.”
So my wish for you, sweet readers, is to know you are not alone in this process. You are not the only one feeling the way you do. You are understood. So if you see a stress-relieving activity mentioned here that resonates with you please do yourself a favor and try it. As mentioned, self-care is key.