I'm applying for postgraduate courses now. I've decided to apply to all the ones that look interesting, based on proximity to Danni and the course duration. This will give me a little longer to think about which one I would like best - and it may be that the choice is made for me by the admissions people anyway.
The first deadline is 17th January, and as I have to collect references and sample essays by that time I need to start filling in the forms now. So I had a go this afternoon. Using the fancy online application system.
My learning difficulties mean that I cannot, for the life of me, manage forms. Over the course of the afternoon I have registered my date of birth as 1080, which was an accident (my dyscalculia isn't that bad) but I couldn't work out how to change it. Then I chose the wrong code for 'current institution' and registered myself as a student of a Chinese university specialising in technology and electronics. I started giving information about my (non-existent) previous degrees - and, after correcting this mistake, read that I would have to pay a £25 charge for each application that I make via the online system. I am using it to apply for two degrees (a diploma in theology and an MPhil in English literature) and can't afford to lose £50.
So I am going to have to apply on paper.
This means sixteen pages of form-filling. Handwriting. Getting things in the right boxes. I will have to ask one of my parents to do it for me.
This has made me pretty anxious and doleful. I know that my confusion with forms won't affect my ability to work towards a PhD, but it feels as though I'm having to take a very unnatural test before I can even be considered for a place. Then there are the applications I have to make to get the necessary funding - more
complicated forms and things. It makes me want to cry.
Then, in the course information, I read that an oral examination is given to MPhil candidates. I nearly had a panic attack. I started to go dizzy and feel sick. I went and took a hot shower to calm down. I don't even know if I will get a place. It is silly to get anxious at the thought of a viva voce
that may not even happen, but...the thought of having to make a coherent argument and defend my points with somebody whom I've never met gets me extremely nervous. My doctor and one of my supervisors have both remarked that I don't always give relevant answers when I'm speaking. I know what they mean. Writing is so much easier, as I'm alone with the text and don't have to focus on my tone of voice and my physical presentation (positive body language) and the reactions of the other person, which are sometimes unpredictable enough to cause me to lose my thoughts. How could I ever pass something that involves an oral exam?
I don't really know whether this should be in Blue Day Cafe or Study Support, but I will put in Study Support for the sake of being cheerful and practical. Ideas would be gratefully welcomed.