I have thought long and hard whether I want to write this, whether it is something I want forever documented, and I decided that should everything work out, I will want to be reminded of the process.
I took my comp exams a few weeks ago. These exams decide whether I get to move on to my dissertation, earn ABD status and change my status to that of a doctoral candidate...so pretty big deal.
I got the results yesterday. I did not pass. I did not fail. I was given rewrite status. This is very common, according to my father, but still, it has crushed me. I have awesome grades, and have always done well on papers, so the comments and feedback were really hard to read. I have two weeks to adjust my paper and make the changes, it will then be reviewed and I will either pass or fail Pass and all is good with the world, fail and I have one more opportunity to take the exam this summer.
It all looks so cut and dry when written out, but I wish I could express how emotionally trying this process is. It takes so much of my life away, interrupts time with the kids, causes me stress and worries me endlessly. Should I pass the exam, I still have the dissertation process to contend with, and my understanding is that they really try too break your spirit then. This process is painful, tearful and harsh. It is exhausting and debilitating at times. It is, by far, the loneliest process ever, as there is no one in my immediate life who has been through this while working and raising small children. I have wonderful support from friends and family, but they just don't understand the internal beatings you take and give yourself while trying to achieve this goal. I do, however, have an old friend who just completed her doctorate and she has a young family as well. Her feedback and encouragement is immeasurable as she DOES know what this is like and DOES understand how hard this is on a person. I am so thankful to everyone who supports me, but must admit that I wish this entire process was over.