Earlier this year, I had applied to a graduate program in Paris, France at one of the most prestigious universities in the fashion world for working the business-side luxury brands.
I saw this program as an amazing opportunity to gain a unique, yet rigorous, experience for my career in fashion retail management and digital marketing. The student visa for the program would have granted me the ability to legally stay in France.
In the end, acceptance into this graduate program would have checked a lot of boxes for the next part of my life on both a professional and personal level. If all went according to plan, I would have a powerful master’s degree that would help open doors. I would have been able to continue to my Parisian life and stay in France with my boyfriend without having to be apart and long-distance.
Spoiler alert—things didn’t go to plan. The doors didn’t open. I was rejected from the program.
We found out soon after my boyfriend and I recently came to the United States. It was always in the plan for me to stay in New England this summer, but we were hoping to be reunited when I would start the graduate program this fall.
So right now, I’m docked stateside.
Now. As annoying as it is, I’m not devastated. I’m not paralyzed. Neither is my boyfriend. The initial few hours learning of the admissions decision weren’t comfortable, but we worked passed it shortly after.
Because I was always hopeful yet realistic. I knew the graduate program is very selective. I attended the open house in Paris and saw the profiles of their alumni and current students. I knew there was a possibility that I wouldn’t make the cut. I could have applied to other graduate programs at other universities in Paris, but none of the others held the same weight that I was looking for.
Because my boyfriend and I had planned out several Plan Bs, both in France and in the U.S. We’ve always talked about living in the U.S. together for a temporary amount of time—it just may be sooner than initially expected.
In a strange way, not getting into grad school in Paris has opened another door by forcing me to pursue the projects I’ve been wanting to work on.
What if I actually build up my virtual assistant business that has always been a “side-hustle?” What if I actually made myself build up my blog that has always been a “passion project?”
What happened if I made the decision to double-down on the things that I’ve already built for myself?
Pursuing Plan B isn’t going to be easy. It’s going to involve more patience. More work. More networking. More research. More paperwork. More bureaucracy. Less time together than we would want.
And hopefully, it will end up with the rewards that I wouldn’t have earned while back in school.
I could wallow and complain this summer. I could choose to resign my ambitions. I could give up.
Or I could regroup, re-strategize and get out with some killer game.
On y va.
My heart goes out to all of my family and friends in the United States and France for supporting this journey. For my friends in France, it’s not goodbye—it’s bisous, à bientôt.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Oamar Weiss