The Experienced Reject’s Guide to Coping

Hey all, sadly, Wisconsin Interview did not lead to me post-matching with them. And that’s disappointing, and it’s okay for me to be sad about it. It was a long shot, but of course I wanted it! The difficulty I face now is trying to decide where things go from here. My husband and I are very ready to leave Utah. I’m getting restless going to the same lab every day. Of course, moving for a GCA position would be ideal, but because it’s not just me and my feelings involved, we can’t just wait around for me to maybe maybe get a GCA position.

With all of that in mind, we are now working towards moving south to Phoenix, Arizona! We like the warm, there’s lots of opportunity in education and healthcare (my and my husband’s fields), and we’re just ready to not feel like trying for genetic counseling school is leaving us stuck in this rut in Utah.

Of course, things could still change if I’m like offered a GCA position somewhere else in the next 2 weeks. But it feels good to have a plan. It is appealing to feel “unstuck” finally. It didn’t happen how I’d hoped, but it feels SO GOOD to take control of my own life and happiness and not wait for someone else to decide that I’m worthy of it.

As for the upcoming year, I’d like to think I will gather up the courage to apply again. I don’t really want to uproot us all over again right after we get feeling settled in Arizona, so I’ll probably focus on programs in the west / southwest, plus the 2 online programs! I’m really hoping this change of scenery gives me new opportunities and renewed vigor for life, love, and genetics.

But like I said, it’s okay that right now I’m feeling pained, exhausted, even hopeless. I know it’s a bit late since all the other unmatched applicants have probably moved on by now 😅. But I thought this week I’d share just a few ways that I cope with this draining, expensive, self-esteem-shattering process–especially in its darkest moments such as what I felt this past week.

So, here it is…

The Experienced Reject’s Guide to Coping

  1. Giving love and empathy to others who are hurting. I want everyone out there to know that Crisis Text Line is not just something that I do to try to get into graduate school. I log into the platform for my Spike Captain shifts, to do that hustle, save some lives, and get dat smidge of money– sure. But I also log in when I’m feeling worthless. What? That doesn’t make sense! You can’t help others when you’re feeling depressed! For a lot of people that is true. And there have been times in my life when volunteer work wasn’t the right coping skill for what I was feeling. But so often, when I’m feeling down, nothing sounds better than forgetting my own problems for a few hours, helping someone else, and hearing back from them “thank you for telling me that I matter.”
  2. Revisiting Simple Pleasures. I got rejected from Wisconsin on Saturday. On Sunday, I didn’t make it out of bed for about 6 hours after waking up.

When I did get up, it was to go hang out with this critter. And you know? All the rejection in the world can’t take him, my wonderful husband, the beautiful spring weather, and the goofy pool ducks away. Life is full of simple joys that do not depend to matching into grad school. Remember those and cherish them.

3. Choose Your Own Life

Nothing makes a person more miserable than waiting for permission to live their life. That’s basically what I did last year. We stayed in an apartment complex we didn’t like, I stayed in a job that (though wonderful in many ways) wasn’t sparking much growth for me. I was just waiting to get into grad school so I can’t do something with my life

Just waiting for the year to pass by 😴

But you know what, I am not assigned to this apartment complex, and this city, and this job. I can go where I want, be who I want, and go out for new experiences. You do not need to wait for the match to say you can. That’s why we’re moving to Phoenix. Because we want to, and we can, and we’re so ready to take control of our lives and make our own paths of happiness.

4. Have Alternate Life Plans

I love genetic counseling. I do. It’s the kind of job I can picture myself “growing old with”. I love caring for people who are scared and in vulnerable moments. I love teaching people in a way that empowers them. And I do so love genes.

And genetic counseling is not the only way I can find job satisfaction and use these strengths.

You might be surprised to hear that I’ve had LOTS of different dream jobs, even lots that today I could still see myself loving. I’ve wanted to be in a management position with Disneyland, a NICU nurse, a pilot, a vet tech, and more. And honestly it’s never too late to pursue these paths if I were to decide I want that.

I feel it’s important and healthy to realize that there are so many jobs that you could enjoy. No job is perfect, and nearly every job and career has something wonderful about it. If this GC doesn’t work out, all is not lost. We’re smart, driven, empathetic people, and so many careers need people like us pre-GCs. 🌹


That’s all I have for today! I’m excited to share my new experiences in Phoenix, and band together with y’all once again to get through this process together.

-Laura Cooper-Hastings

One Comment Add yours

  1. Lynne says:

    Hi Sweetheart,
    You are such a remarkable young woman! I wish you only the very best that life has to offer. I hope the move to Phoenix brings you peace and clarity. With God’s grace you will find your life’s path. Love 💕 grandma and grandpa


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