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Freak Outs

NOWAYNOHOW

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I think we all have that moment after submitting our applications where we notice something that feels catastrophic about our materials. After pressing that submit button, it's too late to go back and change things...but that doesn't make the freak out any less stressful.

For example, I just realized that one of the KEY TERMS (if I was writing a title for my SOP, this word would be in there) could have been grammatically incorrect. I was using it as a noun, but it's only supposed to be an adjective! I started frantically Googling the words and their usage. Had I sunk my chances with one dumb and HUGE mistake? How had my readers (of which there were many) not pointed this problem out?! How did I not know?!??!

After a good 15 minutes, I turned to my works cited, and there it was -- these authors were using the word in the same way I was. A bit more Googling and it seems that despite an 'official' (ie. dictionary) distinction between the noun/adjective forms, that the words are used interchangeably. In the U.S., my usage is especially common.

CRISIS AVERTED! Or...crisis imagined?

How about you? Any freak outs so far? I want to hear about your freak outs, real or imagined. Did you find a typo? Did you spell a POI's name wrong? Did you submit an SOP with the name of a different program?




48 Comments




Glad I'm not the only one is position. I submitted my application to my top choice school about two weeks ago and just recently noticed a huge problem with my letters of rec...

 

I gave two of my recommenders rough outlines of what I wanted them to cover, and after they submitted them they both sent me PDF copies of what they'd written. They were both very strong, personalized, and unique letters, but they both used the exact same sentence from the outline I'd given them, something like "global_play_ will certainly excel in a rigorous graduate studies program".

 

Needless to say, I'm completely freaking out that this glaring similarity will undermine the quality of both letters of rec, because it looks really obvious that I gave them both tips on what to say. Really unfortunate, because otherwise the letters are in their own voice. Overall I'd like to think that I have a very strong application (GPA, letters, experience, essays, etc), but if this causes admissions to doubt the genuineness of my recommenders, that could be a huge blow to my chances.

 

So what do you guys think, am I freaking out for no reason?

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Barely speak English... submitted without asking anyone (who speaks) to review them... probably worse than the essays of kids in grade school... got interviews scheduled still. Now I really start to worry about the speaking part, since I have to respond in seconds and don't even have the chance to correct any mistakes. Oh jeez...

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It should be where you earned your degree. If you completed your previous schooling (or majority of, there's sometimes a cut-off) in English, then that's acceptable as official evidence of English proficiency. Otherwise, you'll have to submit TOEFL test results.

OK i thought it referred to one owns nationality. I am from the US but earned my degree in Italy. In this case I'll  have to prove my proficiency

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I forgot the birth year on my Yale GSAS application. 7/8 school apps looked pristine on the personal info front, and then Yale happens. I frantically write GSAS and they send me an automated response, understandably. So I just emailed my intended program's admissions office and am hoping for the best. Honestly, as upset and TIRED as we may be atm, props to us for being proactive. I love the post below

 

I forgot a "the".  I imagine, hope, wish that the little mistakes are forgivable and adcomms are looking for potential not perfection. 

Potential, not perfection? On point. 

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I have the same feeling freaking out totally. I currently have the felling going to end with zero offers.

Got already one rejection and I feel like crap right now

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I have the same feeling freaking out totally. I currently have the felling going to end with zero offers.

Got already one rejection and I feel like crap right now

 

North American Uni? and what type of program.

 

Really sorry for the rejection and I have your same feelings

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I forgot the birth year on my Yale GSAS application. 7/8 school apps looked pristine on the personal info front, and then Yale happens. I frantically write GSAS and they send me an automated response, understandably. So I just emailed my intended program's admissions office and am hoping for the best. Honestly, as upset and TIRED as we may be atm, props to us for being proactive. I love the post below

 

Potential, not perfection? On point. 

If it makes you feel any better, I wrote on one application that I was born in the 1800's...whoops. It took a lot of phone calls but it's fixed now (supposedly) and all of my supplemental materials (that were organized by DOB) should be connected. 

 

In another statement of purpose, I also left out a "the" somewhere very crucial. I got an interview, so I guess they didn't notice. 

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I accidentally wrote the word "tops" instead of "topics" in a very conspicuous place on one of my SOPs.  I don't know if I will recover from that one.  

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AHHH!!!! So, I just heard that Emory and Duke both interview applicants and the applicants they plan to interview have already been contacted and I have NOT been contacted, therefore, I didn't even make it past round 1 and what am I even doing with my life? 

:((((

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It was less than 15 minutes until the deadline and I was uploading everything when I found something I hadn't seen on any other application and didn't see before (I had already started a week before, but not submitted b/c I was still editing my docs).

 

I HAD TO LIST EVERY SINGLE CLASS AND THE GRADE I GOT FOR ANY RELEVANT COURSEWORK !!! (FOR 7 YEARS OF SCHOOL, BOTH UNDERGRAD MAJORS RELEVANT!!!)

 

Total freak out.

 

I actually spent the first 2 minutes just staring at the screen. Then I started typing like a madman, trying to type while looking at my transcripts, and it was like my transcripts were in Aramaic and minutes would melt away. With two minutes to go I had to decide if I would submit it late or not (I had like 10 classes to go). 

 

I finally put my head on the desk as I watched the "deadline" pass. I was so in shock (after having worked on it for a week- HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN???? HOW DID I MISS THAT PART OF THE APPLICATION?

 

Well I rushed through the last courses, typed my CC # in as fast as I could and turned it in 10 minutes late.... 

 

only to see the time stamp was FREAKING WEST COAST time for an EAST COAST SCHOOL! Had I known I would have had several more hours  : ( 

 

To make matters worse, I looked back and realized I had omitted two courses by accident and had at least one spelling error. 

 

So annoying. I ended up drinking whiskey and watching The Desolation of Smog. What are you going to do.

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I had a Skype interview with one of my POIs today and decided it would be a good idea to review what I had said in my SOP for that school....big mistake!! I was sick and unmotivated to do anything when I was writing it, and there's one typo (repeated a word twice on accident), and my little "specialized" paragraph is the most vague thing ever with no indication of what I would actually want to work on once I got there. I'm so glad I got an interview because it gave me the chance to actually talk about what research I want to do in the future!!!

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I just submitted my application! Then I realized two out of three LOR weren't submitted yet

:( I gave countless updates, and still no Rec. I'm feeling a bit lost at the moment, and hope this doesn't ruin my chances. 

 

Aren't the LORs submitted by the recommenders?  Put a fire under that last one's butt to submit it ASAP.

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AHHH!!!! So, I just heard that Emory and Duke both interview applicants and the applicants they plan to interview have already been contacted and I have NOT been contacted, therefore, I didn't even make it past round 1 and what am I even doing with my life? 

:((((

I feel ya.  I saw on the results page that someone who applied to one of my potential programs got an interview scheduled weeks ago.  :-(

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I didn't just spell a POI's name wrong in my SOP, but just completely subbed in a different name starting with the same letter! Well, it turned out okay because I got in and I'm rotating in her lab right now! Also noticed that in some official documents, other people made the EXACT same error as me so it must be something she sees every now and then.  Don't freak out! Honest mistakes happen.

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I did exactly the same mistake-used a noun as an adjective and experienced the same freak out moment and did lots of google searching and calmed down at the end...ah!

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I had a freakout the other day: for the four apps I'd submitted thus far, I forgot to confirm if writing sample notes/bibliography count towards the page limits. :(

I worried about that, and most programs say that the works cited/bibliography pages do not count. So you're fine.

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After submitting my application to one school I realized I accidentally left the title of my personal statement addressed to another school. I figured there was nothing I could do, so shrugged it off. So far, the school I sent the mistaken personal statement to is the only school to not only accept me, but ask if I would consider pursuing a Ph.D. instead of a masters and offered me full financial assistance. 

 

Moral of the story, don't stress about the little mistakes. There is a lot more to you as an applicant than a typo of two.

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I sent a(n?) LOC request to a professor whom I really admire.  She supervised a thesis for me and even gave me a book as congratulations at the end of our semester together.  But she never responded to my request.  I sent another one a few weeks later, and still no reply - even though I also got an A in her course and she responded to my friend in a matter of hours.

 

I just wish I knew what I did wrong and I worry I made some giant offense without realizing it.

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>I worry I made some giant offense without realizing it.

 

You can't let this get to you -- it could be she reached her max capacity for letter-writing already. could be her plate is too full with other tasks. You can't take it personally. To be honest she's doing you a favor. You need letter writers who are responsive and accessible. She's showing you that she's not going to do that for you. Sounds like you need to find another, more supportive writer. 

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Here, have a bit of fun at my expense! I've had a series of correspondences with a program that accepted me (out of embarrassment I won't say which one, though it wouldn't be hard to find out) before realizing that my email address was sending from my linked account which has an embarrassing name from when I was twelve years old. Despite my red cheeks, they haven't rescinded my offer. So the morals of the story are 1) you can embarrass yourself at any stage of the process, not just in the apps, and 2) no one takes these little gaffs that seriously.

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The day after I submitted my application to my number one choice school, I realized I left off both of my minors. I picked up the minors only months before, and they were the whole reason I am still working on my B.S., and even better yet, I only picked them up to look better to this one school. 

 

8 people have been accepted to this school according to gradcafe, ranging in time span of the whole last month. I haven't heard anything. OUCH

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After every submission, I found fresh horrors in my sample work. I thought they must conclude I am a complete idiot.

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On my CV, where I list my "previous education", I left the headline in German "akademische laufbahn" instead of translating it. Happened because I simply translated my German work CV into English and I was careless. I've also found a couple of minor typos (e.g. forgetting an apostrophe), as well as a major one, where I split a sentence in half without changing the tenses. I can only hope that they skim and overlook it. There is also a general fear that, as I am not a native speaker, sometimes the tenses I've used are inappropriate. 

Edited by DonnaTrump

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