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NoirFemme

Fall 2017 applicants

1,137 posts in this topic

2 minutes ago, NoirFemme said:

Here's the thing--what more can anyone say except "I know how you feel", "it's not over until it's over", "try again next year", "[insert story of adversity and what changed]"?? I've seen you post about your personal life over and over again in this thread and the one you started about 30+ year old applicants. Everyone has given you sympathy with every post.

I spent a full day crying over a rejection that really really sucked because, as I said, I worked hard despite having so many odds stacked against me. And honestly, from my perspective, I'm a little jealous you have a MA--a lot of the obstacles I've had to overcome to get to this point would have been a less difficult to jump over if I'd finished my BA a long time ago and was applying right now with an advanced degree. I basically crammed professional training most get at the master's level and finishing a BA into the past three years.

So I was pissed at not getting into the program I wanted the most and busted my ass to prepare for. My mom and faculty advisers commiserated with my disappointment, but it's not like they could call the DGS and demand I be admitted. 

And on a non-academic topic, I dreamed of being a published author. One year I finally lucked out on getting an agent and a small book deal...and then I couldn't seem to sell another piece of writing. Every rejection was "sorry, we already have stories/articles with this topic." It was devastating and demoralizing. I stopped writing for two years and foolishly dropped my supportive agent out of the assumption that they didn't know what they were doing. And then recently I realized I took myself out of the game, not the industry. I only hurt myself by quitting, not all the editors who rejected my work. I could have written multiple stories during the two year hiatus and at least had a better chance of selling if I kept submitting. You can't sell a book that doesn't exist unless you're a celebrity. 

If the PhD is your dream, then do it. But if you see way more obstacles and difficulties than success in its pursuit, maybe the universe is giving you a sign to either reassess your purpose/goals or reconfigure your life. Because the house buying thing seems like you want a settled life--grad school doesn't seem very settled to me (what are you going to do in 5-7 years if the postdocs or TT jobs you want/get hired for are far away from where you're making a home?). 

If it's teaching and research you're keen to do, why not look for those types of jobs right now? Or get a postgraduate certificate?

Certainly I've had a lot of people in here offer words of encouragement. And I've worked very hard to do the same. What I take issue with is being told that the circumstances that go into trying to get to this point make me immature. It was the other posters comments I was directly speaking to. 

I won't  even begin to go into my reasons for buying property right now (long story short, I have an opportunity to buy a great place at a cheap price and plan to rent it out for additional income when I have to move for work at some point). I have a plan and I've thought ahead to all the contingeneies you speak of. But perhaps so many people in here are correct. Perhaps I'm just not cut out for it.

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10 hours ago, AnUglyBoringNerd said:

One question: what did you do during the gap year? I'll have a research job at an LGBTI rights organization which is relevant to my interest in identity, gender and sexuality but not in history...will that be Ok on my CV?

I struggle to see any way that the job could hurt your application - I'd pay very little attention to the CV. People are interested in you as an intellectual and part of that is the stuff you do (which you can mention in your SOP) and part of that is the ideas you have, which you'll get partly from reading more in the history field and partly from living your life as you want to live it--I find the gap year thing funny, like it might be a break from being a student but it's not a break from being alive!

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3 minutes ago, SarahBethSortino said:

Certainly I've had a lot of people in here offer words of encouragement. And I've worked very hard to do the same. What I take issue with is being told that the circumstances that go into trying to get to this point make me immature. It was the other posters comments I was directly speaking to. 

I won't  even begin to go into my reasons for buying property right now (long story short, I have an opportunity to buy a great place at a cheap price and plan to rent it out for additional income when I have to move for work at some point). I have a plan and I've thought ahead to all the contingeneies you speak of. But perhaps so many people in here are correct. Perhaps I'm just not cut out for it.

All I can say is the cliched "It ain't over until you say it's over." After all, the applications for the 2018-19 cycle open up in August/September. That's only 5-6 months away. In the meantime, you can beef up your CV by getting involved in the history field and your specialty just in case the weakness in your application is not being up to date with the conversation. Hop on Twitter and talk to #twitterstorians; volunteer at local academic conferences; attend talks at local universities; pitch articles to historical society newsletters; etc. 

While I think my SOP and writing sample are pretty solid--and unexpectedly about things going on in my subfield right now--my CV impressed my POIs with the depth and breadth of my involvement with history as a practice. 

Overall, my advisers say that rejections can be arbitrary--what if one of my LOR writers was hated by a faculty member on the adcomm?--but that once you get in and meet students from places that rejected you, you're probably going to understand why you were rejected (methods differed, concept of history differed, and so on).

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1 hour ago, SarahBethSortino said:

I think what a lot of people don't take into account is that other life logistics are hanging in the balance. I'm trying to buy a house with my boyfriend right now and won't get approved for a mortgage if I don't have a funding offer. I have a seven year old who would kind of like to know where she's going to school next year. I have a job that would kind of like to know if I'm going to be here next year. I have custody issues to work out with my ex, child support, alimony: ALL of which is dependent upon what happens in this application cycle. So I have about 6 people in my life who are directly affected by my applications. So I think it's unfair to suggest that I'm whining about the rejections and can't take it. 

So if I'm reading you right, you're saying your issue is not that you can't handle rejection (which everyone here is right in saying is a major aspect of academic life), but rather it's how the instability of the application process is impacting your non-academic life that's upsetting you? I'm a bit surprised by this, because like rejection, the application is only the beginning of this sort of instability. It sort of goes with the territory of grad school and academia. None of us know where we're going to be in five years, or where our funding will come from, or what places/archives our research will force us to go to. It's March and I know I have to go abroad for research this summer, but I still don't know (A) exactly where I'll need to be going, and (B) how much funding I'll have to go there. It makes it a bit difficult to plan, and I'm only 3 months out. This is to say nothing of the fact that I have no idea where I'll need to be living two years from now, etc. Of course there are arguments to be made of having Five Year Plans and trying to have some semblance of a trajectory, but this is all fluid and contingent on a hundred things--and that's just professional/academic contingencies, let alone personal ones. I guess my question is, if it's really the not-knowing/not-being-able-to-plan/instability that's you're major stress factor, how do you see that changing once you're in a program? Perhaps other people have different experiences with this, but I have found a lot of academic life entirely un-planable. Of course we can map out ideal plans, but so much of whether those happen or not are out of our control. It's completely nerve-wracking, sure, but it seems to just be baked in the process.

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Anyone waiting on Tennessee: I broke down and e-mailed today, and they said we should be hearing back in the next couple weeks. 

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9 minutes ago, Calgacus said:

So if I'm reading you right, you're saying your issue is not that you can't handle rejection (which everyone here is right in saying is a major aspect of academic life), but rather it's how the instability of the application process is impacting your non-academic life that's upsetting you? I'm a bit surprised by this, because like rejection, the application is only the beginning of this sort of instability. It sort of goes with the territory of grad school and academia. None of us know where we're going to be in five years, or where our funding will come from, or what places/archives our research will force us to go to. It's March and I know I have to go abroad for research this summer, but I still don't know (A) exactly where I'll need to be going, and (B) how much funding I'll have to go there. It makes it a bit difficult to plan, and I'm only 3 months out. This is to say nothing of the fact that I have no idea where I'll need to be living two years from now, etc. Of course there are arguments to be made of having Five Year Plans and trying to have some semblance of a trajectory, but this is all fluid and contingent on a hundred things--and that's just professional/academic contingencies, let alone personal ones. I guess my question is, if it's really the not-knowing/not-being-able-to-plan/instability that's you're major stress factor, how do you see that changing once you're in a program? Perhaps other people have different experiences with this, but I have found a lot of academic life entirely un-planable. Of course we can map out ideal plans, but so much of whether those happen or not are out of our control. It's completely nerve-wracking, sure, but it seems to just be baked in the process.

Such great points. The uncertainty is the most difficult part of the application process. 

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Exactly.  It also may be the program's culture.  This is why it's helpful when departments list their graduate students and offer some details (i.e. photo, years graduated from prior institutions) so one can gauge the kind of graduate program the department wants to build.  Some programs are all for diversity while others stick with early 20 year olds who come up higher socioeconomic backgrounds.  My program is fairly diverse in age and socioeconomic and educational backgrounds.

13 minutes ago, Calgacus said:

So if I'm reading you right, you're saying your issue is not that you can't handle rejection (which everyone here is right in saying is a major aspect of academic life), but rather it's how the instability of the application process is impacting your non-academic life that's upsetting you? I'm a bit surprised by this, because like rejection, the application is only the beginning of this sort of instability. It sort of goes with the territory of grad school and academia. None of us know where we're going to be in five years, or where our funding will come from, or what places/archives our research will force us to go to. It's March and I know I have to go abroad for research this summer, but I still don't know (A) exactly where I'll need to be going, and (B) how much funding I'll have to go there. It makes it a bit difficult to plan, and I'm only 3 months out. This is to say nothing of the fact that I have no idea where I'll need to be living two years from now, etc. Of course there are arguments to be made of having Five Year Plans and trying to have some semblance of a trajectory, but this is all fluid and contingent on a hundred things--and that's just professional/academic contingencies, let alone personal ones. I guess my question is, if it's really the not-knowing/not-being-able-to-plan/instability that's you're major stress factor, how do you see that changing once you're in a program? Perhaps other people have different experiences with this, but I have found a lot of academic life entirely un-planable. Of course we can map out ideal plans, but so much of whether those happen or not are out of our control. It's completely nerve-wracking, sure, but it seems to just be baked in the process.

@nevermind and @SarahBethSortino

You two, stop arguing.  Remember, you two are strangers on an Internet forum.  The more you argue, the more personal details will come on this forum and I can guarantee you that your (future) calm selves won't want to go down this road.  You need to give each other (and others) the benefit of doubt, especially for first-time applicants.

@SarahBethSortino, I don't know what your field is but @Calgacus raised excellent points of things to consider as you move past the application process into the world of academia.  While many archives have gone digital and can be accessed from home, there is no replacement for actually being in the archives to examine the objects.  Many fellowships will not provide for dependents unless it's Fulbright-Hayes or something of that sort.  Many opportunities you will encounter tend to favor the single, childless graduate student because there's simply not enough money to go around to support a family.  This is where your support network comes into play and clearly you're doing that.  But they also need to know what's ahead so that different issues can be agreed ahead of time (i.e. does the father want the child every time you are away for more than a week at a time during summer?  What will your stipend cover? Can the boyfriend provide the family income without your stipend when you need to use your research money to fund your out-of-town trip?).  

I can tell you, you do have a bit of a steep hill to climb but as long as your SOP and writing sample show that you are current on research and methodological trends, you are competitive as anyone who recently graduated from college in their early 20s.  There are plenty of professors who love having older graduate students because they bring in wonderful perspectives to classes.  For where you are at, you can make the PhD work for you and the kind of life circumstances you're in.  It will simply require extra patience and willingness to pitch in when needed from your support network.

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11 hours ago, AnUglyBoringNerd said:

 

(not going to reapply to Harvard because it's unlikely that they will take someone who was once rejected)

 

@AnUglyBoringNerd

I disagree.  Be resilient.  Re-apply to Harvard if that's where you really want to go.  Admissions committees change from one year to another (same for fellowships).

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Posted (edited)

10 minutes ago, TMP said:

Exactly.  It also may be the program's culture.  This is why it's helpful when departments list their graduate students and offer some details (i.e. photo, years graduated from prior institutions) so one can gauge the kind of graduate program the department wants to build.  Some programs are all for diversity while others stick with early 20 year olds who come up higher socioeconomic backgrounds.  My program is fairly diverse in age and socioeconomic and educational backgrounds.

@nevermind and @SarahBethSortino

You two, stop arguing.  Remember, you two are strangers on an Internet forum.  The more you argue, the more personal details will come on this forum and I can guarantee you that your (future) calm selves won't want to go down this road.  You need to give each other (and others) the benefit of doubt, especially for first-time applicants.

@SarahBethSortino, I don't know what your field is but @Calgacus raised excellent points of things to consider as you move past the application process into the world of academia.  While many archives have gone digital and can be accessed from home, there is no replacement for actually being in the archives to examine the objects.  Many fellowships will not provide for dependents unless it's Fulbright-Hayes or something of that sort.  Many opportunities you will encounter tend to favor the single, childless graduate student because there's simply not enough money to go around to support a family.  This is where your support network comes into play and clearly you're doing that.  But they also need to know what's ahead so that different issues can be agreed ahead of time (i.e. does the father want the child every time you are away for more than a week at a time during summer?  What will your stipend cover? Can the boyfriend provide the family income without your stipend when you need to use your research money to fund your out-of-town trip?).  

I can tell you, you do have a bit of a steep hill to climb but as long as your SOP and writing sample show that you are current on research and methodological trends, you are competitive as anyone who recently graduated from college in their early 20s.  There are plenty of professors who love having older graduate students because they bring in wonderful perspectives to classes.  For where you are at, you can make the PhD work for you and the kind of life circumstances you're in.  It will simply require extra patience and willingness to pitch in when needed from your support network.

Believe me, I have a solid support system. I also have no illusions about funding providing for a dependent.  Luckily my ex and I have worked all of that out. She's under his health insurance and he makes more than enough money to provide for her in spite of my status as a student. The amount of financial planning that has gone into this is insane. Part of the reason why I am 10 years on from my masters in fact. As far as "the boyfriend" goes, he knows the deal :-). I'm lucky in that respect. All I'm saying is that the current uncertainty is stressful. I did not intend for that statement to turn into a personal attack about my inability to handle graduate study or immaturity. I'm a classic type a, spreadsheet making, contingency plan developing, anal retentive personality. That being said I'd just like to be able to say, "this is what I am doing for the next five years." If someone on this board finds that to be immature or conducive of someone who can't handle graduate work so be it. 

Edited by SarahBethSortino

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2 minutes ago, SarahBethSortino said:

I'm a classic type a, spreadsheet making, contingency plan developing, anal retentive personality. That being said old just like to be able to say, "this is what I am doing for the next five years."

Frankly I am finding the uncertainty difficult even with offers, so I can't imagine how frustrating it must be. 

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, SarahBethSortino said:

I think what a lot of people don't take into account is that other life logistics are hanging in the balance.

This forum generally skews older and towards the non-traditional, and so what you don't get is that a lot more of us have been in the same boat than you seem to think. The advice still applies, because you'll be in the exact same place when your daughter's 12 and you're on the job market. And again, if you're lucky, when she's 14 after your first postdoc. And then when she's about to head off for college and you're up for tenure.

Edited by telkanuru

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Posted (edited)

14 minutes ago, telkanuru said:

This forum generally skews older and towards the non-traditional, and so what you don't get is that a lot more of us have been in the same boat than you seem to think. The advice still applies, because you'll be in the exact same place when your daughter's 12 and you're on the job market. And again when she's 14 after your first postdoc. And then when she's 21 and you're up for tenure.

Once again all I am saying is that there are other factors in play besides whining about being able to deal with professional rejection. I'm well aware that other people are in the same boat. I simply wanted to point out that I wasn't crawling in a hole because someone told me no. That ther is other stuff adding to the stress.

Edited by SarahBethSortino

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Posted (edited)

25 minutes ago, SarahBethSortino said:

 All I'm saying is that the current uncertainty is stressful. I did not intend for that statement to turn into a personal attack about my inability to handle graduate study or immaturity.

I don't quite agree that any of the comments, directed at you or otherwise, were intended be hurtful. But the ability to absorb helpful advice regardless of the packaging is also a valuable skill in academia.

Edited by telkanuru

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Posted (edited)

34 minutes ago, TMP said:

@AnUglyBoringNerd

I disagree.  Be resilient.  Re-apply to Harvard if that's where you really want to go.  Admissions committees change from one year to another (same for fellowships).

I second @TMP's excellent advice. Apply to the places that excite you. It is better to not go than it is to settle for a program.

Edited by telkanuru

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2 hours ago, telkanuru said:

I second @TMP's excellent advice. Apply to the places that excite you. It is better to not go than it is to settle for a program.

Thank you two very much for saying that. :) I hope next year this time I'll get in places that excite me and pass on this positive vibe~

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Anyone else here headed to Illinois in a few days? I just got my itinerary for the visit and while I'm not totally sure what I was expecting, I'm surprised by how much they've crammed into the few days I'm there. Honestly, I find it a little intimidating! Anyway, if anyone else is going to be there, it might be nice to put a face to some usernames. :)

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Posted (edited)

On 3/1/2017 at 9:56 AM, nevermind said:

(not going to reapply to Harvard because it's unlikely that they will take someone who was once rejected)

Piling on to add I was worried about this as well but was told by my adviser that faculty don't usually look down on repeat applications if you've revised/improved your materials and show you've refined your interests, gotten a better understanding of the field, etc. It seems like you have a good, specific sense of how to make your application stronger, so I agree it's worth a second try if you do think it's a good fit.

FWIW I  think I was in a similar position where I had been told something I stressed in my SOP worked against me. After improving that area I did have a better outcome with 1 (of 2) reapplications. Since I was nervous about reapplying I actually reached out to POI's I had talked to the year before to say I was trying a second cycle, that I had been reading, refining interests and still thought the department was a good fit, and asked if it would be worthwhile to apply again/if they were taking students. I generally got positive responses, which gave me some peace of mind that they weren't going to see my application and be like "ugh, really??"  

Edited by clarchibald

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20 hours ago, SarahBethSortino said:

I am very sick of hearing that the application process is the least stressful part of academia

I agree, and I think this all comes down to temperament. We know that what one person finds absolutely soul crushing, another might describe as a thoroughly carefree stroll in the park. 

Also, I wonder if this "applying is the least stressful part" sentiment is a product of selective memory. It's like when people say having a newborn was the easiest part of parenting, yes?

For me, the wait is the worst. I thrive under the pressure of doing the work and the "game" of applying for funding and additional opportunities. But, waiting to know if I will have the chance to do those things is awful! 

 

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4 minutes ago, Plane_Jane said:

I agree, and I think this all comes down to temperament. We know that what one person finds absolutely soul crushing, another might describe as a thoroughly carefree stroll in the park. 

Also, I wonder if this "applying is the least stressful part" sentiment is a product of selective memory. It's like when people say having a newborn was the easiest part of parenting, yes?

For me, the wait is the worst. I thrive under the pressure of doing the work and the "game" of applying for funding and additional opportunities. But, waiting to know if I will have the chance to do those things is awful! 

 

Exactly. It's not work I'm afraid of. I've done graduate study before and although it was no walk in the park I don't mind working nonstop for months on end. It's the not knowing if I'm going to be able to work - that's the problem. But clearly some people feel that its fine to dictate other people's reactions and base their value and competency on those tiny bits of information.

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19 minutes ago, SarahBethSortino said:

Exactly. It's not work I'm afraid of. I've done graduate study before and although it was no walk in the park I don't mind working nonstop for months on end. It's the not knowing if I'm going to be able to work - that's the problem. But clearly some people feel that its fine to dictate other people's reactions and base their value and competency on those tiny bits of information.

What argument are you trying to make? What are you trying to achieve with these numerous posts? Is it your argument that you're under more stress than "typical" applicants?

If one were to agree (for argument's sake) then the next questions might be how well are you handling that stress publicly? What does your public handling of your stress indicate about your ability to handle the additional stress of a doctoral program? Are you making the case that you could handle that additional stress independently, gracefully, and,ultimately, professionally?

As for the "tiny bits of information," I think that you're trying to have it both ways. You make more of your private life public (and this tactic is a mistake) but when you don't get the response you want, you attempt to pull rank (as a single parent, as a potential homeowner, as a person with a graduate degree, as a person who has had health issues, as a person who has lost a beloved family member) and then you say that people don't have enough information. If you received the affirmation you clearly want, would you dismiss it by saying that it is based on "tiny bits of information"?

Here's the deal. When graduate students are going through their qualifying exams (arguably a stressful experience), professors respond to explicit and implicit prompts for empathy with mockery and a cold grin. "Why so glum? When I took my quals, I had to walk to the department up hill ten miles both ways on a frozen road under a 110 degree sun after growing the trees and milling the paper on which I wrote my answers, in Old East Slavic, using my blood as ink and a gnawed fingernail as a quill." Or words to that effect.

Regardless of what is said, the message is "Deal with it." (Well, in some cases, it's actually "Fuck you, deal with it.")

"Deal with it" will be the same message professors send when you get bounced off the walls in seminar, when due dates fall in the same week, when a professor stands on your head in office hours for screwing up an essay, and when your schedule and your teaching responsibilities collide.

What is your plan for when you're told to deal with it? Will it be similar to the one you're executing now? If so, please understand that professors will be watching and judging and, generally, doing so with a profound disinterest in the circumstances of your everyday life. (The disinterest will be especially ironic when when it comes from a social historian.)

You, and at least one other person reading this--trainwreck of a sidebar--are misunderstanding the guidance being offered. You're not being told that you can't make it, or that you can't do it, or that you're not resilient, or that you're not worth it.

You're being told by people further along the road that you're walking that the path gets harder and less certain. You're being told that NOW is the time to start steeling yourself for the tough sledding ahead. You're being told that airing your personal grief/anxiety/angst in a semi public place using your actual name is an exceptionally bad idea because you're seeking entry into programs run by some of the most imaginative and skilled researchers on the planet. You are being told that many of those academics view themselves as guardians of a profession under siege.

You are being asked: are you sending a message that your up for this fight or are you sending another message?

 

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question:

how long does it usually take between official letter and actual university paperwork? Basically, I have my official letter in hand (both via email and a hard copy), and I've had it for 2 weeks. However, the University's "portal" hasn't been updated. I was told by the DGS that the portal takes longer to update, but I am getting a bit antsy and just want to "accept" the offer, get my university email, and move on towards registration and meeting with people/planning schedules.

And if I'm being honest, I also have this horrible nervous feeling that the offer can still be rescinded since the portal hasn't actually been updated.

Any words of wisdom?

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Posted (edited)

44 minutes ago, Sigaba said:

What argument are you trying to make? What are you trying to achieve with these numerous posts? Is it your argument that you're under more stress than "typical" applicants?

If one were to agree (for argument's sake) then the next questions might be how well are you handling that stress publicly? What does your public handling of your stress indicate about your ability to handle the additional stress of a doctoral program? Are you making the case that you could handle that additional stress independently, gracefully, and,ultimately, professionally?

As for the "tiny bits of information," I think that you're trying to have it both ways. You make more of your private life public (and this tactic is a mistake) but when you don't get the response you want, you attempt to pull rank (as a single parent, as a potential homeowner, as a person with a graduate degree, as a person who has had health issues, as a person who has lost a beloved family member) and then you say that people don't have enough information. If you received the affirmation you clearly want, would you dismiss it by saying that it is based on "tiny bits of information"?

Here's the deal. When graduate students are going through their qualifying exams (arguably a stressful experience), professors respond to explicit and implicit prompts for empathy with mockery and a cold grin. "Why so glum? When I took my quals, I had to walk to the department up hill ten miles both ways on a frozen road under a 110 degree sun after growing the trees and milling the paper on which I wrote my answers, in Old East Slavic, using my blood as ink and a gnawed fingernail as a quill." Or words to that effect.

Regardless of what is said, the message is "Deal with it." (Well, in some cases, it's actually "Fuck you, deal with it.")

"Deal with it" will be the same message professors send when you get bounced off the walls in seminar, when due dates fall in the same week, when a professor stands on your head in office hours for screwing up an essay, and when your schedule and your teaching responsibilities collide.

What is your plan for when you're told to deal with it? Will it be similar to the one you're executing now? If so, please understand that professors will be watching and judging and, generally, doing so with a profound disinterest in the circumstances of your everyday life. (The disinterest will be especially ironic when when it comes from a social historian.)

You, and at least one other person reading this--trainwreck of a sidebar--are misunderstanding the guidance being offered. You're not being told that you can't make it, or that you can't do it, or that you're not resilient, or that you're not worth it.

You're being told by people further along the road that you're walking that the path gets harder and less certain. You're being told that NOW is the time to start steeling yourself for the tough sledding ahead. You're being told that airing your personal grief/anxiety/angst in a semi public place using your actual name is an exceptionally bad idea because you're seeking entry into programs run by some of the most imaginative and skilled researchers on the planet. You are being told that many of those academics view themselves as guardians of a profession under siege.

You are being asked: are you sending a message that your up for this fight or are you sending another message?

 

I feel like my initial sentiment is being completely misunderstood. All I said in the beginning was that there are other things to think about in the grand scheme of this process. I didn't say it to be nasty or combative. I'm not saying I'm special or particularly different from anyone else. I thought that other people were going to be able to relate, instead I got slammed for what, thinking about buying a house? I thought perhaps it would be useful to put the stress of this process into perspective with the other things that everyone has to deal with in addition to professional rejection. I don't bring my personal life to the attention of my bosses at my job, I'm certainly not going to in graduate school. I was just making a point among a group of my peers. I'm honestly sorry that it pissed so many people off. It's not my intention. To be honest, though, I feel that my presence here isn't helpful to me or anyone else. I'm disengaging from the forum. Good luck to everyone. My apologies if I offended anyone.

As a side note, I do use my real name because I have not said anything on here that I'm ashamed of. And if someone wants to research me, fine. I don't hide who I am and certainly if any of my colleagues at whatever school I wind up going to want to find out about me, I'm not saying anyting here that isn't particularly easy to find out through other methods.

Edited by SarahBethSortino

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, nhhistorynut said:

question:

how long does it usually take between official letter and actual university paperwork? Basically, I have my official letter in hand (both via email and a hard copy), and I've had it for 2 weeks. However, the University's "portal" hasn't been updated. I was told by the DGS that the portal takes longer to update, but I am getting a bit antsy and just want to "accept" the offer, get my university email, and move on towards registration and meeting with people/planning schedules.

And if I'm being honest, I also have this horrible nervous feeling that the offer can still be rescinded since the portal hasn't actually been updated.

Any words of wisdom?

Be patient. Often the portals are run by graduate schools that have departments operating on different timelines. You have their offer in writing, and in multiple forms it sounds like. If you're concerned, you can write an email to the DGS saying you are waiting for the portal to allow you to confirm officially, but want to notify them that you are formally accepting their offer. Between their offer letter and an email like that, I wouldn't be concerned about anything funky happening. Congrats on making your decision :)

Edited by Calgacus

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9 minutes ago, Calgacus said:

Be patient. Often the portals are run by graduate schools that have departments operating on different timelines. You have their offer in writing, and in multiple forms it sounds like. If you're concerned, you can write an email to the DGS saying you are waiting for the portal to allow you to confirm officially, but want to notify them that you are formally accepting their offer. Between their offer letter and an email like that, I wouldn't be concerned about anything funky happening. Congrats on making your decision :)

Thanks :)

I basically emailed the DGS as soon as I got the email to wholeheartedly accept (okay, I waited a day so as to now seem, you know, obsessed lol). Thankfully the decision was easy for me; I only applied to one school, my target school for a myriad of reasons, and managed to get one of only 3 spots offered next year. I will try to practice patience for now!

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Hey guys, anyone waiting on South Carolina: 

They said they're having some delays because of faculty on leave next year and waiting on financial info for fellowship packages, but they hope to have everything finalized by next week. 

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