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Peanut

Cheer up myself and others!!!!

6 posts in this topic

Hey all. Like you can see from my signature, I will not be attending grad school this fall, much to my disappointment. After two cycles of nearly all rejections across the board (I have only received one acceptance from a MA program that offered minimal funding), I'm feeling really shitty about myself and my future.

 

So...cheer me up! Or, chime in if you need to be cheered up too! I'm a glass half-empty kind of person, so I need something to keep me from becoming depressed.

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Success doesn't occur overnight. Use this time to grow. Do not wallow and barricade yourself off from the outside world. This will pay dividends during the next cycle when you have more life experience under your belt to better set yourself apart from the pack. Self-reflect, too. Find things that you feel were lacking on your applications and find a way to change and improve these elements. Find others to constructively critique elements of your application to bolster the overall strength of your application.

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8 minutes ago, tonydoesmovie said:

Success doesn't occur overnight. Use this time to grow. Do not wallow and barricade yourself off from the outside world. This will pay dividends during the next cycle when you have more life experience under your belt to better set yourself apart from the pack. Self-reflect, too. Find things that you feel were lacking on your applications and find a way to change and improve these elements. Find others to constructively critique elements of your application to bolster the overall strength of your application.

This for sure. View this as an opportunity, since those with bottomless supplies of perseverance are the ones who succeed in life. 

To add on, don't let this setback come to define you. You are not any less of a person nor do you have any reason to feel ashamed over the outcome of this cycle. The key is to build on it and become a better person in the process. 

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Peanut, I'm sorry that the universe threw you such a crappy dice roll two admissions cycles in a row. There's still hope! I got admitted to 0/2 my first year, 0/5 last year, and 3/4 schools this year.  The good news is that you have time to make yourself that much of a better candidate (and, heck, to through-hike the Appalachian trail if you feel like it). There's been some great advice so far on this thread. I found it most helpful to start a blog on my two involuntary "years off", where writing could force me to think critically about news and scientific papers in my field. The process of writing responses to ideas that caught my eye was a great way to refocus my interest and remind myself why I love my subject. It also showed professors that I was motivated and a halfway decent writer, which doesn't hurt.

You are NOT any less of a brilliant person with great potential because you didn't get into grad school.  There are so many factors that you have no control over.  Maybe the school was swamped with applicants and they "eenie-meenine-minie-moed" which applications to throw out in the first round. Maybe key professors lost their NSF funding and couldn't take on any more students, even if they loved their applications. It's all so random. Take a few weeks to get back into an old hobby, spend time with friends, or anything else that reminds you that you're a competent person no matter what admissions committees thought of a small packet describing your academic life.

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It's important to remember that there's an element of luck involved in the application process. Not getting in doesn't mean you weren't a strong candidate. Part of it boils down to being in the right place at the right time. Maybe there was a budget cut this year that forced the university to take a smaller group and turn down applicants they would have really liked to accept. Maybe a professor thought you were great, but has as many students as he can handle at the moment and has to wait until some finish before taking on someone else. Or, maybe the people you wanted to work with didn't get graduate students at all this cycle because of university politics or someone higher up in the pecking order wanting to take an extra student. I truly believe that part of my success this cycle was luck, and if I submitted the same exact application last year, I might have had very different results. A lot of the process is highly subjective, and there are several factors entirely out of our control that influence the outcome. Hang in there. Use this time to strengthen your application, and perhaps next year will be the year all the stars align and you get into your dream program.

For what it's worth, I had one professor tell me I would never amount to anything in her field, and I was utterly devastated. I transferred schools and I ended up finding people who've encouraged me, taught me, and I've done several things that first professor expressly told me I would never be able to. Granted, I ended up applying for a PhD in a different field, but the point is just because one person doesn't necessarily see your value doesn't mean the potential isn't there. You just need to find someone who's better able to see it. And frankly, I'm better off after having been rejected by that first professor. I've had tons of opportunities that never would have come up if I stayed where i was. Sometimes, things like this are a blessing in disguise.

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So many positive things has been said and I would add one quote which always pumped me up to achieve and do things I could never have imagined and it is "You should never, ever, let anyone tell you you're not good enough. Not even yourself!!". Relax, reflect and as stated above pursue your most loved hobby. It would be great help in coming to terms with reality and it is that, you have immense potential and talent which unfortunately some people missed. Don't back down, I am sure you will stand up bigger and better to conquer everything your had set for yourself . 

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