And so my long journey of graduate school applications has come to an end.
I hereby bid goodbye to the following:
Statements of purpose
Online application systems
and, last but not least, (and I have gleefully saved a special rude gesture for): [i]ETS/GRE/Standardized Testing[/i]!
(At the same time, I also welcome whatever new stressful, illogical, and inane bureaucratic hoops lay ahead of me in the Ph.D. program and beyond.)
But I digress. The subject of this post,
Ph.D. applications are strange. We all have this burning desire to show ourselves to be the kind of scholar that adcomms know will succeed in a given program but we have to do so by jumping through highly archaic or irrelevant hoops. This, of course, is not news, and we've all heard the arguments ad nauseam, so I won't rehash the talking points.
What I will say is this: all I really want is to get into a program that will support me so that I can prove myself. I know I have it, I just want th
I am on my billionth revision of my SOP, as I'm sure most of us are. I had it looked over by some of my colleagues and also my graduate director, who had some good and bad things to say about it. In the end, she said it seemed polished enough in her eyes to be submitted, so I felt somewhat relieved.
The other day one of my other old-school profs (a Yaley who did all three of her degrees there), took a look at my SOP and said it needs almost a complete re-write and that I come off as uneven in
One of my professors who got his doctorate at Columbia, when I very hesitantly mentioned I wanted to apply there as a hail mary, casually said "Oh yeah, I can email Prof. amazing-rockstar-who-is-one-of-the-pre-eminent-professors-in-the-world for you."
I know not to count one's chickens before they hatch and I also know that simply having a prof email on your behalf doesn't guarantee anything... nevertheless:
Should I be dying and/or freaking out right now or what? Because I really want to.
I haven't quite sorted out in my mind yet if I am simply feeling the effects of misplaced hubris or if I'm getting regular graduate student blues, but here goes:
Every year there are departmental writing awards. I submitted an essay that my professor really liked, gave an A+ and said it was the best in the class. I felt quite confident I could net at least second place (we have a tiny department).
Fast forward to today: an office admin told me to come by the department because there was le
So, a lot has changed since I last posted. I received two offers in quick succession and now I'm currently in LA and have visited both schools and talked to the graduate advisers.
What a whirlwind!
I came to LA intent on attending the public school because I thought that their tuition waiver would be the most beneficial and I had heard better things about their reputation and connections, professionally speaking. Now that I've talked to both schools, things seem to have completely flipped
I would take some small comfort in that platitude were it not for the fact that my current misery feels more like my own personal Dantean jacuzzi while everyone else is off swimming in the bigger, more mature lake of liquid fire.
Basically a roundabout way of saying that while all the lit folks are huddled together experiencing the highs and lows of acceptances and rejections trickling in from the titans of graduate school, I'm feeling very much like that old man stranded on Calypso's island:
In the desolate wasteland that rapidly revealed itself to me post-application season, I have found that there seem to be two me's. One is full of confidence, brimming with positivity, a proponent of positive visualisation* who can not only imagine himself tearing open the acceptance letter(s) but can even taste it. The other is wary and on edge yet staunchly assured that in a few months time, he will wake up to yet a few more rejection letters to add to the string of ones he received in previous
So I've completed several of my applications (CSU: LA and CSU: Northridge), which were done and submitted over a month ago. It's been mighty stressful since the Gordian Knot that is the California state budget had yet, or actual is yet, to be settled.
Even though Prop 30 passed, effectively ensuring baseline budgetary support for all Californian higher education, school budgets are still in a chaotic mess. Both schools, I believe haven't even really set a deadline for applications for graduat
It will probably become quite obvious who I am as I post more to this blog and as time rolls on, but for now you can call me C.
My blog may be less interesting than others since I am applying to Masters of English programs where it seems like the majority of the people on this forum are interested in PhD applications. Regardless, my writings should shed some light on what it's like for an international applicant (from Canada) applying to some American schools.
It will be an "unconventional