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About this blog

I'm just a girl, sitting in front of an admissions committee, asking them to love her.

Entries in this blog

 

It Happened

This morning I woke up to the coldest winter day so far this year. I could barely bring myself to get out of bed. Making coffee was a chore. My apartment was freezing. Our shitty prewar radiators are no match for this kind of weather. I just wanted to get back under my comforter, preferably wearing at least six pairs of sweatpants and my parka, and sleep until May. By 9AM, I'd already checked my email and this board approximately 200 times. The last couple of months haven't been easy for me

NOWAYNOHOW

NOWAYNOHOW

 

Freak Outs

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 a

NOWAYNOHOW

NOWAYNOHOW

 

Adrenaline

There is less than a month until my first applications are due and I am suddenly feeling the anxiety and exhilaration that comes with taking such a giant risk. Sometimes I feel fantastic, like I'm going to get into every single program on my list (of 10, if you are wondering how things are going) and sometimes I feel defeated, like I'm wasting my time yet again. I have completed what I hope is my final draft of my statement of purpose, and cut down my thesis to a sample of about 25 pages. M

NOWAYNOHOW

NOWAYNOHOW

 

Second Chances

After putting it off for months, I'm finally getting back into the process of applying for the PhD. Last year went so poorly that I almost feel sick when I think about going through it all again, but I know I can't enter a program without at the very least applying. I think many of us who are second (or even third) time applicants might know these feelings well: fear, shame, self-defeat. On top of it all, I'm way overloaded with work: full-time university research position, teaching a class

NOWAYNOHOW

NOWAYNOHOW

 

Now That The Dust Has Settled

Well, we're a bit into May and it seems like things have certainly settled down. I'm finally sure of how I'll be spending the next year (I signed a contract!): I accepted a 1-year research fellowship, with benefits, at my current university. Despite a generous fellowship offer, I turned down an offer of admission to a 1-year bioethics MA. I'm very happy with my decision to work as a researcher in the social sciences and even happier to know this position will give me more free time to work

NOWAYNOHOW

NOWAYNOHOW

 

Spring Forward

As you can see, I changed the title of my blog to reflect the fact that I'm no longer gunning for only sociocultural anthropology programs. I got my last rejection this week, and though I am still technically floating well below the top of one wait list, I'm choosing to look forward and not dwell on what is likely a dead end. Fall 2014 is done with -- Fall 2015, I'm coming for you. The good news is that I feel better now than I did when I knew nothing about how this season would go.

NOWAYNOHOW

NOWAYNOHOW

 

Some Thoughts and Some Questions

Well, it's essentially mid-March and besides a spot on a wait list (not one of the top 5, sadly) I've got nothing else to show for this application cycle. Despite my utter failure, I've been feeling optimistic (when I'm not feeling anxious and upset, so maybe like 1/4 optimistic, 3/4 freaked out?) about next year. With a better topic, possible publications and maybe even an NDSEG fellowship (very slim dream chance!), I could be a real contender at some top programs. It is up to me to get there,

NOWAYNOHOW

NOWAYNOHOW

 

Making Changes for 2015

I know a handful of us are prepared to apply next year, and I'm wondering what people are thinking regarding their strategies. I'm changing my topic (extending my MA research) but that's not a very radical shift for me, given my proposed topic (very different from my current work) is what I believe to have harpooned my 2014 chances. In terms of serious changes in plans, I'm not going to be applying to JUST anthropology programs next time around. My BA is interdisciplinary from a top SLAC, a

NOWAYNOHOW

NOWAYNOHOW

 

I Know Where I Went Wrong

I received my first official rejection today. I also didn't receive an interview at my top choice and I've been unofficially rejected by the anthropology department at my current university. The caliber of these programs and my fit with their faculty make me think that I have good reason to believe I will be shut out this year. Before I was feeling sorry for myself. I was feeling helpless. I didn't know what to do. My backup plan (an MPH) was just deemed "useless" by an authority on pub

NOWAYNOHOW

NOWAYNOHOW

 

Group Sulking

In the wake of my last post (the first of many admissions-related emotional breakdowns, I'm afraid) I realized: why sulk alone when we can sulk together? We're all going through versions of the same process, so there's no need to be shy. And there's also nothing worse than having someone say "It's going to be OK!" when all you want to do is wallow in the misery, even if just for a little while. Admissions is life or death! Well, it feels like it. With that, what is your favorite sulking rou

NOWAYNOHOW

NOWAYNOHOW

 

Dark Times

It's been a while since my last entry, though not for lack of interest on my part. On the contrary, it's just that there's been no news to report. That is, until today. I didn't actually get any news today in the traditional sense, though 2 acceptances to one of my programs were posted on the results board. That's one implied rejection. The other is more complicated and a lot worse. To make a long story short, I saw the short list at one of my schools and I wasn't on it. I wasn't

NOWAYNOHOW

NOWAYNOHOW

 

A Plan B I Can Finally Get Behind

I have been going crazy trying to settle on a plan B these past few weeks. I know that applying to 7 schools (a number I now think is too low) puts me at a greater risk for not gaining admission anywhere, and I need to be prepared in the case of a shutout. I'm not a kid who can just take a gap year, but I'm also not willing to go back to my old field. I think I may have found a solution. There are 2 MPH programs that are local to me that can be finished in 1 year that have late deadlines. O

NOWAYNOHOW

NOWAYNOHOW

 

Silence

Now is the time where things are truly out of my hands. My materials are submitted and my applications are complete. There's no room to improve and there is nothing I can say or do that will influence the committee decisions. But somehow I feel as if this point is less difficult than how things will feel a week or a month from now. None of my schools have sent out notifications of any kind, so I am comforted to know that I wait in silence with all of my fellow applicants. Other programs

NOWAYNOHOW

NOWAYNOHOW

 

On Competition

As I sit in my cocktail dress waiting to leave for a night of New Year's festivities, I can't help but worry about what 2014 will bring. Obviously it's not going to be a boring year--it has the potential to be either truly great or profoundly terrible. I can't remember the last time my life felt so uncertain. I am a planner by nature, organized and anxious, which makes application season especially taxing. The strange pit in my stomach that arrived around October and hasn't left since is unwelco

NOWAYNOHOW

NOWAYNOHOW

 

Stress Dreams

Last night I had my very first application-related stress dream. Honestly, I'm surprised it took me this long. I had a nightmare that I didn't get into any of my schools but one, and then after being notified of my acceptance, they told me that it was a mistake and that I was actually rejected. Not especially creative, as far as dreams go, but effective, and frightening. I realize this is probably just the first of what will be a long series of PhD stress dreams, so I should just get

NOWAYNOHOW

NOWAYNOHOW

 

I Screwed Up

I missed a deadline. This is totally unlike me, but it's true: I missed the deadline for one of my schools. In my defense, I'm a few weeks post-op on a minor surgical procedure and had a horrible stomach virus over the weekend. I wasn't thinking about much, except for not messing up my almost-healed incisions and staying hydrated. I submitted the application only 17 hours late...but the school's website is very clear about having a hard deadline. Still, my payment and online submission

NOWAYNOHOW

NOWAYNOHOW

 

An Introduction

I figured that those of you interested in my admissions journey are due an introduction of sorts. So here goes: I'm in the middle of applying for my PhD in sociocultural anthropology and sometimes I think I'm a great candidate and sometimes I think I'm the worst. I'm beginning to think that duality is part of what makes this process so trying, as I'm sure most of us have a lot of great qualities, but we aren't without our faults. I'm currently finishing my MA in media studies from a na

NOWAYNOHOW

NOWAYNOHOW

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