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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/24/2018 in Blog Entries

  1. 5 points
    KayAnne14

    Screw The Back Up!

    Hello my fellow potential grad school students! So recently, I've been getting a few messages asking me what I'm doing during the abysmal "waiting it out" process. Rather than going into detail on every single reply, I've decided a blog post would be the most beneficial to everyone, myself included. As much as you may think differently, I am new to this entire process myself. I say that because I want everyone to know one simple thing: I have no idea what I'm doing. Yes, I may have started this blog and yes, it may have connected with people, but that doesn't mean I'm some sort of pro! I am a 22 year old who decided to follow my dream and take the next step toward my next educational frenemy (aka grad school). So, let me answer the question that so many have asked: what am I doing to pass the time? First, let me just say a whole lot of nothing. Yes, I work, and yes, I'm partially continuing personal research on a few matters, but it boils down to doing a whole lot of nothing. I work 5-6 days a week, go to pt about twice a week, I try to do research but half the time I get distracted half way through and end up on random websites like Pinterest, Facebook, and the occasional YouTube which gets me hooked for a few hours. I would love to say that I'm continuing my research, which is coming along swimmingly, and I have made new discoveries which will soon lead me to the path of enlightenment. Or that I'm planning for my next step (grad school or otherwise) and have everything planned out to a tee. Also, it would be fun if I could tell you that I became famous in my short time period on this blog and am now in the process of publishing my first worldwide famous book that is soon going to be made into a movie and be sold out all over the world. After all, any of those options right now would be worth my time; however, sadly none of that is happening. The truth (besides what I already hinted to above), secondly, is I'm thinking about a lot of "what if" scenarios. I know I've touched on this a bit in the past, but I wanted to be honest with you. It's not like I write about something and then it magically changes the moment it gets over 200 reads. That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works. The issue doesn't go away. No matter what you or I may try to do. The thought of rejection will forever linger in the back of my mind, and if you're like me then you're the same (hate to tell you). I think everyone fears rejection, after all, no one likes to be told "no" or that they aren't good enough. If you do like to be told these things...honestly, I have no advice or witty remark to make here so you've officially left me at a blank, but still. Rejection sucks. Especially since we all know how it feels. With the thought of rejection comes the scenario of what I (or you) am/are going to do if this whole expedition of grad school doesn't work the way we expect it to. In other words, what's going to happen next if this doesn't work out? Well, I feel like in that sentence lies the root to our underlying problem. I'm sure that you've planned out how grad school is going to work out for you, where you're going to go, and what is going to happen after graduation. I have to and there's nothing wrong with that! However, if you're like me, then the question of "what if" lies deep in the core and, like I said, here lies the problem. I know I've said having a back up plan is a smart move (after all, I probably have over a dozen at this point and I still continue to add to that list), but after typing this out so many times it got me wondering. When I started to wonder I came to a frighteningly, devastating, partial realization that may be only for me, but I'm going to tell you anyways because that's the point of you reading up until this point. If by having all these back up plans, like I said I did, then that, in fact, is my problem. I started to think that by putting all this effort into the "what if" question scenarios, I'm actually taking away from what I actually want to happen which is grad school. I know that with applications already in there's not much I can do besides wait, but I could still be planning out what is going to happen not "if" but "when" I get in. We (again, I'm assuming you're like me) put all this effort into the higher possibility that our dreams will fail, but that takes away our hope of fulfilling our dreams. So, and I know this is easier said than done, stop. Stop degrading yourself to your back up plan. If it happens, fine, if it doesn't then that's great too. But at this point, you back up plan has taken away enough of our precious time. Now it's time to think about what we WANT to happen, rather than think about what may or may not happen. Finally, my last piece of advice is simple: go shopping. Not literally, of course! After all, we are potential grad school students, we're beyond broke. But play around with a few ideas like, "where you're going to live once you get accepted?" Or, "what are you going to decorate your apartment like?" To which, may I suggest Pinterest. Spark the inspiration of acceptance and think about these things. Look at apartments, look at decorating/organizing ideas, and look at scholarship possibilities (after all, we're broke and need all the help we can get). You've got more fire in you than you realize, and I hope that this sparks a little bit of inspiration. Anyways, thank you all for reading and I apologize if you have read some of my recent stuff...had a little bit of writer's block and I think I may finally be out of it. Be sure to check out the #SpreadTheLove campaign on my blog, and I also have another poll about Facebook so be sure to check it out. Also, I love hearing from you guys, so thank you all for your comments, your "fan mail" for those of you calling it that, and for your shares! It's amazing to know that people actually get a small kick out of reading my writing and it really makes me happy. Hope everyone has a great week, and I look forward to hearing from you in some way, shape, or form! Until next time, K.
  2. 3 points
    KayAnne14

    The Trail We Blaze

    Hello my amazing fans and readers (if there are any), Welcome to my first blog post...ever! I know, I can't believe it either but here it is. So, as I was thinking about what to write and what people would actually want to take time out of their busy schedules to read, it brought me back to how this whole journey got started. While that was true, I've decided (after a few seconds of debate with my inner workings of my crazy mind) we aren't going to talk about that today. Why? ...because I kind of don't want to right now. Also, because I feel like those of you thinking of entering the process have your own idea of what it's like and honestly, you aren't too far off. What most people don't know is what happens after. That's where I come in! So, what happens after you apply, you ask? You get to be one of the many lucky people that get to enter into the abyss (note: connection to past post that got me started in the first place...see what I did there?). The abyss, for those new readers here, is a whole lot of...well, you guessed it, nothing. Now, nothing can be both good and bad. For those unlike me, you get a lot of stuff done. For example, you completely reorganize your room, you get to finish your undergrad career, you get to pretend to have a life outside of work. However, for those like me, the story is a little bit different. You, my fellow compatriots, get to be engulfed in self pity, you get to be unhinged due to nerves, and you begin questioning the meaning of life. If you think I'm exaggerating, think again! I could mention having a back up plan being formed in this time frame (it should be, by the way), but I've already written about that as well. So what happens in the abyss between self loathing and thinking about every possible contingency scenario? A whole lot of nothing. This is something you're going to be doing a lot of during this little waiting period between applying and hearing back with a decision. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The reason why I'm writing about absolutely nothing is because it gives people a way to talk it out with someone other than that little voice in your head. That little voice that is beyond annoying and doesn't know the definition of the term "shut up". However, while the self loathing is almost inevitable during this time, there's also a small spark. If you're open enough to seeing it, that is. This spark reminds you of your true passions, whether it's what you plan to go to grad school for or something else entirely. This little spark allows you to see the path that you were meant to take and this little spark also reminds you of why you started. It's this moment that truly starts your journey into the future and it is this spark that will lead you to happiness. For some, it's barely visible. I'm a part of this group, sadly, but I know it's still there. For others, you get to be encompassed in a fiery blaze of glory and accomplishment. (Again, lucky you.) So enjoy it, no matter what group you're a part of. Enjoy the abyss because it's only in the darkest of times that one is able to see even the smallest amount of light. Follow your own path and enjoy every step of the journey because nothing easy is hardly ever worth achieving in the end. So, my fellow readers, welcome to the abyss and enjoy the darkness. I hope to hear from you all soon and thank you so much for reading. To all of you out there, I can't wait to see/hear how your journey ends. Sincerely, K.
  3. 1 point
    NOWAYNOHOW

    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. After implied rejections from what I felt were some of my strongest fits, I was feeling discouraged. What if I hadn't improved my profile all that much over the last year? Should I have retaken the GRE? Was it a mistake to take on multiple editing projects for faculty instead of working on publishing my thesis? Was trying to switch disciplines an impossible task? Why didn't I apply to more schools? Should I have tried for an NDSEG even though I wasn't firmly in the behavioral sciences? What if I just wasn't ever going to be good enough, no matter what I did? It doesn't help that I had a bad interview with a school I really love. I had two interviews there, but the bad one just really sticks in my mind. I replay all the awful moments in my head in the shower. I hear the dumb words come out of my dumb mouth when I'm trying to get work done for my actual job that pays actual money. To make a long story short, I have not been feeling hopeful. I have heard nothing from a lot of schools I applied to. I've been looking into all sorts of non-academic jobs, convinced that trying to get into a program for the third time would just be too much. YA novelist? Book publishing? Bartending? Teaching secular subjects at Yeshiva high schools? I've really thought through pretty much any possible career route, but nothing can stand up to just wanting that PhD. For my interests, you need the PhD even for non-academic jobs, so if I do anything else, I'm selling myself short. Around 9:15 this morning, I got the email. I've been waiting for this email for almost two years. I've dreamed about this email. I get mad at other emails because they are not this email. I have probably broken world records for refreshing my inbox because I have been waiting so impatiently for this email. I got in. I got into a program I genuinely love with faculty I respect and admire. I got into a program that believes in my work and can support my scholarship. I got in with funding! I got into a department where I fit, where I have more POIs than I know what to do with, and where I can, just maybe, soon call home. I got in! I want to scream it from the rooftops. There is still plenty of waiting to do. I have other schools to hear from, other disappointments, and maybe even other triumphs. But what matters now is that I have the chance to prove myself. Getting into the program isn't the hard part. Getting the PhD isn't even the hard part. Doing something with it -- something truly and fundamentally meaningful with that degree is the hard part. And I am a long way off from that part of my life, but what matters now is that I am on my way. I know a lot of you have been following this blog, whether from the beginning or just stumbling upon it now. I hope you can find the strength to drag yourself out of bed on the coldest day of the year just so you can get some of the best news of your life. I hope you soon have an excuse to drink cheap champagne and look at weird Craigslist ads for apartments in cities you barely know. I hope you finally get that email you've been waiting for. I hope you get in. I know you will.
  4. 1 point
    Ah ye of little faith… I said this blog would be one of inconvenient truths. You will come to trust the Fez, but ‘til then there is plenty of evidence to back this up... Here’s link to a February 2007 Science article (Kuncel, N.R., Hezlett, S.A., Standardized Tests Predict Graduate Students' Success, Science, Vol 315 No. 5815, pp 1080-1081) that examines the GRE and GMAT: https://apps.cla.umn.edu/directory/items/publication/292812.pdf “Four consistent findings emerged: (i) Standardized tests are effective predictors of performance in graduate school. (ii) Both tests and undergraduate grades predict important academic outcomes beyond grades earned in graduate school. (iii) Standardized admissions tests predict most measures of student success better than prior college academic records do. (iv) The combination of tests and grades yields the most accurate predictions of success.” Concluding that: “Results from a large body of literature indicate that standardized tests are useful predictors of subsequent performance in graduate school, predict more accurately than college GPA, do not demonstrate bias, and are not damaged by test coaching. Despite differences across disciplines in grading standards, content, and pedagogy, standardized admissions tests have positive and useful relationships with subsequent student accomplishments.” There are plenty of other studies that validate the GRE, (like one published in 2001 in the Psychological Bulletin (Vol. 127, No. 1) But the 2007 study has the prettiest graphs. As for the GRE’s measure of innate intelligence, you could trust the guys at Mensa who have accepted high GRE scores in lieu of a 132 IQ score on the Stanford Binet IQ Test, but for more scholarly proof you check out Carvajal and Pauls, (1995), “Relationships among graduate record examination scores, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised IQs and undergraduate grade point average”. College Student Journal, 29, 414-416. Here’s a link to the original research thesis in case you don’t have easy journal access https://esirc.emporia.edu/bitstream/handle/123456789/1709/Pauls%201994.pdf?sequence=1 They find a strong positive correlation between the GRE and IQ. Full scale IQ with GRE-V (r=.63) and with GRE-Q (r=.71) But my point really was – with enough effort can score well enough on the GRE for most programs, who don’t accept people based on their GRE or GMATs, but they often use them to help make their first cuts. Fez Out.
  5. -1 points
    Most people who think that the GRE is stupid and useless also have low GRE scores. Like it or not you need good GRE (or GMAT)scores to get into a good program, because like it or not, people with good GRE scores tend (I say tend) to have natural academic abilities far beyond those of mortal men. The GRE is designed to be hard to do really well on (read 85%-90%+) without intuition, insight and reasoning skills - not just grade school math and vocabulary skills. For the not-so-lucky end of the gene pool, there's another reason the GRE is useful to ad comms. Because you can do well on the GRE by working hard to prepare for it. So, low GRE scores mean either 1) you are not naturally gifted or 2) you didn't work hard enough at passing it and might not work hard enough in grad school. (What,you think comps don't require the same level of dedication?) So you say "I worked really, really hard and I still got a 130Q". You might want to lower your sights(and your sites), head for the chat room, and complain about how useless the GRE is.


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