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Everything posted by Linelei

  1. It may be too late, but practice! Go on a walk and say your whole talk aloud. Practice in front of friends, in front of labmates, etc. I did mine for a local Toastmasters group, who gave some great feedback regarding speaking and presentation skills. By the time I got in the room for the real thing I was comfortable and knew what was coming next on the slides, so could easily get back on track when I was interrupted. I'm not saying memorize it, but be so familiar with it that your tongue may keep moving when your head freezes up. Also, one of the tips from Toastmasters: stand so that, from
  2. Thank you for your reminder to be respectful and nonjudgmental, Pears! Putting aside any debate regarding elitism, I know that I can get frustrated when I have accomplished something big and am very excited about that thing but someone responds with a put-down or something snide. To me, this feeling is less about "Look at me, I'm successful and want you to recognize it," and more about "I'm excited and happy and want to share that feeling but you want to take it away from me." Sure, I know I should just brush it off, but I think most people would admit it doesn't feel good to have someone
  3. Linelei

    Los Angeles, CA

    I plan to rent a two-bedroom and find a roommate for the second bedroom, since I have furniture for a whole apartment. Will message y'all with details!
  4. Haha! I know what you mean. When I was there everyone kept apologizing for the cold weather, but it was around 55 degrees. Leaving the snow behind will be great!
  5. Hello everyone! I am so excited to be starting in the social psychology Ph.D. program this fall. As others are saying, I am also nervous about housing. Since I have a whole apartment's worth of furniture, I am hoping to find a two bedroom place and rent out the other bedroom to another grad student. Let me know if you would be interested and are not allergic to cats! Have you all visited yet? It is such a beautiful campus! I'm going back this summer to apartment-hunt before officially moving, and am looking forward to seeing the area when it's warmer (my interview was in January).
  6. I second PsychGirl's advice that your research interests don't have to 100% match those of your POIs. You may not find out until you email them, but those partial-match people may have had an idea bouncing around in their heads about expanding or starting a new line of research with which you might fit well. Professors' research interests often evolve. I also have very specific interests, and when I was emailing professors I briefly described what I wanted to research and then asked if they would be interested in supporting a project like that. Some said no, but some said yes! That helped me a
  7. I felt Barron and the ETS practice materials were closest to the real deal. Kaplan math was way easier, and I also had the "GRE for Dummies" book, which was pretty much useless for quant preparation. Also just as a tip, what you need to learn is more how to quickly assess a problem and find the quickest way to solve it. In that way, your calculus experience could trip you up. GRE math is mainly algebra, geometry, and some trig and stats. I felt Barron was the best at helping me learn the tricks to solving problems quickly.
  8. Linelei

    Reno, NV

    I live in Reno now, and attend UNR. I actually love it! The campus is beautiful, which is not something I expected, coming from California. There are actually lots of things to do in Reno, especially as the weather gets warmer, as we have tons of street fairs and longer events. The famous Hot August Nights brings all sorts of cool classic cars to town, and Artown is a month-long celebration of art and music, with tons of free or cheap concerts, art shows, workshops, etc. Wingfield Park downtown is often the site of these free concerts - bring a lawn chair and watch the shows, or play in the ri
  9. That is rough, Ely! Sorry to hear you are going through that. I completely agree with you, though, on the timing. If a relationship is faltering, it's probably much better to end BEFORE moving and starting a rigorous PhD program. Here's to fresh starts!
  10. I decided to end a long-distance relationship during application season. I know grad school is going to be a ton of work, but I imagine the right kind of relationship would help to re-energize and motivate a grad student. That was not the case with my relationship, as the stresses that seem to go hand-in-hand with grad school were precisely the stresses my SO was already having trouble with. Like demanding more and more of my time (like, 2-3 hours on the phone as well as 1-2 hours on skype, per day), and then saying it was not enough. I think many relationships can last through grad school
  11. I didn't have quite that large a jump, but I was able to raise my quant score to one I could be reasonably satisfied with (went from 152 before serious studying to 160). A friend of mine had a Kaplan disc with practice sets (it came with a book), which I found to be easier than the actual test but helped me work on time-management during the test. This was really important for me, because I had a tendency to spend too long on certain problems and run out of time. The timed, computerized practice tests helped me stay aware of that timer without it freaking me out and distracting me. I also
  12. Thanks, Lewin! Yes, that's pretty much the type of work I was thinking of. Westen's quote that people "twirl the cognitive kaleidoscope until they get the conclusions they want" when they have a "vested interest" could apply to rankings: people in high OR low ranked programs might stress different aspects of the rankings process. I'm pondering this due to introspection, by the way. I noticed in myself a (dangerous) desire to overlook methodological weakness once I saw my future school near the top.
  13. It would be interesting to correlate students' and professors' attitudes about rankings with the rankings of their particular program. Perhaps we place more relevance on rankings if ours is high. Or maybe people in middle-to-moderately-high rankings value these rankings more, while the top programs don't need rankings to get the word out that they are prestigious. Or there could be no correlation at all! Does anyone know if this has been done? I feel like Lewin might know the answer.
  14. I wish I had stuck to my guns and spent last summer studying for the GRE and working on grad school apps, instead of giving in to a needy ex. I would have felt more confident going into the GRE and wouldn't have gone quite as crazy in my fall semester, what with studying and taking the GRE, applying to grad schools, completing coursework, working at several jobs, volunteering, AND working on my undergrad thesis. It all worked out fine, though, as I got into a great program! I guess I learned to procrastinate less and prioritize better, and to protect my dreams and goals like they're the O
  15. I'm just a lowly prospective candidate myself right now, so I don't know if I can really help you. However, I hate seeing a thread ignored, so I'll give it a shot! I do think experience helps, and here's why: a PhD program is not just school, but also a job. Your (I assume successful) on-the-job experience shows that you can handle bosses, coworkers, time management, clients, and so on. I imagine clinical programs would especially value the fact that you have so much clinical experience. After all, schools don't want to invest in someone who may decide a year or two in that they actually hat
  16. Because I believe in my soul it's what I'm meant to do. I want to research issues that I find really important, both personally and universally. I love working in the lab, I love the teaching experiences I've had, and I love the process of discovering new and relevant things. I've been inspired by mentors and look forward to someday mentoring my own students. I have a clear idea (open to life's changes, of course) of what I want to study over my career and what I would like my research to accomplish. When I think about grad school it feels right, like I am on my path. Maybe that's all chee
  17. That is exactly right. For example, when my friend tells me she is going out of town for interviews, I might later ask about said interviews. My point is, when I talk with my friends, I try to keep the conversation off the accepted/not accepted part, and on to things that we (as applicants) have more power over. I don't think it's really fair to want everyone around me to not talk about grad school, and I imagine most of us don't actually want that. Rather, we hate feeling powerless, and would rather talk about how much we liked the campus at a school than whether we've heard anything. At leas
  18. I received an acceptance over the phone from my POI. He did most of the talking. He didn't ask me to commit, and in fact basically told me not to yet, but he did try to get a feel for my level of interest and enthusiasm. I conveyed that enthusiasm, and we talked a bit about funding and research. He also told me that, no matter what, I'm in! I think he's used to students freaking out and second-guessing. Didn't receive the official letter until a month later, so I'm reeeeally glad he said that!
  19. Woah, that is just awful! So sorry you got zero support or encouragement from your relative. I think this process is making me more conscientious of how I respond to others in situations similar to mine. I've been making a point of sincerely congratulating people when something good happens, and for my other friends applying to grad school I NEVER ask, "So have you heard anything?" Instead, I ask things like, "How are you feeling about the process?" or "So did that interview change your opinion about the program?" I just got so tired of the have-you-heard question, even though it's well-me
  20. Money is a huge deal, but it is also important that your education sets you up for a successful future. Have you approached faculty at School B to see how they think your research interests would fit with yours? I would try to get explicit answers from them regarding what sort of research you will be doing in the next 5 years. It doesn't have to be a perfect match (you have the rest of your career for that), but it should probably relate in some way to your ultimate research goals, and at least set you up to be able to understand and conduct that future research. If you think School B will sti
  21. Getting into grad school isn't like getting into undergrad; you can't judge how "good" you are by how many interviews or acceptances you get. There are many, many more factors at play than your stats or who wrote your letters, such as faculty politics (who has more influence which years to fight for a student), research fit and direction (the prof may have done the sort of research you want to do in the past, but is interested in heading in a new direction now), funding limitations, etc. So it doesn't make sense to judge yourself so harshly when you heard from top schools. It's a little bit li
  22. I was told I was accepted January 22nd. Just received the official department acceptance letter this past Saturday (so abut a month after), and have yet to receive the Grad School letter. But I can wait as long as necessary, because I'm in! And ridiculously excited!
  23. Quilledink, that is a great point: we do have that tendency to try to make ourselves feel better about the options we have. That's why waiting can be such a good thing, as it gives us time to see which considerations 'stick' after the initial emotions fade. Sometimes those thoughts are right, and the rationalizations are actually true, in which case you'll probably end up accepting. However, I know I feel so much better about a decision if I make sure it is being made because it is truly right for me, not just due to an emotional roller-coaster like the grad school application process!
  24. WashU has a stellar reputation (top 20). I would add UCLA and Harvard to the list of 'best' social psych programs above.
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