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About slouching

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    Double Shot

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    American Studies

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  1. slouching

    Relationships and PhD programs

    First, this kind of thing has been a frequent topic of discussion on these boards, so I'd encourage you to look around and read some older threads where this has been addressed. 1. Your financial situation in grad school depends a lot on things like location, lifestyle, and how good your funding package is. Before grad school, I lived in one of the most expensive cities in the country, made barely over minimum wage, and barely scraped by. As a grad student, I make about as much as I did before, but I now live somewhere with a significantly lower cost of living, so in a lot of ways, things have improved. But there seem to be somewhat varying levels of financial security within my cohort, for a variety of reasons--for example, I'm the only one without a car, which saves me a lot of money, but is also an inconvenience. Think about your priorities, what you're willing to sacrifice, etc. When you're deciding where to attend, you'll want to compare funding packages and really consider how livable those amounts are for each place you're considering. 2. Plenty of people have maintained healthy, happy relationships with their partners while in grad school. Does it present some challenges? Sure, but part of being in a relationship is figuring out how to navigate challenges together. I think this is one area in which it helps to approach grad school as a job. Because it's not a 9-5 job, and because it's a job in which we tend to tie our success to our self-worth, it can be easy to get sucked into toxic ways of thinking, like feeling guilty for spending time on anything that's not work. But it's critically important to give yourself time for other things, whether that's hobbies, seeing friends, or spending time with a partner. If being together is a priority for you both, you will find ways to make it work. It may take some effort to figure out how to best manage your time, but lots of people can tell you that it's doable. 3. Again, if traveling is important to you, there are ways to make it happen. It also doesn't have to be wildly expensive. For example, some grad students will do a program like WWOOF during summer break. You might also have opportunities to receive funding through your program to do travel that's related to your studies (for example, to attend a conference)--not exactly a vacation, but still. 4. I don't have experience with this, but again, many others do, and lots of them will tell you it's possible.
  2. slouching

    How do you actually send LoRs to schools?

    Professors will sometimes tailor the letters to each program, and that was true in my case. How much time that took them, I'm not sure. But the actual process of uploading is usually quite quick--I would sometimes get strings of email notifications sent within minutes of each other, letting me know that different schools had received a letter from someone.
  3. slouching

    How do you actually send LoRs to schools?

    This has also been my experience with all the grad school applications I've ever done. What I would usually do was open the application a couple months before the deadline, fill in contact info for my letter writers and other similarly easy stuff, then just save that and return to the application later to add documents I wanted more time to work on (SOP, writing sample, etc). That way, my letter writers had the link accessible to them early on, so they could upload a letter when convenient for them. But I did have a couple of schools where the links for LORs wouldn't be sent until the whole application was actually submitted, so maybe look out for that. Honestly, I don't really understand the value of using Interfolio for LORs, especially since some schools don't even accept it.
  4. slouching

    Only just started MA program and severely depressed

    I'm sorry to hear that this transition has been difficult for you. If you are not doing so already, I would encourage you to speak with a professional about the issues you are facing. It seems like you would benefit from speaking with someone who is trained to help you manage your depression and anxiety, and who can help you sort out your feelings about the situation you're in. Exploring the counseling services within your university might be a good place to start.
  5. slouching

    Keeping up with readings

    This article on how to read for grad school might be helpful.
  6. Applied economics isn't my field, but in many fields, graduate admissions work differently than undergrad in that there's a lot more to your application than GPA and test scores. If I were you, I would try to focus on things like letters of recommendation and statement of purpose, rather than dwell on things that can't be changed. Lots of people have problems early on in their college careers, and/or are transfer students, and plenty of those people go on to attend grad school. It helps that there's an upward trend to your GPA, and if you do feel like you want to address your earlier grades, you could use your SOP as a place to do so, or have one or more of your LOR writers address it for you.
  7. I would definitely not recommend transferring schools just to give you a better chance at getting into a PhD program. Honestly, it sounds like you're doing everything right. I can understand why you have some concerns about prestige--I had similar concerns when I was applying--but where you went to school is hardly one of the most important aspects of your application. What is important is that you have a solid understanding of your research interests, that you're able to articulate what those interests are, and that you apply to places that are a good fit for those interests. If you look at current student profiles in the graduate programs you're interested in, they'll often tell you where those students went for undergrad. You will probably see that yes, a lot of those people went to prestigious schools...but not all of them. Keep doing what you're doing--it sounds like you are off to a promising start.
  8. This. I attend a master's program in American Studies. I receive full funding. There are certainly master's programs in my field that are not funded--Yale, for example--but I made a decision not to apply to those, because I didn't feel it would make sense for me to pay for this degree. I'm sure there are people who will gladly pay Yale a lot of money to attend that program, and I'm sure some of them have achieved exactly what they wanted by doing so, but for me, any program without full funding was not a viable option. If you're on the fence, I would encourage you to really consider your options.
  9. American Culture Studies at Bowling Green might be of interest to you.
  10. slouching

    Is an Ivy League degree a "golden ticket" career-wise?

    If you haven't already, you may want to look into your program's placement record. Are graduates of the program getting the kinds of positions you're interested in? This info is often available on the program website, but if it isn't, you could reach out to them and ask where graduates end up, and how the program/university prepares them for the job market. If you're planning on investing your time and money into a program, you deserve to know what resources will be available to help you reach your career goals. I don't have an Ivy League degree, so I can't speak from experience on the topic. But I would imagine that the reality is sort of mixed: yes, people will generally be impressed with you if they learn you've attended an Ivy, but there's also more to it than that. The best programs in any given field are not necessarily going to be in the Ivy League, and in any case, where you went to school is only part of the equation.
  11. slouching

    Keeping Your Job While Doing a PhD?

    Doing a PhD is a full-time job, one that requires significant commitments of time and energy over the course of several years. I have no idea how anyone would handle an additional full-time position on top of that. And if your funding package requires you to hold a research or teaching assistantship? I just don't know how there would be enough hours in the day, and that's without even mentioning the need for time to yourself, a social life, etc.
  12. slouching

    Selecting PHD programs Art History

    First, @TMP is right--you will probably want to consult the art history forum, rather than history. As far as rankings go, here is one list: https://www.chronicle.com/article/NRC-Rankings-Overview-History/124737. You might also be interested in this thread, which is in the art history forum:
  13. slouching

    Do MA students ever get to be TAs or receive assistanships?

    It probably does depend on the department, but I also found this: "Teaching Fellows in the Humanities and the Social Science departments are expected to have completed the first year of their graduate program at Columbia before being appointed to teaching assignments." (see https://gsas.columbia.edu/student-guide/teaching/graduate-student-teaching-guidelines) So, if humanities/social sciences is your field, looks like working as a TA might not be an option (if it is an option at all) until you're in your second year. Which I guess means it's a no for student's in one-year programs. But again, as you suspected, someone in your department could probably answer this definitively. There's also more info on the types of funding offered by Columbia GSAS here: https://gsas.columbia.edu/student-guide/financing-your-education/fellowship-categories.
  14. slouching

    Selecting PHD programs Art History

    Are there scholars you've read who are doing work related to what you want to do? What institutions are they affiliated with? Are they taking on new students? That's one way to research potential programs. If going into museum work (and not academia) is your goal, take a look at placement records for art history PhD programs and see where their graduates end up--what schools are placing graduates in the kinds of positions you would like to have? Location and program structure might also be factors to consider--are there programs that allow for internships at nearby museums, and/or that offer sufficient coursework to prepare you for a career in a museum? All these things you mentioned: ranking, placement record, location, advisor...these are what help to make up "fit." How to weigh each of those things depends on your own preferences and goals. If you're feeling overwhelmed by all the options, you might start by looking at lists of some of the top-ranked schools in your field (and subfield) and reading up on the details of the programs. Researching your options will allow you to determine what you need and want from a program, and from there, you can start compiling a list of schools that make sense for you.
  15. This! There's so much to life besides school. There's absolutely nothing wrong with giving yourself time to do other things: work/volunteer, travel, learn new skills, etc. There are certainly ways to use time away from school to make you a stronger candidate for PhD admissions, if that is your concern. I finished undergrad three years ago, and have just started my master's program; there are many, many people who have had longer gaps than that and still been successful. Also, since you're in a one-year program, it's worth considering whether you will have time to craft strong PhD applications while in school. Will you have sufficient time to develop good relationships with professors so they can write letters on your behalf? If, as you mentioned, you have worries about your undergrad grades, and the grades from your current program won't be included in your applications, that may also present a valid reason to wait before applying. TL;DR: waiting a year or more is very common, and may work to your benefit.

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