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About lemma

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    2018 Fall
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  1. Moving Somewhere New Alone

    I moved to a different continent by myself when I was 18. I cried for the whole flight, so much that I ended up getting a throat infection from that and the plane's air. It was worth it, for me. That said, it was really hard for the first year. I would say it's OK to have a hard time moving, and that it will get better. Keep in tune with yourself and do what you need to do to stay balanced. I would also say don't hesitate to see a counselor at the university if you think you're having some trouble with the adjustments. I had really bad coping mechanisms during that first year, and in retrospect I wish I'd had some help figuring out healthier ways to deal with my emotions.
  2. Love, Academia and Success

    I think as we move through our twenties, being able to just casually meet our life partner gets less and less probable (though is certainly far from impossible). I think this is becoming a larger problem these days because people compartmentalize social situations - here's hanging with the friends, here's going on a tinder date, here's playing sport. I would recommend looking into settings that are for single people, and being patient. I was pretty much single for a year and a half when I met my partner (despite casual dating here and there). In addition to tinder and online dating, most cities have various meetup groups for singles. Persistence is key, though. I would also keep on being open to different people, and not trying to fit anything to a particular situation. I met my (now de facto) partner on tinder, and blew off our arranged date the first time. The second time, I was very close to a last minute cancellation as I was hanging out with close friends I hadn't seen in four years. On paper, we were pretty different - I was an ivy league investment banker and he was a math teacher who loved playing strategy games (something I knew nothing about). My job also had me working 80-120 hours a week, and I wasn't sure that someone who didn't move in that world would get it. Despite all of the differences, we fell in love quickly and it turned out we were very compatible intellectually, aspirationally and culturally (despite being an interracial couple - caucasian girl, asian guy). I still pinch myself that he almost slipped through my fingers because he wasn't the type of guy I usually dated. We have gone through a lot of life changes together, and these days the government considers us legally married.
  3. What would you have done?

    To me, her comment is giving me huge flashing red lights. It seems like she's in a dark place (irrespective of whether she's doing it for attention). You don't have to take her issues on board, but I would also leave the door open for future interactions so that this message doesn't exacerbate any self destructive cycles on her end. I would probably also send a quick message to someone who's close to her, just quietly saying you were a little worried (but also not to pass this on to cause drama).
  4. Still waiting to hear on admission! Which is supposed to happen now ish, with funding to come or not in December. I'm so nervous!
  5. I was in a sort of similar scenario. I did some college courses in high school and was enrolled at two universities at once by necessity (long story). I didn't feel that either fell neatly into the application form, so I created an additional document that described these, and added a note saying to contact me for more information or transcripts as needed. They haven't contacted me, so I hope all is OK.
  6. Travelling while being female

    I'm glad that you had such a positive experience. I can tell you the issues I faced had absolutely nothing to do with being drunk or being fazed. There were many incidents, but one included having my body grabbed by a stranger in a busy street in the middle of the day, where he did inappropriate physical/sexual things to me. I was sober, it wasn't an unknown place at dark (it was actually a market) and I think what I experienced would have fazed most people. I've lived in France twice and the first time had no issues. The second time was a lot more distressing. I'm not trying to say that your experience is invalid, but more that you were lucky, as many people are too. That said, I know many other women who had experiences like my own in Paris. As such, I strongly believe it is worth erring on the side of caution, and understand that you can be doing everything right and still have incidents like this. If something happens, it's not your fault.
  7. I think this would fall under Title IX. I would reach out to any relevant departments (my undergrad had an active women's center) and ask for advice about how to proceed. Doing so means that your actions will be somewhere in writing.
  8. Miscommunication in the lab

    Don't send an email. It will make it a bigger deal than he needs to be. Just turn up next week, and do what he says without interjecting. He will notice the difference. Industry is more about getting things done than exploring all potential paths for the sake of it. They have a process and their process runs well - they don't see a need to necessarily change it now. My recommendation would be to be quiet when he's explaining things unless you don't understand the procedure - he's trying to teach you so you can get up and running ASAP. If you have qualitative and conceptual questions, ask him at a time when he's not busy (ie. not showing you how to use the equipment), or ask someone more junior. You can collate a list of questions to ask at a convenient time. You may also want to think about how you're phrasing your thoughts, because although your intentions are good, the way you're saying it could be perceived as crossing the line. I would probably be mildly irritated if I was under pressure and had a new employee telling me how to do my job without understanding the systems. When you ask, ask "why" rather than "why not like this". There is a place for "why not like this" but only once you're familiar with the work and have reason to think it needs improvement - not in your first week. (I have been in industry a few years.)
  9. Travelling while being female

    France has issues with harassment - there's no other way of putting it. I don't think WOC are especially targeted though - I am ethnically French and used to speak the language fluently, but was the target of some pretty brutal harassment/assault. Try to travel in groups when talking the streets. Don't engage when strangers try and talk to you - keep on walking and ignore them. Don't smile on the train or walking the streets because someone could take that as license to harass you. Don't catch public transport very early in the morning or very late at night. Read up in advance to see what parts of the city are unsafe - I was spending time with a Moroccan-French friend who has lived in Paris most of his life, and there was an area of Paris where he wouldn't let us walk - we had to run when going through it.
  10. I was a senior when you were a freshman, so sadly we probably didn't overlap, but there's a good chance we've been taught by the same professors! I miss that place. As I said, most people I know who scored a 3.7+ who wanted to a PhD got into top 5 schools (thinking mathematical sciences because that's what I know best). I have three friends across three years who didn't, but their grades were at the lower end of that spectrum and two of them were non citizens. There are never guarantees, but it sounds like you've pretty much done the best job of what you can control.
  11. I have a strong, strong suspicion we went to the same undergrad. If so, try as hard as you can on your applications, but relax. People with GPAs in the 3.7+ range routinely get into top schools, and I have friends with much weaker backgrounds who got into solid programs. There are exceptions, but they are the exceptions rather than the rule. Anyway, enjoy senior year while you can. You only get to do it once. And if we did go to the same undergrad - I loved thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, but the top stream of classical mechanics was even more fun
  12. Look, it depends. I'm not sure they will be OK with your grades unless you do some interim study and demonstrate an ability to achieve better marks while stable, because you're not giving them much to go off to show what you can do while well. You can then append the undergrad grades with some kind of equity statement. Bipolar is a serious illness, but it's also common too. This means that some other applicants have gone through similar experiences while still being able to demonstrate academic rigor, which may or may not sway the committee. I also went to an ivy, had undiagnosed bipolar 1 until senior year, and although bipolar was extremely disruptive to my life, I graduated with a GPA north of 3.8. Good luck, I hope you find a path to get to where you want to be! You're obviously smart, introspective and humble, so something tells me you're going to be successful, even if you have to take a few more classes to demonstrate your academic chops while well.
  13. I submitted an application for my top choice PhD program a couple of weeks ago, so the waiting game has officially begun! One thing I'm struggling with mentally though is that my prospective program doesn't have a date by which they have to let you know - I have no idea whether I'll be waiting three weeks or three (or more) months (and to complicate things further, I'm required to give notice at my job if I leave). Does anyone have any good tips about how to get distracted during all of this? Or even any tips about how to make things work if I get accepted late to the program, maybe to the extent that I have less time than my notice period at work allows? Does anyone also have any recommendations about how to stay in touch for the program? If I'm going to be waiting indefinitely, I'd like to know what my status is, but I also don't want to annoy the program coordinator when I know she has a lot on her plate.
  14. Letter of Recommendation

    Are you me? I'm also applying to financial econometrics and currently work on macro products (rates, fx, cross asset) in industry. I'm also from a highly mathematical background. Best of luck with it all!!
  15. Question Regarding International GPA

    I would have thought that a rank of 12/30 would have been a generous conversion at 3.5... at most schools (including my alma mater), a 3.82 is well in excess of that too. Did you go to an undergrad that severely inflated humanities/social science in comparison to STEM? That's the only circumstance I can brainstorm where a 3.82 could potentially be equal to 60th percentile.