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mithrandir8

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  1. Upvote
    mithrandir8 got a reaction from The OA in Dear 2020 applicants...   
    I actually think that we should have a very low view of how much we know about the admissions process.  Moreover, we have reason to be very skeptical about the value of this kind of forum advice as to how to improve application chances. While certain baseline information, such as the information in Eric Schwitzgebel's guide, is valuable, I doubt that all that much more can reliably be said about how to do well in the process.
    To begin with, our ability to infer from application results is very limited. For example, if I understand the posts above, @Marcus_Aurelius and @crunderdunder took roughly contrasting approaches to the preparation of their writing samples. Marcus spent a long time writing and rewriting a paper on a single topic that they chose based on how they wanted to fit into the current literature (to be accessible, current, etc.). This was also my approach. Crunder spent the majority of their time exploring a topic area, with much less time dedicated to drafting. Both completely crushed the process, making mockeries of us mere mortals, for whom rejections blotted out the sun and withered plants in their shade. Do I have any reason to think that I would have performed more like Crunder if I had adopted their method? I can't see that I do. It's just as possible that I would have been making things worse by working in a way less natural to me.
    More generally, the few things we can say with confidence—that, ceteris paribus, it is better to have higher grades, higher GREs, a better writing sample, a more prestigious undergrad, etc.—do not produce helpful advice. When I struck out the first time I applied, it wasn't because I wasn't trying to get the best grades, the most prominent letter writers etc. Even considering the question of how these different factors relate to each other, we don't know much. It seems pretty likely that the writing sample is the most important feature, as @brookspn argued. But was their strategy of spending very little time on the personal statements the way to go? I strongly suspect personal statements were important to my application (though I don't really know!). And are there always tradeoffs? I worked on my writing sample until it was basically as good as I thought I could make it and then set to work on my personal statements. If people do find themselves facing hard tradeoffs, I certainly can't see any basis for advising them when the marginal unit of work on one factor stops being as valuable as the marginal unit of work on another.
    If you're looking for practically salient advice, you want information that affects one of your choices. But beyond various platitudes, I don't think there's very much that qualifies. For instance, the first time I applied, I think my writing sample held me back. But the way I selected my writing sample was by picking the paper that I had spent the most time on, had the most feedback on, and that was the most skillful work I had done so far. I can't say with any confidence that those are bad ways to choose a paper, even if I know now that paper was bad. I'm not sure I've actually learned anything about the application process itself since, even if I've gotten better at assessing philosophy papers. This time, I wrote a better paper, and I did try to pick a topic that I thought was more likely to appeal to more people. But basically my strategy for picking papers didn't change that much; I was just better at writing them because of the intervening years of work.
    Lastly, I think the results themselves speak to a great degree of idiosyncrasy. Before hearing back, I had all kinds of reasonable theories about how my application would be received.
    I thought that maybe I would do better with programs which had people I had cited in the sample and who were working on the exact topic I wrote on --- Not the case.  I thought that maybe I would do better with programs to which I had the most obvious appeal --- Even though I really really really like Pitt, I had no way of knowing that Pitt would like me. I thought that maybe I would do better with programs which were lower on the PGR and worse with programs higher on the PGR --- Not close. I can't see anything unique about that the three places I wasn't rejected from share. My best guess is basically randomness.
    In terms of getting in, all I can recommend for 2020 applicants is to work really hard on doing good philosophy that shows your philosophical skills and to get lots of advice from professors who can help guide your judgment on that. Beyond that, even if the process isn't a "lottery," it might as well be, because we simply don't have that much concrete practical information about how to really get ahead. What I think you can do to help yourself with the application process is prepare yourself emotionally. Hopefully that's something this thread can explore a bit, even if folks disagree with me about the rest.
  2. Upvote
    mithrandir8 got a reaction from Monkwee in Another 'too old' thread... Apologies   
    I think it's awesome to want to get back into philosophy! I think it'll be important for you to really focus on why you want to pursue grad school and why you might not want to pursue it, especially given the emotional attachments you're likely to have to your options. Here's my limited view of your situation:
    Good reason(s) to try to go:
    You want to experience graduate study in philosophy I think this may be basically the only really good reason to apply to grad school. As your posts above suggested, however, this can be a weighty consideration. There are things you just want to study, learn, and write about in an intense way that can't be replicated by treating philosophy as a hobby. This is the reason that has motivated me to pursue a graduate career and I will happily defend its weightiness! Bad reason(s) to try to go:
    You want to get a job in professional philosophy This is just not a good reason to go to grad school anymore. While we can all aim to get one of these coveted positions, as my undergrad adviser once said, "only go to grad school if you would still go if you knew ahead of time that you would have to do something else if you graduate."  It seems like you're up for that, but it should be noted. It's what you've always planned on or imagined doing I tend to think this is just not a good form for a reason in general. Independent of other considerations, such as reasons that following the plan is a good idea, one's planning to do X is just not a reason to do X. I do think this is a pretty prominent psychological tendency however, so it's something to look out for. Just because past you thought you'd be in grad school by now doesn't mean present you should go. You experience regret about past events that prevented you from going to grad school or nostalgia for your younger aspirations This is a really relatable emotion, and I frequently find myself thinking that I can somehow undo or make up for past decisions if I do something different now. But once you spell out that that's why you want to do something, it isn't hard to see that that's not really a rational way to make life choices. Good reason(s) not to try to go: 
    Grad school would expose you to unacceptable risks Grad school can produce horrible career outcomes, life outcomes, etc. as people often discuss on this forum. While this is true for all applicants, a person's risk profile often does change with age. With respect to this decision, for example, a younger person might be able to begin a second career and still save substantially for a retirement if his or her philosophy plans go belly up. This might be substantially harder for an older person, who may also face a different set of options for an alternative career. This consideration will vary depending on what your options will be if everything goes wrong, of course. If you're really confident you could resume your old career after a decade (give or take) doing philosophy, then maybe that assuages the worries to some degree. Bad reason(s) not to try to go:
    You worry that you won't fit in/your age will make it harder to network This isn't a formally bad reason, I just don't think it's very likely to be a problem. A lot of people in graduate programs are older, at least by the end of their programs (I'll be 32 if I graduate in 6 years) so it's not like professors always deal with students in their twenties. I think your fellow students and professors will be happy to hear what you have to say and engage with you without problems. And even if there was some friction, I'm not sure that would be a decisive reason not to study what you want to study. You worry that you won't be seen as a serious candidate I'm not sure why this would be a reason not to try. If you're willing to risk the years of opportunity cost that go along with graduate study (along with everything else), why not risk a few hundred bucks to see if some programs might be interested? If this was a point about job market competitiveness, I would refer you to the point above about why wanting to get a philosophy job isn't a good enough reason to try to go to graduate school. You are anxious/embarrassed etc. about being a nontraditional applicant I'm not sure if this is something that you're feeling, but it's another very relatable emotion that might be involved in a choice like this. I get nervous going to shoot some basketball at the park because I'm bad and the part of my brain that enables me to survive as a social animal gives me a talking to about deviating from norms in public. This is, of course, a great strategy for never playing any basketball, and I have to resist this impulse if I want to grow and enjoy my hobby. I feel the same way about your kind of choice. It might feel like grad school is somehow "not for you" because your path was a little different, but that's not a feeling that's really tracking anything important about the situation. If it's what you really love, do it, even if it feels weird. How you balance these things will have to be up to you, but I think those are the reasons I would be weighing in your position.
  3. Like
    mithrandir8 reacted to Adelaide9216 in I failed my thesis.   
    Resubmitted tonight! Fingers crossed now! 
  4. Upvote
    mithrandir8 got a reaction from kretschmar in Dear 2020 applicants...   
    I actually think that we should have a very low view of how much we know about the admissions process.  Moreover, we have reason to be very skeptical about the value of this kind of forum advice as to how to improve application chances. While certain baseline information, such as the information in Eric Schwitzgebel's guide, is valuable, I doubt that all that much more can reliably be said about how to do well in the process.
    To begin with, our ability to infer from application results is very limited. For example, if I understand the posts above, @Marcus_Aurelius and @crunderdunder took roughly contrasting approaches to the preparation of their writing samples. Marcus spent a long time writing and rewriting a paper on a single topic that they chose based on how they wanted to fit into the current literature (to be accessible, current, etc.). This was also my approach. Crunder spent the majority of their time exploring a topic area, with much less time dedicated to drafting. Both completely crushed the process, making mockeries of us mere mortals, for whom rejections blotted out the sun and withered plants in their shade. Do I have any reason to think that I would have performed more like Crunder if I had adopted their method? I can't see that I do. It's just as possible that I would have been making things worse by working in a way less natural to me.
    More generally, the few things we can say with confidence—that, ceteris paribus, it is better to have higher grades, higher GREs, a better writing sample, a more prestigious undergrad, etc.—do not produce helpful advice. When I struck out the first time I applied, it wasn't because I wasn't trying to get the best grades, the most prominent letter writers etc. Even considering the question of how these different factors relate to each other, we don't know much. It seems pretty likely that the writing sample is the most important feature, as @brookspn argued. But was their strategy of spending very little time on the personal statements the way to go? I strongly suspect personal statements were important to my application (though I don't really know!). And are there always tradeoffs? I worked on my writing sample until it was basically as good as I thought I could make it and then set to work on my personal statements. If people do find themselves facing hard tradeoffs, I certainly can't see any basis for advising them when the marginal unit of work on one factor stops being as valuable as the marginal unit of work on another.
    If you're looking for practically salient advice, you want information that affects one of your choices. But beyond various platitudes, I don't think there's very much that qualifies. For instance, the first time I applied, I think my writing sample held me back. But the way I selected my writing sample was by picking the paper that I had spent the most time on, had the most feedback on, and that was the most skillful work I had done so far. I can't say with any confidence that those are bad ways to choose a paper, even if I know now that paper was bad. I'm not sure I've actually learned anything about the application process itself since, even if I've gotten better at assessing philosophy papers. This time, I wrote a better paper, and I did try to pick a topic that I thought was more likely to appeal to more people. But basically my strategy for picking papers didn't change that much; I was just better at writing them because of the intervening years of work.
    Lastly, I think the results themselves speak to a great degree of idiosyncrasy. Before hearing back, I had all kinds of reasonable theories about how my application would be received.
    I thought that maybe I would do better with programs which had people I had cited in the sample and who were working on the exact topic I wrote on --- Not the case.  I thought that maybe I would do better with programs to which I had the most obvious appeal --- Even though I really really really like Pitt, I had no way of knowing that Pitt would like me. I thought that maybe I would do better with programs which were lower on the PGR and worse with programs higher on the PGR --- Not close. I can't see anything unique about that the three places I wasn't rejected from share. My best guess is basically randomness.
    In terms of getting in, all I can recommend for 2020 applicants is to work really hard on doing good philosophy that shows your philosophical skills and to get lots of advice from professors who can help guide your judgment on that. Beyond that, even if the process isn't a "lottery," it might as well be, because we simply don't have that much concrete practical information about how to really get ahead. What I think you can do to help yourself with the application process is prepare yourself emotionally. Hopefully that's something this thread can explore a bit, even if folks disagree with me about the rest.
  5. Upvote
    mithrandir8 got a reaction from Teferi in Another 'too old' thread... Apologies   
    I think it's awesome to want to get back into philosophy! I think it'll be important for you to really focus on why you want to pursue grad school and why you might not want to pursue it, especially given the emotional attachments you're likely to have to your options. Here's my limited view of your situation:
    Good reason(s) to try to go:
    You want to experience graduate study in philosophy I think this may be basically the only really good reason to apply to grad school. As your posts above suggested, however, this can be a weighty consideration. There are things you just want to study, learn, and write about in an intense way that can't be replicated by treating philosophy as a hobby. This is the reason that has motivated me to pursue a graduate career and I will happily defend its weightiness! Bad reason(s) to try to go:
    You want to get a job in professional philosophy This is just not a good reason to go to grad school anymore. While we can all aim to get one of these coveted positions, as my undergrad adviser once said, "only go to grad school if you would still go if you knew ahead of time that you would have to do something else if you graduate."  It seems like you're up for that, but it should be noted. It's what you've always planned on or imagined doing I tend to think this is just not a good form for a reason in general. Independent of other considerations, such as reasons that following the plan is a good idea, one's planning to do X is just not a reason to do X. I do think this is a pretty prominent psychological tendency however, so it's something to look out for. Just because past you thought you'd be in grad school by now doesn't mean present you should go. You experience regret about past events that prevented you from going to grad school or nostalgia for your younger aspirations This is a really relatable emotion, and I frequently find myself thinking that I can somehow undo or make up for past decisions if I do something different now. But once you spell out that that's why you want to do something, it isn't hard to see that that's not really a rational way to make life choices. Good reason(s) not to try to go: 
    Grad school would expose you to unacceptable risks Grad school can produce horrible career outcomes, life outcomes, etc. as people often discuss on this forum. While this is true for all applicants, a person's risk profile often does change with age. With respect to this decision, for example, a younger person might be able to begin a second career and still save substantially for a retirement if his or her philosophy plans go belly up. This might be substantially harder for an older person, who may also face a different set of options for an alternative career. This consideration will vary depending on what your options will be if everything goes wrong, of course. If you're really confident you could resume your old career after a decade (give or take) doing philosophy, then maybe that assuages the worries to some degree. Bad reason(s) not to try to go:
    You worry that you won't fit in/your age will make it harder to network This isn't a formally bad reason, I just don't think it's very likely to be a problem. A lot of people in graduate programs are older, at least by the end of their programs (I'll be 32 if I graduate in 6 years) so it's not like professors always deal with students in their twenties. I think your fellow students and professors will be happy to hear what you have to say and engage with you without problems. And even if there was some friction, I'm not sure that would be a decisive reason not to study what you want to study. You worry that you won't be seen as a serious candidate I'm not sure why this would be a reason not to try. If you're willing to risk the years of opportunity cost that go along with graduate study (along with everything else), why not risk a few hundred bucks to see if some programs might be interested? If this was a point about job market competitiveness, I would refer you to the point above about why wanting to get a philosophy job isn't a good enough reason to try to go to graduate school. You are anxious/embarrassed etc. about being a nontraditional applicant I'm not sure if this is something that you're feeling, but it's another very relatable emotion that might be involved in a choice like this. I get nervous going to shoot some basketball at the park because I'm bad and the part of my brain that enables me to survive as a social animal gives me a talking to about deviating from norms in public. This is, of course, a great strategy for never playing any basketball, and I have to resist this impulse if I want to grow and enjoy my hobby. I feel the same way about your kind of choice. It might feel like grad school is somehow "not for you" because your path was a little different, but that's not a feeling that's really tracking anything important about the situation. If it's what you really love, do it, even if it feels weird. How you balance these things will have to be up to you, but I think those are the reasons I would be weighing in your position.
  6. Upvote
    mithrandir8 reacted to politkal in Dear 2020 applicants...   
    I whole-heartedly agree with this advice.
    I am U.K based and came into philosophy through an untraditional route but completed a conversion MA at a PGR school here, achieving a distinction in the process which is equivalent to GPA of 4.0. I applied to four schools (UCL/KCL/Oxford/LSE) but I was only accepted onto LSE's MSc and rejected from the other MPhil/BPhil programmes. Emotionally I was distraught after the flurry of rejections as I had hoped to get into one of the former research degrees. I personally knew many others who had gotten onto the programme at UCL, some of whom didn't even meet the minimum entry criteria and others who had seemingly very poor applications (one international student's personal statement demonstrated an incredibly low literacy level) and this made the whole experience even more frustrating and objectionable. Overall, the process was pretty negative for me but it did inspire some new work on procedural fairness, work which I will now be presenting at conferences across Europe this summer. In this sense I managed to eventually galvanise myself but I think it's right that people talk about how to handle the process and rejections emotionally, as I was in a pretty dark place for a while and because I think that it is something that we can actually shine a light on effectively. My advice here would be to try to expect to receive a rejection from each programme you apply to, and somehow balance this negative expectation with the positivity that is required for completing good applications. Even though it's a top school for Political Philosophy, the LSE programme was my safety option because it wasn't a research degree and as such, I put my application together in about 10 minutes by just regurgitating what I had used for my other applications - weirdly this was the one that worked whereas the hours that I spent agonising over my Ox application turned out to be worthless. 
    For sure, there is a lot of luck involved in the process, not just because you have no idea concerning how you are to be assessed by each institution but also because you may not have very helpful tutors, or because other applicants have some "insider knowledge" regarding your chosen programme. In my case, my tutors were incredibly unhelpful - lazy in producing statements (leaving them close to the deadline and unwilling to correspond much with me on them), unwilling to take a look at personal statements or writing samples etc. - unfortunately there is nothing much I could have done about that. Ultimately, most of us have no idea why we were rejected, references are submitted anonymously and feedback or a reason for rejection is rarely ever provided. Before applying I felt like I had done so much research online and prepared as well as I could have done given the circumstances but for whatever reason, it just wasn't enough. Despite this, if there is anything I could advise, it would be to echo what others have said - make sure your writing sample is as good as it can be. I used a slightly refined excerpt from my dissertation and I totally regret it. At the time I thought it was wise as it was a piece of work that scored a high mark on my MA and I had received some particularly positive feedback on it. I was worried about rewriting it or coming up with a new piece of work because I thought, at least with this sample, I knew where it stood academically. In hindsight I should have developed a totally new piece bespoke to the programme I was applying to, one that fitted the desired word length perfectly and perhaps also aligned with interests of the tutors at the school (in a more obvious way). 
    I decided to take up my place at LSE in the end as I figured it can only help my chances moving forwards and because there are a lot of great tutors there that I am actually pretty excited to work with given my areas of interest. I will be applying to PhD programmes at the end of this year with the hope of moving on directly from my second Masters. I just hope that this time I manage to navigate the process more successfully! I also hope that the conferences I am doing this summer will bolster my academic C.V and help me to further refine the paper I am working on which will probably end up being my dissertation at LSE. I think I will apply for PhD/DPhil's at Cambridge/Oxford/LSE later this year, I know most of the people here are based in the U.S but if anyone else is looking at these programmes/has applied to them previously then give me a shout.
  7. Upvote
    mithrandir8 got a reaction from trolleyproblem in Preparations for the Fall   
    Do folks who are fortunate enough to have been admitted have any plans for preparing? I'm trying to figure out what stuff I'm going to try to learn and refresh myself on, and what logistical/life skills things I'm going to try to work on to prepare. The other forums have some advice but I've run across a few too many "buy a nice labcoat" posts there not to suspect that aspiring philosophers might have some unique insights.
  8. Downvote
    mithrandir8 reacted to Chanandler in I failed my thesis.   
    Have you considered the possibility that your fail is deserved?
    Obviously we only know what you've told us and none of us have read your thesis, but you seem desperate to blame everyone except for yourself and cry about how unfairly you've been treated.  Perhaps your work wasn't good enough to pass. I'm saying this because you've shown no indication that you consider this a possibility. If it is the case that your work wasn't good enough then you're wasting time blaming other people - time that could be spent improving your work.
    When professors fail a piece of work I'm sure they're used to having students throw it back at them and complain and say it's not fair. Do you really want to be one of those people, or do you want to pick yourself up and think about why your work wasn't good enough to pass? Then you can go back, fix it, and have a valuable learning and development experience. Self-reflection and accepting responsibility should be an important part of learning and growth.
    Saying this to help. Most posts here have been incredibly supportive, I feel that it's important to bring this other point up. I'm not saying it's impossible that you were unfairly failed because that sort of thing does indeed happen. However, it's rare that I've spoken with a failed student who was able to admit it was their fault.
  9. Upvote
    mithrandir8 reacted to dgswaim in Preparations for the Fall   
    Start establishing good habits of self care. Get yourself in a strong routine of exercising, sleeping well, and eating right. It will be easy to slip into bad habits with this sort of thing once you're under way, and then it becomes a lot harder to bring yourself back into good habits. Get that stuff drilled down now and your mental health will thank you later.
  10. Upvote
    mithrandir8 reacted to maxhgns in Preparations for the Fall   
    Honestly, I think that the most important thing you can do is start professionalizing yourself, especially if you're starting a PhD. Everything else will come during the course of the PhD itself.
    So, for example, start familiarizing yourself with the best journals in your subfield, and with the top generalist journals, and what kind of work gets published in which journal. Start developing a sense of how fast the turnaround is in various journals (the Cullison/APA list is helpful for that). Create an account on PhilPapers, and sign up for conference and publication alerts. Start looking at the CVs of grad students, postdocs, and assistant professors at a wide range of departments. In particular, look for people working in your inteded AOSes. Get a sense of what they're doing, and how it seems to have worked out for them. Figure out what the important conferences and associations are in your subfields. Start following the gossip on the main philosophy blogs. Start reading through the Job Market Boot Camp on the Philosophers' Cocoon. Start paying attention to what goes on in the forum over at the Chronicle of Higher Education.
    That sort of thing.
  11. Upvote
    mithrandir8 reacted to SexandtheHaecceity in Acceptances   
    As of this morning I was officially made an offer and accepted at Fordham!
  12. Upvote
    mithrandir8 got a reaction from quineonthevine in Final Outcomes   
    Got the email that NYU isn't taking from their waitlist this year and sent my acceptance to Pitt!
  13. Like
    mithrandir8 got a reaction from practically_mi in Final Outcomes   
    Got the email that NYU isn't taking from their waitlist this year and sent my acceptance to Pitt!
  14. Like
    mithrandir8 reacted to Duns Eith in Shut out   
    I am sorry to hear. It is quite heartbreaking.
    I know you'll already be asking yourself over and over what you need to fix and improve, or whether to invest in applying again.
    Let me say this: whatever your choice for next year, remember your worth is not bound up in decision letters. You're more than your grades, recommendations, written samples, or standardized test scores. Your anxiety over the process is normal and legitimate. Your lack of offer does not mean you are incompetent. You can still love philosophy as a professional or as an amateur/well-invested hobbist, even if someone else did not choose to invest in you this time. Don't settle for a life that you know you cannot live with. You can face another round if you really want to; shut-outs are not uncommon.
  15. Upvote
    mithrandir8 reacted to neechaa in Shut out   
    Now that we are past April 15th I suppose most of us know the outcome of this application season. I applied to 6 PhD programs, was rejected by 4 of them and waitlisted by 2, only to be informed yesterday that all slots have been filled. After months of waiting it was heartbreaking to be shut out in that way! But I guess there are many more of you out there who have been shut out for the season, so starting this thread for those who would like to share their story of being shut out.
  16. Upvote
    mithrandir8 reacted to Kantattheairport in Acceptances   
    Awesome!
  17. Upvote
    mithrandir8 reacted to brookspn in Final Outcomes   
    Admitted off the waitlist to Rutgers. I've accepted the offer. 
  18. Like
    mithrandir8 reacted to Kantattheairport in Final Outcomes   
    Congratulations!
     
    Ah, a little earlier than last year, at least, so you're not left wondering until the end.  Congrats on finalizing at a great department!
  19. Like
    mithrandir8 got a reaction from Very Hungry Caterpillar in Final Outcomes   
    Got the email that NYU isn't taking from their waitlist this year and sent my acceptance to Pitt!
  20. Like
    mithrandir8 reacted to magnegresswrites in Grad. School Supplies?   
    After reading through all 23 pages, I think I've managed to compile the most salient (at least for me) and still relevant pieces of advice as far as grad school supplies 
    Laptop - While most people have a laptop, it was recommended by several people that folks in a new laptop (unless yours is less than two years old) and make sure you get an extended warranty (one that will hopefully last the entirety of your program).  Note: look into funding opportunities for laptops within your department. Some will finance a new laptop for incoming grad students!  Desk - L-shaped came highly recommended, given the extra space. While i love my little desk, I may invest in a larger one by year 2.  Chair (Desk) - Investing in a good chair was stressed many times. You will likely be spending many hours hunched over a desk. get one that will be comfortable for your back, but won't put you to sleep.  Chair (Reading) - a separate reading chair was recommended for those hours upon hours where you'll be reading. a comfortable chair or couch was recommended. Printer - there was some debate regarding the pros/cons of a printer. In an increasingly digital age, I don't think a printer is completely necessary. ESPECIALLY because so many universities have printers available and printing costs included within stipends. But this will depend on the person Scanner OR File Cabinet - One person had recommended getting a file cabinet and regularly organizing it so as not to fall behind (if you are someone who likes having physical copies of everything, then go for this option). HOWEVER, someone then chimed in to say screw a file cabinet. just get a scanner. and i thought that was an excellent idea! just scan everything you need and chuck the physical copies (unless its like your birth certificate or something)  Coffee - Coffee maker, coffee carafe (to keep it warm for those days of marathon working), french press. you get the idea. ALTERNATIVE: electric kettle for tea drinkers  Large Water Bottle - lets be sustainable folks!  Snacks - for those long days  Wall Calendar  Dry Erase Board  Noise Cancelling Headphones  External Hard Drive Dongles - actually didn't see folks write about this, so I'm adding it! Dongles/adapters are constantly changing based on your device. Get the one that is specific to your computer to HDMI and VGA, and you should be set for most campus systems!  Paper shredder - unless your campus has a shredding removal service like my current one has. I'd say take advantage of that Travel - Luggage, toiletry bag, international travel adapter/converter, etc. You will presumably be traveling a bunch! Get the right travel accessories if you can Desk accessories - post its, highlighters, pens Notebooks - it seems like everyone has been unanimously pro-moleskine notebooks on here. mmmm I'm not! What *EYE* recommend is going to your local art supply store, and buying sketchbooks from there. They are usually so much cheaper. And most art stores have artist and student memberships available, so you can get major discounts. I just showed a sale and got all my notebooks and pens for less than $30. Just my opinion  Software - Just some of the software that came highly recommended and that I felt like was still relevant today: Evernote. Zotero. Scrivener. CamScanner. Nuance. iStudiez  Most of this is hella obvious. But some of these I hadn't even considered! And its nice to think about these things early so you have enough time to save up or search the internet for deals. I curated an Amazon wishlist based on the information i listed above. Let me know if you'd like me to post it here and make public! 
    And remember: 90% (if not all) of this is OPTIONAL. Let's not make academia seem more inaccessible than it already is. You will excel regardless of whether or not you have these things.  There's always borrowing. lending programs through your university. free services through your libraries. There are options! 
    Hope this is helpful to those reading this post 8 years later! It was certainly helpful for me. Aside from curating a great list of things i want, it also helped distract me from decisions this week ://////
  21. Upvote
    mithrandir8 got a reaction from Scoots in Final Outcomes   
    Got the email that NYU isn't taking from their waitlist this year and sent my acceptance to Pitt!
  22. Like
    mithrandir8 got a reaction from fromthearmchair in Final Outcomes   
    Got the email that NYU isn't taking from their waitlist this year and sent my acceptance to Pitt!
  23. Like
    mithrandir8 got a reaction from Marcus_Aurelius in Final Outcomes   
    Got the email that NYU isn't taking from their waitlist this year and sent my acceptance to Pitt!
  24. Upvote
    mithrandir8 got a reaction from leveller in Final Outcomes   
    Got the email that NYU isn't taking from their waitlist this year and sent my acceptance to Pitt!
  25. Upvote
    mithrandir8 got a reaction from brookspn in Final Outcomes   
    Got the email that NYU isn't taking from their waitlist this year and sent my acceptance to Pitt!
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