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WildeThing last won the day on December 26 2018

WildeThing had the most liked content!

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About WildeThing

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  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    PhD in English (Literature)

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  1. That solitary Brown acceptance is really messing with my head.
  2. WildeThing


    The GREs are kind of a strawman argument. Half of us say they’re more important than people say, half of us that they’re less. Ultimately, all arguments dismissing them are anecdotal (“look, I had X and I got in, my friend had X+1 and didn’t”), but whenever people seemingly in the know come around they suggest that it’s dairly important (which admittedly is also anecdotal). Seems like professors know it’s bullshit but administrations value it. Administrations have the money so my takeaway is: get them as high as you can without sacrificing your meal ticket (SoP, WS) to give yourself the best odds.
  3. WildeThing


    Interesting. Why do resubmitted writing samples get tossed? For instance, in my situation I was very happy with my sample but not so much with other parts so I improved everything else, tightened the sample a bit, and resubmitted. You're saying the very act of resubmitting a sample is an immediate rejection? Why is that?
  4. WildeThing

    Where's Penn tho??

    Just saw it, my bad! Congrats to them, though!
  5. WildeThing

    Where's Penn tho??

    Well, someone posted that they got a phone call from Penn. Anyone here? Seeing as Penn is closed today, I wonder about this development. Did the people Penn use their time off to call candidates? I guess that's believable. Did someone see a new thread about Penn and conveniently a phone call from Penn took place that same day? Possible. Did someone maybe see it and decide to mess with us, I certainly hope not.
  6. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    Some programs have invisible waitlists, yes. Meanwhile, with Virginia, I am now awaiting formal rejection from yet another program that I know is rejecting me. I really don’t understand this phenomenon. Last year whenever I saw rejections on the board I would check my email and immediately find the notice there. I would think I’m waitlisted if waitlists hadn’t been sent already.
  7. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    Nothing yet. This is the 3rd or 4th place that has allegedly sent out some rejections and I haven’t received anything so I don’t know what to think anymore. There is no reason why rejections would not be sent en-masse.
  8. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    Last night I dreamed that I ran into a professor from Brown who told me I was admitted. I then woke up bemoaning the fact that it was all fake and checked my email only to find ACCEPTANCES FROM BROWN AND NYU!!!! Only that was a dream, too. I got inceptioned.
  9. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    There is indeed no such thing as identical or perfect applications. There are so many factors that no one thing can be determinant. However, I stand by the notion that, due to an assortment of reasons such asrecognizability, risk-aversion, likelihood of privileged background, preparation, etc., coming from a name school is one of the bigger factors in admissions. Bigger does not mean 70% or even 50%, if percentages are even a thing we can conceive of with all the contextual and qualitative elements at play, but I would certainly give it as much if not more weight than SoP and WSs. This is based on my own experience of course.
  10. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    As I said, the process is the same no matter where you come from, it’s just easier for some. We just need to have perspective so we can maximize our chances. Hope or no hope, the only time to give up is when all decisions have been made. There’s also the issue of cultural capital. The higher up the rungs of ‘prestige’ you go, statistically, the likelier it is that you have more means than those below. More means translate to more opportunities to impove your CV and focus on academics. It’s a bit of vicious cycle that is not unique to academia and so there is no reason for me to think that admissions are somehow isolated from these issues, either.
  11. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    I disagree completely. School prestige, from my experience on this board and in applying, is probably the most important factor. It is not the only factor, of course. A good candidate is a good candidate, whether they come from Yale or Unknown University, and ability and fit are extremely important. However, it is far easier to demonstrate you are a good candidate when everyone reading your application knows your school has strong academics (not to mention the potential of having LoRs from leaders in the field). After all, accepting a candidate is a risk that involves a lot of time, money, and other resources from a department. If you somehow got identical applications from Yale and UU, of course the Yale candidate would get in. In terms of proof, I have scoured every graduate student page from every college I have considered and from my experience, most candidates come from recognizable schools (though I have reassured myself that it is still worth a shot because there's always someone from a university that seems to be less prestigious than your own). The lower you go down alleged prestige list of programs, the more non-elite backgrounds you find, of course, but it is definitely easier to be a Yale graduate than a UU graduate on the admissions scene. That doesn't mean that all the Yale applicants will get in before anyone from UU is even considered. The application still needs to be good, you still need to have good fit, and then all the other hidden factors need to be considered, too. As for your examples, they're a bit of confirmation bias and anecdotal. As I said, it is not the only factor, so there will be candidates from Yale who get shut-out and candidates from UU who sweep. Also, you have 2(!) offers, in a field where the term safety school is a misnomer (also, am I to understand from MPhil that your degree is from is UK? Because it is also arguably harder to apply as an international for the same reason: school prestige is less recognizable (and a host of other factors such as academic culture dissonance, etc.)). I think we would all prefer a neutral playing field and dismiss school prestige because, ultimately, it is one of the things you absolutely cannot do anything about (other than go to a top MA, which many people do). There is nothing for us to be gained from this conclusion, but to deny it is to fall into the same trappings that suggest that all you need to do is work hard to be successful when we know that to be patently untrue (even if for many people it has proven to be true). This fact changes nothing though. There is a chance that you get into a top school no matter where you went to, and to do so you need to make sure everything in your app is perfect. That is the case if you're from Yale or UU. But we should recognize the fact that for some of us this is a matter of swimming against the current. When I applied last year I talked to 4 professors, all of whom went to some very good schools, including programs I applied to. They all told me the same thing: you definitely have the ability to study at the top programs but you should consider applying to some other schools just in case because no one on these adcomms knows who we are ('we' being the school, some of them were very reputable). Honestly, if I have the time at some point I would like to test this out by compiling information on where successful applicants apply from.
  12. I had a Euro letter writer last cycle but she wound up sending things in before I got a chance to give any guidelines. Suggestion A is to ask your top school what things they expect from an LoR because your writer is inexperienced. Suggestion B would be to ask the professor that was here (forgot the username sorry) for advice. Suggestion C would be to ask them to be detailed. IMO LoRs should corroborate your interests, establish you as a competent scholar, bring attention to things you could not fit into the SoP, and praise you so you don’t have to do it yourself. Since everyone is getting letters that say we’re great, I understand that an excellent one identifies your qualities and make you sound unique. That said, people have said that LoRs all sound the same so the important thing is that they fit in and don’t stand out for being less enthusiastic than the rest. This was all conjecture though.
  13. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    Looks like Chicago got the most, but Rutgers is up there. As I reviewed my applicants I definitely split my apps into best-very good-good fit and likelihood of being admitted categories and ultimately I had Brown, Penn, Rutgers and UConn as my top schools in terms of fit, and UConn and GW at the top in terms of likelihood to be admitted. It’s poetic that those are the last ones I’m hearing from. The UConn acceptance also gave me some optimism that, who knows, maybe it’s about fit after all (though my belief is the biggest factor is the schools you come from), so I am very nervous about the final schools though relieved that someone somewhere has decided to bet on me. Can’t believe we’re nearing the end of decision season already. Good luck to everyone!
  14. WildeThing

    2019 Applicants

    I had both Rutgers and Penn for next week for what it’s worth (but also had Brown for last week and Columbia for next).
  15. WildeThing

    Storrs, CT

    Anyone with recent experience of Storrs I could ask a million questions to?

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