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Everything posted by SarahBethSortino

  1. Thought I would throw this out there - I have two classes today, one that meets regularly and one that only meets once a month. The once a month class is a panel discussion with a variety of visiting scholars and as it’s only once a month, it is fairly mandatory. Problem is that I have a pretty bad case of bronchitis. I never ever thought I would be considering missing a class. I not only do feel terrible, but I’m comcerned about coughing when the panelists are speaking/being locked in two small rooms for 3 hours each when I’m obviously contagious. Should I ditch the classes and stay home? Sh
  2. Hey there! I just started classes this week and I can definitely say I've reframed my whole way of thinking. The whole being older thing seems to matter not one bit and I'm taking my boyfriend and daughter to a departmental BBQ this weekend. My cohort is very nice and supportive and we are all commuter students, so it seems that social outings will be well planned but worthwhile. Everyone knows I'm a parent and even though I'm the only one among the group it seems like it's no big deal. I'm very happy with the group I have. Given that we're all commuters I'm actually considering holding
  3. Luckily, I am from Massachusetts and most of my dearest friends live here. As well as many of my family members. So there's definitely life outside of school for me...it just happens to be in the town where I live now (about 45 minutes off campus), rather than where the school is located.
  4. I know this is a super old thread but as I approach orientation I'm getting more and more concerned about this. We got our little "getting to know you" email from the department... which included the dates of our undergrad degree. I am the oldest by about 10 years. Two people in my cohort graduated last year. Having spoken to other older grad students from my group of friends, I found that they were either completely left out of the loop because people didn't know how to relate to someone who, to a kid just out of college, is just plain old... or they were involuntarily placed into the positio
  5. THanks for the advice. I think at this point I'm going to have to go to an accountant. I've heard from a lot of other people that tax software doesn't quite know how to deal with us. What a headache!
  6. Anyone know about the tax situation for fellowships? I'm pretty sure that they are taxable but I've received a lot of conflicting information. How have current students handled filing taxes for grad fellowships?
  7. Great point about classmates being future colleagues. I'm certainly not going to specifically distance myself, but as I've said before, Massachusetts is my home state and I not only have family and friends there, but a boyfriend. Pretty solid support system. The grad school experience can be wildly different depending on the place you are in life. I have a friend who went almost immediately after undergrad. She spent the first two years getting overly involved with the social scene - to the detriment of her work. Not just the scene, but the drama, the romantic relationship, all of it. I
  8. Yeah, I'm not going to lie: there is the definite thought in my mind that I *may* be on the older side of the spectrum. That doesn't necessarily mean they are not great people - I know a lot of people from work that are very mature and in their early 20s. But it could go the other way of course.
  9. Haha. From what I understand the Greek system there is in the nerdy, introvert side anyway so I'm not worried about having to deal with being anywhere near that. Thank god I am living far away from campus though (well, 45 minutes away.) I enjoy my peace and quiet too much. My boyfriend lives in a very undergrad neighborhood near Rutgers right now and I cannot wait to get away from that.
  10. This may seem like a strange comment, but I've been reading a lot of generic "tips on how to succeed in a PhD program" articles on the internet lately and the theme that keeps coming up is the importance of making friends within your cohort, participating in the social life, going out with people to bars, etc. For me, I'm honestly not going into this with the expectation of wanting to make friends, go to bars, participate in the social life. Not to say I won't be friendly, but I am older, have a lot of friends in the state I am moving to, and don't particularly see myself as having the time to
  11. It feels amazing to come out of this planning for next year! I've been deliriously happy for the past two weeks!
  12. Hey so how is everyone feeling now that it's over? I for one am feeling amazing! Is everyoje starting to think about how they will spend their summer? Reading and researching like crazy or just relaxing?
  13. Sure did! Happy to answer any questions for anyone considering Edinburgh
  14. PM me if you have any questions about Edinburgh. Did my masters there about 10 years ago. Always happy to tell people about it
  15. I'm so excited!!!! All I wanted was to start going on this instead of treading water. I can actually start doing what I need to do now. I'm beyond happy right now!!!
  16. Goin to Brandeis. It's a dream program, dream offer. With 5 rejections it was still the best case scenario. I loved it from the moment I started researching schools and I can't believe THIS is the school that accepted me.
  17. FINALLY! Just got an email from the director of Graduate Studies at Brandeis. Off the wait list and I have a real actual official offer in hand.
  18. Thanks. It's been rough. And we had to put my dog down today today. Talk about piling on. I'm looking forward to this period of my life being over one way or another.
  19. Thanks. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high, but the meeting definitely calmed me down a little bit. If I go the next 10 days believing it's all in the bag, the disappointment will be twice as bad, but at least for now I know I've done everything I could possibly do.
  20. To each their own, I'm just saying I knew quite a few people in my Masters program who wished they had taken the summer to prepare. People who took the summer off.
  21. I've traveled a lot, lived abroad, gone backpacking in Europe. I'm 36. I've had plenty of time to do that. This is preparation for a job. I've been working for 10 years in various industries, have done a Masters, had a kid, probably need a break, but in the end there is not a lot more important to me than coming into a PhD program completely prepared. It's not a personal insult to your trip, I just think that in the limited time before the start of school, it is best to get into the routine of intense study as soon as possible. That's how I'm approaching it.
  22. I would also say that I would strongly advise against wasting the summer traveling, hanging out with friends, or just hanging out. Unless you need to work full time up until the point you start, which is totally valid, you should not waste the opportunity to get as prepared for the semester as you possibly can. When I did my Masters, I tried to know exactly what was going to be expected of me. I spent the entire summer reading through all the materials for the classes I would be taking. It made the first semester much easier than it would have been had I not done so, because when time was tigh
  23. If I get off the waitlist I plan to spend the summer preparing for the first semester research paper. I am hoping to have all my background reading done by July, then start crafting the body of the paper by the early August. I also plan to request the syllabi for the classes I will take so I can read the material ahead of time.
  24. I'm feeling bolstered by my meeting at the university yesterday. I don't have any more actual information regarding my particular situation, but I was told that there are people who have not responded to their acceptances and that the school is actively reaching out to get a gauge on where their decisions might stand. People are taking a very long time and at least one person is waiting to see how their own waitlist situation pans out before making a decision. BUT, I was told that the meeting wouldn't even be happening if there wasn't a very good chance things would work out for me. So althoug
  25. My mentor from undergrad has remained my very good friend - even came to my wedding - and I still to this day cannot avoid calling him Dr.
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