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samman1994 last won the day on September 23 2017

samman1994 had the most liked content!


About samman1994

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  • Birthday July 2

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  • Interests
    Getting into grad school
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program

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  1. samman1994

    Yellowstone or Colorado?

    I had thought about the Arches, but this trip is already going to be 2-3 weeks long, and Moab and the arches will be a decent day or 3 day detour. So sadly I'll have to skip out on those. I do plan to stay at least 2+ days in yellowstone in the slough campground if possible and hike around.
  2. Something you may also want to do, try and contact the grad students themselves. I've already talked to a few who said it's fine for me to crash their couch for a few days while I tour apartments in my time there. Now you're discussing a week or 2, but you may be able to crash their place while you look for your apartment. That should be enough time to find a place hopefully.
  3. I have been asked this before, but jokingly. It was jokingly because I wouldn't even have a say who goes on the paper and in what order, at the end of the day that is up to my PI. If I did put another lab member on a paper, my PI would immediately ask me why, and it would raise a lot of questions. I have also had people ask me if it's possible for me to do so (giving them the benefit of the doubt their question is simply for curiosity reasons), and I've just told them I have no say on who's name goes on the paper at the end of the day. So you could choose to take the responsibility of your shoulders that way if you wish (unless you do have a say). Personally, I would just tell them straight up no, and explain you did all the work, and they didn't. This way he understands you have a different value system than him, and he understands not to bother you about these sort of things again in the future (hopefully).
  4. I'm planning a road trip that'll take 2 weeks or so. So I plan to send the pod around 2-3 weeks before I actually arrive to my new place. But thanks for the heads up!
  5. Thank you for all the help and advice! I have decided to move in around a week or 2 earlier before my program starts, however I plan to sign the lease either a month or 2 beforehand (if they hold it for that long). I have currently narrowed my list down to 15 apartments, 10 of which I do plan to tour within a month (which will be 60 days before I move in). Availability for most of these places will be early June, late July, so when I visit, if I can get my #1 choice right then and there, I plan to sign same day (or following day). I already have my list of top 10, the tour is just designed for me to be able to concretely organize the list. I don't think housing is super competitive here, but it is still a bit competitive from everything I've seen so far, so I do plan to look at the paperwork ahead of time and go prepared. In terms of furniture, it really depends on the place I get. I have decided on an apartment, but the size is important (i.e. small studio vs. big 1 bedroom). If it's a small studio, I plan to buy all my furniture there (and that means everything, chairs, tables, beds, tvs, etc.). I will probably just ship my sheets, pots and pans and whatnot via greyhound or something. I actually like sleeping on the ground, so that's not an issue for me. If it's a big 1 bedroom, I am thinking of getting a pods and having everything (furniture and all) shipped out there. Pods delivers same day you arrive, so I should have no issue with furniture there. Plus since I'm moving in a week earlier, I should have plenty of time for any required adjustments. I have also not really been asked/told about any references from these places. I assume they will tell me these things when I actually plan to sign, so I will have that prepared ahead of time. Thank you again for all the help and advice!
  6. samman1994

    Yellowstone or Colorado?

    Well Route 1 it is then! In regards to housing, depending on weather, I plan to camp everywhere possible (so definitely want to camp in Yellowstone). Should decrease the price of traveling significantly. I don't know much about any attractions in that direction though. Any cool places to visit along the way (i.e. like mount rushmore, devils tower, badlands, etc.)?
  7. samman1994

    Yellowstone or Colorado?

    Hello everyone, While this isn't related to anything academic, outside of being a road trip to my new program/city, I thought I'd ask your opinion on here and hope to get some feedback on people who have gone through these places. I am going from the West Coast (California) up to the North Easy (Conneticut), and I am planning a little road trip on the way there. My route for the eastern side is planned out already (Chicago to Detroit, to Toronto, then back down to through New York to Conneticut), but my plan for the Western half isn't. There are 2 potential routes I am thinking of, but I've never traveled through these areas, and don't know many attractions there. It's important to note, both these routes go through vegas up to Utah, but diverge in Utah. Route 1 (YellowStone): This route would take me through Salt Lake City (Utah), up through eastern Idaho to Western Yellowstone. From there it would travel through Southern Montana and North Dakota, then down through Minneapolis (Minnesota) and Wisconsin down to Chicago. I don't know what there really is to see in Southern Montana or North Dakota though. I have been to Minneapolis and that is pretty cool, I also have a friend who has a great cabin in Wisonsin right next to Minneapolis that would be great for a day or 2 break from the road trip. But the aspect of seeing Yellowstone and Salt Lake City is pretty cool. Route 2 (Colorado) This route goes through Utah to Denver, Colorado. From there it cuts through Nebraska, and Des Moines (Iowa) to Chicago. Everyone I've talked to has said I should definitely visit Denver. However, I don't really know if there is anything to do in Nebraska, and I have been to Des Moines, and don't really have any interest in visiting it. It would be interesting to see some of middle America though. Outside of just different cities/states, the only other difference is time. Route 1 is ~8 hours longer than Route 2; however, this isn't really that big of an issue for me if the cities and sites in between are worth the extra drive to see them. I have not been to any of these places, nor through most of these states, so I don't know which route is better or more interesting. While I like big cities, I'm more into nature. So waterfalls, rivers, trees, rocks, anything with cool geography would interest me. Any recomendations/ideas? Thank you as always!
  8. samman1994

    Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    Leaving for my PhD has become the most bittersweet moment in my life. On one hand everyone is happy I got in and excited for me to start this journey (including myself), saying congratulations and asking all kinds of questions about how it'll be and helping me find a place to live. On the other hand everyone is also sad, especially my family, close friends, and girlfriend. Sometimes crying about missing me, and how they won't see me for 4-5 years (outside of my occasional visits). A discussion about my PhD can basically go from happy to sad in a blink of an eye, one second we're all talking excitedly on a place I found or classes I'd be taking, next second they're crying that I'll be leaving. I always thought it would become this great exciting thing (and it is), but I never considered the sad portion of me leaving everyone behind and how difficult it would be. It just really sucks at time.
  9. samman1994

    Apartment Searching Sites

    Really depends on the house. There are some really bad houses (worse insulation than apartments). You might not have upstairs neighbors anymore, but if the insulation is really bad, the sound outside might be just as bad. Most of the houses I've seen are not exactly in the best part of towns, and the complaints of the apartments nearby are all about people playing loud music outside or the sorts (most of the houses or old in the "ghetto" part of the neighborhood). I still have a lot of searching to do though since I've been focusing mainly on apartments so far, so if I find a house in the middle of nowhere that's affordable, I'd definitely take it.
  10. samman1994

    Apartment Searching Sites

    Yeah, with ear plugs and a fan I won't hear car doors or the sorts, but I still hear my neighbors talking or walking upstairs. I've moved out from that place now, so I don't have that issue anymore. I still use a fan just for the street noise though.
  11. samman1994

    FAFSA for Grad School?

    I see thank you. From everything I saw on that site, in conjunction with what you said, it appears that for grad school applicants (except in very specific fields/situations) there is no federal aid in the form of grants available. As to state aid, I'm assuming that is subjective to each state, I was just curious if there was any point in applying for federal aid (FAFSA) as a grad student or not.
  12. samman1994

    Apartment Searching Sites

    @TakeruK Well I'd be planning on living on my own, so my comparison is a studio/1br vs. a house (although in a lot of cases for the apartments I"m looking at, these are almost the same). So thank you everyone for the insight, I will definitely start looking at these houses for rent in more detail. I have am not a light sleeper, but extremely sensitive when it comes to falling asleep. Even car doors can wake me up, and then I have to go through the cycle of falling asleep again. My main issue is actually psychological. I.E. I develop some type of PTSD where I become very sensitive to any type of sound (even car doors slamming), and am constantly afraid of trying to fall asleep only to jump awake at neighbohrs suddenly walking or yelling really loud next door/upstairs. This means that even days when they aren't making sounds, I am in the fear that they will, and it just causes a lot of unnecessary stress. So for me, any comment that says they hear their next door neighbhor, or that the walls are thin, are an immediate no no for me. There are a lot of nice concrete steel apartments that are basically like hotels, so you should hear no to very little noise. Also, the more you pay for your apartment, the more front desk/management is actually willing to listen to you and care about your complaints. As to the final point, yeah once they told me the tenant is living there, I always just said okay. Didn't really want to walk in and disturb the tenant. From my experience, the room you see and the room you get are relatively the same (in terms of how thin are the walls, what does it look like, how is the wiring, how do the breakers look, how is the design, etc.). Most of the time, the apartment you move into will be cleaned, maybe even have carpet replaced, any holes in the walls and whatnot patched and fixed, walls probably painted as well if need be etc. The room you see from the previous tenant might look like a trash can, but that doesn't mean it'll look like that when you actually move in. Then again, management might not even care and won't do anything to fix the room, then again the room you see has furniture covering all the things that probably need to be repaired. You just have to guage management from the reviews and hope they do a good job. My biggest concern is seeing a room in the physical building that I would be moving in (if multiple complexes), because that's the thing management cannot fix. If the building is old and insulation crap, they can't fix that. If outlets are in awkward places, wiring funky with lights not working or just plain old wiring meaning bad connection, or breakers old enough to bust as soon as you have more than 3 appliances on, those are things they can't fix. If the plumbing is rusty and old, the windows thin or poorly sealed, and the A/C old and functioning poorly, these are things they can't fix (not without replacing everything which is a pain if you currently live there). I try to guage apartments based off the actual building itself and managements ability to actually care about how it's rooms look, not what the exact room that I'd be renting looks like.
  13. samman1994

    FAFSA for Grad School?

    Hello everyone, As the title states, is there any federal or state financial+ aid for PhD programs? Either in the form of FAFSA or Pell Grants (I know each state has their own program). I assumed since you receive a stipend, the government/state doesn't give you any financial aid, but I did have a friend who said he had heard of getting financial aid for grad school (although that was a Masters program, so I don't know if the same applies to a PhD).
  14. samman1994

    Apartment Searching Sites

    @TakeruK Are you telling me to rent a house is cheaper than renting apartments in other parts of the country? Also, that's why I only read the bad reviews, and if I'm okay with those, then I proceed to schedule a tour. Again, there are a few key factors one needs to keep in mind with those, and what they define as "red flags". I.E. For me, a red flag is noise. I know for a lot of people, it is not the most important factor. I have rented over 10+ areas here in LA, and almost none of them have had the actual room I'd be staying in available to show me. They did have model rooms, and rooms that were unfurnished but ready to rent (which I am assuming is what you mean), but none of them were the one I would actually be staying in since the tenant theoretically was already living in the room I would be moving into.
  15. samman1994

    Apartment Searching Sites

    The price for housing for 1200 is a "steal" if it's an actual house. Most apartments range from 800-1100, with luxury apartments ranging from 1100-1700 (for Studio/1Br). So say a 3 bedroom house for 1200, would be really good if it's just you. But, it does seem like one of those too good to be true situations (although I'm looking at this from an LA/Southern California perspective, where you would never ever find a deal like this, so I don't know if the rest of the country is different). In terms of not getting to see the apartment beforehand, I find yelp and apartmentratings.com to be incredibly helpful since, while I will be doing tours, due to the distance of the school and time off work, I'll only have 2 days to tour all the apartments I'd like (so I really need to narrow down my list to a handful of apartments). These reviews will usually tell you how the apartment is, does the building have any issues, noise, management, etc. In fact, outside of just looking at the building/rooms, a tour can be very deceiving if you don't know what to look for, because they always show you their best stuff (that is usually not going to be the stuff you get). Yelp is a reliable site for reviews, and I've found apartmentratings.com to be pretty reliable as well. Google reviews are good too (although they usually won't have a lot of reviews for apartments). I have found reviews from apartment rental sites though (i.e. such as apartments.com) to be unreliable and overall contradictory for the most part from other review sites (i.e. multiple 5 stars on apartments.com but yelp has 2.4 stars from over 50+ reviews). No apartment is going to be perfect, and it's difficult to gauge how reliable any reviews are since everyone is different (some people aren't really bothered much by noise, some people are very sensitive to it, so while they may say the apartment building is noisy, it might not really be that noisy in reality). I'd say find out what is important for you and single it out in these reviews. For me, noise is incredibly important, since I am very sensitive to it. So if I find even one review where they discuss thin walls, I immediately cross the apartment of my list. But if I find reviews saying management isn't the most responsive, or the pricing can be a bit unreliable, or people don't pick up after their dogs, I let those things slide. So find what's important for you, and narrow your list of apartments down that way. This also includes pricing/sq footage vs. said reviews. How much do you really care about management, sound, cleanliness, etc. How much are willing to pay for it? Again for me, I am sensitive enough to noise, that I am willing to pay over 50% of my stipend for a broom closet as long as it's quiet. So these are all things I would keep in mind when looking for apartments and reading reviews, especially if you won't be able to take a tour of the place.

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