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samman1994

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samman1994 last won the day on September 23 2017

samman1994 had the most liked content!

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About samman1994

  • Rank
    Macchiato
  • Birthday July 2

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    California
  • Interests
    Getting into grad school
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    Biochemistry

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  1. samman1994

    Anybody else applying to a PhD straight out of undergrad?

    I'm currently in my first semester as a grad student, and I applied straight as an undergrad. Overall, MS students don't have many differences with undergrads. They may have more experience in the field (although you could do research in your undergrad) and their thesis is considered a publication (you could also have a publication in your undergrad). The biggest differences is MS students have gone through the same process that a PhD student has gone through (thesis defense, lit presentations, etc.), so the assumption is if they are going to continue to a PhD, they know what they're getting themselves into (the idea is it's a safer bet for the school). All that being said, there is a loooot to an application, more than just pubs or research experience. Looking around on this site will give you a really good idea as to all the various factors schools take into account when considering applications. That being said, you'll be fine. There will definitely be a lot of catching up to do, and it'll be hard work, but you have plenty of time in grad school. You take one or two classes, and the classes or a lot more laidback and less work than undergrad classes. So you have plenty of time to read read read.
  2. samman1994

    weed for studying, anyone use?

    As someone else has stated, frequency and dosage, as well as strain, are critical. The main problem however is the quality of weed around the world is different, and thus it's strength fluctuates wildly. California weed is generally pretty strong, I have found the rest of America (Michigan, Minnesota, Florida, Washington. etc.) as well as the few other countries (Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, Spain) to all be generally weaker. So it's difficult to give a direct comparison. In general, for a first timer, I'd say weed would be too strong to do any type of HW or studying. After a while when you build up a little tolerance, weed can be used to slightly enhance your focus. However, there is a drawback to this. While high, while I was great at solving individual math problems using a singular concept (plug n chug), I had difficulty when it came to using multiple concepts (problems requiring multiple equations). My main issue, sober, wasn't that I couldn't understand the topics, but rather I couldn't stay focused or motivated enough to really study properly. With weed, I was able to stay focus and motivated; however, my memory and understanding/critical thinking skills plummeted as well. I'd remember half of what I studied, or my studying would just take longer because it would take me a while to understand certain concepts and to connect various concepts. Weeds effects aren't like other drugs, they don't wane after a day or 2. You can still feel groggy for over a week. That groggness will get worse if you smoke say 2x a week, or 3x a week. So while even when you're not smoking, weed can actively influence you're studying skill when you're sober (that's why frequency is also important). Overall however, for studying and staying awake, weed is a horrible idea. There are plenty of stimulants out there that can do the same thing, without slowing you down, getting you tired, distracting you with the munchies, and without any effects the next day. All of these techniques have drawbacks and will hurt your studying vs. studying sober. For short term usage, the stimulants can work; however they are not a long term solution. Weed is neither a short term, nor long term solution. The best way to efficiently study is well rested, sober (what I'm trying to say is weed won't help). On a more personal note. You really don't want to be stressed or under pressure while high, it's generally not great and you don't get the best experience. Don't ruin the high and experience of weed by studying with it. Weed is something to be used for leisure to relax and enjoy, not for work. If you use it to study, it just seems like a waste of weed to be honest.
  3. samman1994

    Imposter Syndrome...esc?

    Hello everyone, My first semester of grad school is coming to a close, and there is a feeling that has been slowly growing in the back of my mind. I wouldn't call it imposter syndrome, because I have no problem with the program I'm in, or feeling like I don't belong. This environment is exactly what I wanted, quick paced, cutthroat, and the difference in my knowledge between now and 4 months ago is staggering...which I love. However, in this atmosphere and environment, I'm coming to realize how slow I am relatively. I wouldn't say I'm dumb, but some of the people in this program are extremely smart. And I'm not discussing the difference between someone who's been here for 3 years and are an expert in their field and has more experience, I'm talking about people at my same level. I sit in class, meetings, discussion with these individuals, and feel like I'm left in the dust. They're quicker than me, in understanding, retaining, and using the knowledge they just learned. What takes me hours, takes them minutes. While I do try and keep up, put in the time and effort, they are always just ahead. It's similar to when you realize, Micheal Phelps just has broader shoulders, Usain Bolt just has longer legs. Like the swimmer/sprinter that always comes 3rd, but only because their competition was built with a physical advantage. It's not that they are bad swimmers/sprinters, or they don't put in the effort, simply that they don't have that innate advantage. I feel very similar in those regards. I don't find myself a bad scientist, or slow. Rather, these individuals are smarter than me. Simple as that. No matter what I do, I won't be able to catch up. This is of course how life works, some people are better at some things than others. And while I say I understand that this does not discredit me, or say anything about my knowledge (rather is only a compliment to the skills of the others), it still does upset me. It still does make me feel like crap, or wish I could compete at their level....it does make me feel useless at times. However, this post isn't me realizing this, I realized this fact weeks ago, and have come to terms that there are just people out there who are better at...well everything (science, math, physics, critical thinking in general), then I am or ever will be. What I have realized though, is that, that does not make me...useless? Having discussions with these individuals, I realize I can still come up with ideas they haven't, perspectives they have not. I find that they may be quicker and smarter, but I can still offer a different viewpoint. This post is to say, just because someone is smarter or better, does not make you useless in your field. Everyone has a unique perspective, and that unique perspective is what really matters. I have been able to solve problems these other smarter individuals haven't been able to solve, but only because I approached the problem in a different way. Finally, on a side note, I think it's important to not allow these insecurities to come in the way of the program and what you are doing. Yes, on a mental level, they make grad school a lot harder, maybe even unenjoyable at times for me. There have been times where I've thought to myself, what am I doing here? Compared to these guys, I'm nothing. Or times I just thought it would be so much easier if I didn't continue, if I just went back to my old life. Making good money, back with friends and family, relaxed....but I'm just having too much fun. I forget how while I may have been relaxed, I was also bored. I find it similar to dumping a guy you love and are in a great relationship with, just because you think you're not good enough for him (e.g. not attractive enough, not smart enough, etc.). Grad school can be a great experience, and a lot of fun, and having these insecurities get in the way of that, or worse make you break up something good, would definitely be a waste. Thought this might help anyone else feeling this way.
  4. samman1994

    Starting your own Project

    Yeah my PI is funding me, I don't know if it's from the grant money for this specific project I'm working on. My plan was to do this for the first year, maybe see how much I can really get out of my first year. I was just curious if it was even possible,.
  5. samman1994

    Starting your own Project

    Hello everyone, I've started a project my current PI has given me, but after working on it now for a couple weeks, I have some concerns. First and foremost, this isn't his project, it's someone else's that they gave to him (his names apparently on the grant), but he knows very little about the project and system itself. Secondly, I have my doubts about whether or not we're really going to be able to accomplish what the project outlines and sets out to do. I feel like this project 2-3 years from now is going to hit a dead end, and probably end up in a....eh publication or 2. My PI has informed me however, he was hoping I would pick this project up as my own. All that being said, is it possible to start your own project? If I'm going to be on my own, I'd like to pick at least a system I'm invested in that I think might go somewhere. I also don't know how PIs take a student picking their own project, and dismissing the PIs project. As always, thank you ahead of time!
  6. samman1994

    Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    I hate this, breaking in a new mattress thing. So you're telling me I need to have crappy sleep for a month before I "break it in" and get a decent nights sleep?
  7. samman1994

    AW3.0, should I retake?

    As someone currently in a Biochem/Biophysics PhD program, your scores currently are actually pretty good. The GRE is one portion of an application, so your LOR, experience, pubs, and GPA are all going to play an equally important part. I'd say if you have good research experience (which it sounds like you're getting), with a decent GPA, good LORs you should be fine. With a score like that, I wouldn't retake it. AW isn't that important when it comes to Biophysics, the main focus is the quant section. However that being said, writing is incredibly important in science. In grad school, you may (depending on your PI) have a big role in writing your own pubs, and you'll be writing your dissertation. So outside of the GRE, I'd say being able to write well is as important as your mathematical capabilities (in biophysics).
  8. In addition to what the above have said, I'd also question, why do you want a PhD? A PhD is a big commitment, and will also drastically change your career options. I'd not only say this 1 year wait is common, I'd strongly advise you to do so. Going through the grad program and research will give you an idea if this is a path you wish to pursue up to it's PhD level, as well as giving you an entire years time to think. Don't forget to think ahead in terms of industry, you don't want to get a degree with little to no career options (even if it sounds cool). Finally, there is no rush or need to rush to get your PhD. In my program, there are ages as young as 23 up to 34 in their 1st year. There are people here just starting their lives, and there are people who have wives and even kids. Just as an example, I didn't know if a PhD was the right choice for me initially, so I did take a 1 year gap. In that time, I learned how the industry works, and my place in it. Not only that, I learned my future potential place in it with a PhD, and decided the life change and sacrifice is something I was willing to make for that future.
  9. samman1994

    Resignation/2 Week Notice Letter

    Hello everyone, So I'm in the process of writing my 2 Week Notice/Resignation letter, and I'm having a bit of difficulty. I've tried looking online for some simple formats, but they all seem too detailed and too long. I've talked to my co-workers, and I've gotten really mixed results. Some of them have told me to simply say thank you and goodbye (basically in one or 2 sentences), others have informed me to maybe write a bit more detailed thank you discussing the experiences I've had and the skills I've learned thanks to the job (like a paragraph or 2). So I'm having difficulty finding a in between since I have gotten such polarizing responses. I should also add, I've only had this job for 9 months, so haven't been here too long to write anything too in-depth. I had also told my boss and the company around 2 months ago when I would be leaving, so this letter is literally only a formality. Finally, I don't quite know how to give it to my boss. Do I email it to him or should I hand it in? Again co-workers give different answers. Some say it's better to just hand in the letter, others say it's better to email it (especially for record keeping for myself). Any thoughts or ideas? Thanks ahead of time!
  10. samman1994

    I need help choosing a lab!

    Depends on your personality really. It sounds like both Lab 1 and Lab 2 appear to be good viable options for you, although on one hand you seem daunted by Lab 1, but on the other you seem concerned Lab 2 is not as good as a fit for you as lab 1. A PhD is about innovating the field, adding to it, and becoming an independent researcher. To do so you'll have to learn new techniques, push out of your comfort zone, and come up with research and ideas no one else has done before. So the idea of something "new" or knowledge that you don't have, I don't think should ever be a deterrent, I think the main concern should be interest. I'm the type of person who actually gets excited at going into a field I'm not super familiar with, and have no problem going outside my comfort zone. So based off what you've told me, I'd definitely choose Lab 1. But again, it's based on your personality.
  11. samman1994

    Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    Exactly. Idk, personally I find that type of deceit worse than the actual act of cheating. Furthermore, I'd find it almost near insulting, like, what type of girl does he think you are? Idk, these type of guys really irk me.
  12. samman1994

    Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    Yeah, doubt he remembers a dream from a year ago. Sounds more like the guy just wants to cheat on his wife with you, but didn't want to outright say it, and wanted to see if you were cool with it so he made up some "dream" story to make it sound less shitty. I'd say that's probably worse than the actual desire of him to cheat on his wife.
  13. samman1994

    Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    I really thought my team might have a chance this year to progress to the Knockout Stage for the first time ever, sadly, it looks like we aren't going to make it this year either.
  14. samman1994

    Methods of Moving Items Cross-Country

    Yeah I calculated it out and checked out the reviews. Through Greyhound it's $111 for 6 boxes 3x3x3 (which is probably all I'll need), including 1k insurance. However, there are a lot of complaints and reviews that Greyhound is basically only good if you don't have any fragile items. It appears they are very rough with your items, and your items will probably get wet or potentially slightly squished in the move. Also, they have a habit of "losing" peoples items, to only have them show up weeks later. Through Amtrak it's $105 for 100lbs, unlimited 3x3x3 boxes (I don't have more than 100lbs of stuff), but they don't have stations where I"m going. I'll need to drive 2 hours to pick my items up (I can just pick them up with my own car). However, Amtrak seems to be pretty good in regards to transporting things undamaged. While I understand things can get damaged in a movie, it seems the "nightmares" are primarily from Greyhound. While sure, getting 1k insurance is nice, I'd just prefer getting my items safe and sound, even if I could buy it all new. I'm probably going to go with Amtrak if I can't find a better option.
  15. samman1994

    Methods of Moving Items Cross-Country

    No, I'd be driving there not flying. I'd trust sending them via UPS or something, so I don't think they should encounter any type of damage there. Although, if the other methods are that risky, I'll probably just ship them via UPS or something. I definitely don't want my books damaged, nor any of my other items (or have clothes get wet).
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