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iwearflowers

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iwearflowers last won the day on September 9

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About iwearflowers

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    Sociology

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  1. Sorry for the late reply on this. Another thing you might consider doing is to trade letters with a friend who is also applying so that your drafts have an obviously different "voice". (In other words, you write one of their drafts, and they write one of yours.) I've done this a couple of times with good results.
  2. iwearflowers

    Sociology Duel Degree?

    Have you considered an MPH with a social/behavior emphasis? That might be a bit more marketable/give you more hard skills than an MA. Also, many programs will allow you take classes outside of your program, so if you find a social work program that you like, you might be able to take some sociology courses to round out your areas of emphasis.
  3. iwearflowers

    Age is a liability for a prospective student?

    I'm a 30 year old first-year PhD student. My path was a little more straightforward, as I went from undergrad to an MPH to a research position at a non-profit, but I think my age and experience made me a better, more focused candidate. I think I would take this meeting as a sign that this particular department was not a good fit for you rather than a sign that you shouldn't pursue a PhD at all.
  4. iwearflowers

    Don't like Cohort + Anxiety

    I'm sorry you're having such a rough time. During orientation, my school talked a bit about how hard the adjustment to grad school can be and compared it to culture shock. I've been finding it helpful to remind myself that it will get better if I keep at it! I suspect that your cohort will bother you less as you spend more time with them. Not, necessarily, because you'll learn to like everyone but because you'll start to find people you get along well with and won't care as much about the students you aren't close to. You'll get a sense of whose feedback is meaningful on what topics and who you can ignore. Grad students feel a lot of pressure to perform well and stand out from the crowd, and some people try to do that by talking too much about themselves or by being overcritical of others. While you're waiting to get a sense of your cohort mates (who you can trust, etc), focus on your professor's feedback. If there are comments from students that particularly worry you, go to office hours and ask for her opinion on them. If you are having trouble with presenting, go to her office hours and ask if she has any suggestions about improving. You may find that your anxiety doesn't bleed through as much as you think it does! Also, talk with the other members of your group to make sure they feel you're contributing enough. If you're graded on that aspect, they're the ones your professor will ask for feedback. In terms of your professors comments, I would echo Meraki. If they were directed at you, that was inappropriate. However, the advice is still valid. I'm not training as a therapist, but as a researcher, I have to be constantly considering my personal bias about my projects. Some of my professional work intersects with some of my personal baggage, and I know I have to be extra careful about that. This is even more relevant for someone training to be a therapist. If you aren't already seeing a therapist yourself, this might be a good time to establish that relationship. Based on some friends' experiences, it's not uncommon to require students to be in therapy while they do their practicum, anyway. Final note on the presenting thing - One of my professors recommended Toast Masters as a way to get comfortable with public speaking. It's something that will probably continue to be an important part of your professional life, so it's worth investing some time now to build the skill! Keep your chin up, and remember that it's a process! This will all feel so much more comfortable in a few months.
  5. iwearflowers

    Failed my first exam

    It’s not uncommon to find that the systems and strategies that worked for you in undergrad don’t translate well to graduate school. Consider looking into your school’s student services and see if there is someone you can talk to about study strategies.
  6. If there aren’t faculty with compatible research interests, why are you applying to that program? The match doesn’t have to be exact, but you will need to put together a committee who can mentor you through the dissertation process and evaluate the final product. In terms of how specific - I think the more specific you can be, the better. I found it helpful to create a “funneled” statement that started broad and got specific. BROAD: I’m interested in understanding how stigma or social disadvantage affects access to health care, LESS BROAD: particularly in terms of how patients seek out health resources, how providers offer health resources, and how patients and providers communicate. SPECIFIC: Specifically, I am interested in how these issues affect access to birth control and abortion care. I also included a final paragraph about where I want my career to go where I talked about a couple of specific research questions or goals I would like to pursue. The committee wants to see a sense of direction because it says you’ve really thought about this.
  7. Another option is to find out if there is an administrative person (or even another researcher) who helps with his schedule or can at least prod him about things like this. I've definitely worked with faculty who you'll never get a response from unless you copy their assistant/the department admin/the PD or PM for their study. Good luck!
  8. iwearflowers

    How do you explain employment gaps on a resume?

    If the online classes were part of a degree or certificate program, those dates should be reflected in the education section of your resume. Otherwise, I would follow @wcw's advice.
  9. iwearflowers

    Only just started MA program and severely depressed

    I echo @slouching. Find a therapist. Talk to your doctor about adjusting your meds and/or getting an “emergency” medication to take during panic attacks. Visit the disability office to talk about whether/what kind of accommodation you need. I spent a lot of time feeling miserable and missing out on things during my masters program because I was too ashamed of my mental illness to get the help I needed. Don’t be like me! Work with professionals to set yourself up for success! If you have a friend you can trust, ask them to help you get your appointments set up and maybe even to go with you. It can feel insurmountable, and it’s okay to need help.
  10. iwearflowers

    Am I being too optimistic about CS PhD application?

    I can’t speak to your field, but generally my sense is that committees understand that your resume may not reflect your interests perfectly. It’s more and seeing that you have broadly relevant knowledge, skills, and experience. Your SOP should explain your interests and why your experience has led you there.
  11. iwearflowers

    Job Opportunities with a MA in Sociology

    You may not have much luck conducting independent research with an MA, but you would likely be qualified for research coordinator positions in academic research or research assistant/associate positions in consulting firms (RTI, JSB, etc.). Depending on your previous experience, you might also look for positions in public health departments (state or local) that focus on evaluation or program management. If you're looking outside your area of expertise, you may want to look for positions with "Bachelors required, Masters preferred."
  12. iwearflowers

    'Am I competitive? ' thread (Sociology)

    Sorry for the very late reply here, but this would be a great question for a mentor and/or letter writer. You could send them a short description of the papers you’re considering so they don’t have to read them (which they likely don’t have time for). Also, I really like the way you’ve phrased your research interests. I found being able to funnel my interests like that (start broad and get very specific) was helpful when I was interviewing.
  13. I got involved in some community groups during my masters program, and it was kind of a saving grace. In grad school, you’re surrounded by your topic all the time, and it’s nice to get out of that bubble occasionally. Religious communities, hobby clubs, and volunteer organizations are all great ways to meet people.
  14. iwearflowers

    Another regret story - Physics PhD

    While it's possible this is just nerves and overthinking, you should consider seeing a therapist or your PCP. Some of the behaviors you describe (not caring about getting ready for your program, engaging with escapist media, changes in sleeping and eating patterns) can also be signs of depression and anxiety. If you're in your early- to mid-twenties, you're still in the peak period for emergence of mental health issues. There is also a diagnosis called "stress response syndrome" that's a shorter-term response to a specific stressor. I developed a pretty severe anxiety disorder near the end of my undergraduate years, and it went untreated for a long time because I (with my parents' encouragement) thought it was just "bad habits" I had developed. Maybe you just need to reframe - recognize that you're likely to have equally good results at either school and that PhD job searches are typically national rather than regional - or maybe you need some extra help.
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