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About timetraveller

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  1. Hello! Second-year undergrad here with a quick question. A while back I told a professor I have a strong relationship with that I am interested in research and pursuing further schooling in philosophy after undergrad. They told me that they wanted to support me in my academic pursuits and have been acting as a mentor for me this year. We've worked together to construct a research project that deals with Rawls and racial and corrective justice (which I am very much enjoying!). We have weekly meetings where we discuss new findings, edit the paper they have me working on, and look for new sources to read and consider. In short, it is my own little research project that they've helped me refine and also guide me through. We've worked out (a draft) of an abstract and I will get to present my work at an undergraduate conference my school hosts and at one other conference in my province. This research has no relation to any of the work my professor does as he works in the philosophy of religion and mysticism. I think I have developed valuable skills thus far, so I would like to add it to my resume. However, I am unsure of what title I should put. My professor said putting research assistant is fine if I'd like. I was thinking it would be more appropriate to put Undergraduate Research Student or something of the sort. It's more accurate, I believe, and using the title Research Assistant evokes the idea that I am being paid. If I choose to stay during the summer term I will be paid and will be contributing to their actual research, which I would then regard as Work Experience. Right now I feel like it's most appropriate to put this work under my Extracurricular Experience. Does it matter at all or am I just being excessively neurotic? Thanks for all and any help.
  2. Thanks for responding and sharing your personal experience! (And congratulations on your acceptances.) So, my initial idea was that GPA was used to weed out applicants, but I was unsure of what range people started to get weeded out at. Your answer helps to give me a better idea so thank you! The consensus seems to be that it's crucial to develop a good relationship with profs to write letters of recommendation and help me with my writing sample (if I get that far), among other things of course. Will keep this in the back of my mind as I progress through next year! I will try to enjoy the relationships with my profs simply because lots of them are interesting and funny people. Them (potentially) helping me with grad school applications is an awesome bonus I appreciate the help!
  3. Thank you for the advice! I will keep note of all that you've said! (I've made a little Microsoft Word document, ha.) The help is much appreciated.
  4. Hi! Thank you so much for this in-depth response, it was very informative. It really helped to put things into perspective and gave me a lot to think about! I appreciate the help.
  5. Thanks for replying! My dad actually works as a tax lawyer and fully understands the whole shabang. But I think I'm at a point where I don't care much for a legal career either way. Thanks for the help!
  6. Will try my best to keep this in mind! I think user 'hats' was hinting at the same point to value learning as much/more than just getting good grades. Thanks for sharing your past experiences!
  7. Hi! Thank you for replying! Congratulations on your offer! Like yourself, others have noted that other parts of the application are important so I will definitely heed all of your advice. I'll keep in mind that it's important to branch out. I'm actually taking a Gender Studies course this summer (very much unlike me) and an online Physics course next year because I'm interested in atoms and elasticity! I think I just went on a philosophy high this year and got overly excited haha. Thank you for all the advice and have a good day!
  8. Hi fuzzylogician! Thanks for taking the time to write such a lenghty reply. I am learning now that other parts of my application will greatly impact my chances of admission. This is something I genuinely didn't know before - I mean, yes, I figured other parts of my application would be important, but I thought GPA would act as a barrier because it's easy to filter hundreds of applications that way. Sorry for being super anxious! I'll definitely try to enjoy my undergrad as much as possible!!! (Though, I already am.) I must say, I do find it somewhat hard to form strong relationship with professors (I had this problem in high school as well) mainly because I enjoy sitting at the back of the class and learning on my own. I'm just generally a quiet individual. Participating in class and seeing professors and TA's during office hours has not been a strong suit of mine this year so I'll definitely try harder going into second year. However, I do have one professor (and a letter of recommendation they wrote) to vouch for me so far if that is a good beginning? Next year she will be taking me on as a research assistant to help her conduct research concerning the ethical considerations of female imprisonment which should be really fun! I also did not consider participating in undergraduate conferences. I read on Facebook that the University of Toronto is hosting a free one next weekend so I'll be sure to attend that! I will also look into getting involved in other things such as our school's Philosophy student council and reading groups! My understanding of graduate admissions were that they were very numbers based so I didn't bother doing any of these things this year. I more so focused on other things I enjoy (Model UN, Heart and Stroke Foundation, etc). I will take everything you said into consideration and keep my eyes open next year. Yes, I keep reading over and over how difficult the market is for recent graduates. But, as you note, I guess I can think about this later when my plans are more solidified. It's slightly hard trying to pitch wanting to pursue philosophy at the graduate level to parents who were expecting me to go to law school or become a consultant (my original plan before university was to major in Economics and Statistics). It just so happens that I really liked philosophy this year - a lot more than I was expecting - and now I think I'd be decently sad doing anything else for the sake of employability, or for any other reason. So, I'm definitely committed to philosophy at the undergraduate level at least (or so I think). Wow, okay. A lot to consider I guess. Thank you for all the help! I deeply appreciate it.
  9. Thank you for replying! I didn't know a strict philosophy GPA was a thing. In that case I will rest a bit easier tonight. In my first year introductory course I will finish with an A, and in my other introductory course in Political Philosophy I will finish with an A+ (which I am definitely most interested in, but I guess I won't really know that until later in my academic career). I will heed your advice and be sure to produce the best writing sample that I can, when and if that time comes of course. I guess I was wrongly under the assumption that GPA is king in admissions like it is for other graduate (or, I guess, professional) programs such as law school and medical school - for Canada at least. Thank you for the help, it's much appreciated!
  10. Thank you for such an in depth reply. I seriously appreciate the help! I'm aware a 3.7 isn't anything horrible, I guess I'm just disappointed because I was really hoping to crack above 3.8. But you live and you learn. All of your advice about placements is being read seriously and I'll consider it in the future! I guess it really is too early to know what I want; however, I actually did not consider how content I would be completing a PhD and not finding employment after. In all honesty, I just really like 'doing' philosophy, reading books, and writing essays, so I thought graduate school would be an awesome way for me to continue to do so. I will read over the page you've linked to get a better understanding of this whole thing. Thanks again!!!
  11. Thanks a ton for replying! I didn't considered doing this. I did after and found that a lot of people went to Oxford and other UK schools, large US schools, a lot from Princeton..., but a relative few that went to Canadian schools. I'm not sure what any of this means yet (though I have an idea), but it was interesting anyways!
  12. Hi there! Although it is very premature of me to ask, I can't help but think about this every now and then so I thought I would just ask students more senior than myself to provide some insight. I've just finished my first year at Queen's University and I absolutely fell in love with philosophy in these past months. I thought about what I wanted to do post-graduation and I am strongly considering applying to graduate/Phd programs. My brother is currently in his second year of graduate school and I seem to really like all of the things that he is doing (though, I am aware that seeing someone do something and doing it yourself are two completely different things). My concern, however, is in my GPA. After doing some research it seems to be that accepting an offer from a philosophy department outside of the top 20 in the gourmet rankings is not a wise choice because it is extremely difficult to compete for teaching and research positions after. If this is true, then I am wondering if I have made my chances of being admitted to such a program exceedingly difficult due to my first year GPA. I had a myriad of extracurriculars this year and I am seriously considering dropping them next year to ensure that I do far better (which I will miss, unfortunately). My current GPA is 3.7. I remember reading an article that claimed that philosophy programs get over hundreds of applicants, many with 4.0 or near 4.0 GPA's, each year. In that case, my GPA ain't looking too hot right now. Do I seriously need to get a 3.9-4.0 in the next three years to maintain a reasonable chance of being admitted to a "great" program? I guess I can also ask a side question, if you don't mind. Is going to a top 20-50 program the be all end all for pursuing an academic career in philosophy? I'm not one to be particularly caught up in prestige and I always imagined being happy attending a Canadian university for graduate school. I know little about the US besides the Ivy's, NYU, Berkeley, Michigan, and Pittsburgh, but schools such as Western, McGill, Dalhouise, University of Victoria, and UofT (of course) seem to be well regarded and I'd be through the moon to be admitted to any of these schools sometime in the future. But does that seriously limit my possible career outcomes? 1) I favour Canada over the US (my family is here, and I am from Toronto), and 2) I believe I can do well and am a fairly good student, but being admitted to schools such as Harvard, Michigan, etc. for a PhD in Philosophy seems so amazingly unrealistic and unlikely that I don't even want to ingrain the thought in my mind only to be disappointed after. If anyone would be kind enough to help me through my confusion I'd deeply appreciate it! Thank you Sincerely, Worried Undergrad
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