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dreid

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Everything posted by dreid

  1. I was working full-time on top of running a freelance gig throughout this application cycle, and I'll be honest with you...it's tough. After a 9-hour stint in an office, the last thing you really want to do is sit in front of another screen and start a different kind of work. It is certainly possible to pursue work and graduate apps simultaneously, but I would say it can end up taking a toll on you both physically and mentally if you don't allow yourself enough time to rest and recharge (preach @jadeisokay!). Everyone is different, of course, but what really helped me to strike a balance between the two was allocating different environments to different tasks. For example, I never work at home if I can help it. That's my space for eating, watching Netflix, hanging out with my housemate, hosting dinners, sleeping - and if I try to work there, I inevitably end up being lethargic and getting frustrated with myself. Instead, I go straight from the office to the library and do app things there for a few hours. Then I go home and relax. It just keeps everything compartmentalised in my mind, and stops it from becoming too overwhelming. There's an iPhone app called Life Cycle that actually tracks how long you spend on certain activities/in certain places, and I used that a lot to make sure I wasn't overdoing it and burning out (13 hours' total working today? Time to GO HOME). Further advice: screen glasses are your friends. They cost like 10 dollars and stop you from getting those screen-glare headaches if you're putting in long hours. Also, exercising, eating/sleeping properly, and - I cannot emphasise this enough - seeing your friends. Go for dinner or coffee or to a bar or a party. It might seem unproductive when deadlines are looming, but it will clear your head and put you in an infinitely better frame of mind. So, in short: yeah, it's not easy. But it is absolutely doable if you are determined enough to take on the extra work, and mindful enough to recognise when your body and mind need to relax. Personally, I love my job (and oh my I love that sweet sweet financial security) - but I don't want to do it forever. And being at that job gives me a daily reminder of why I want to pursue academia. So don't lose that fire in your belly, be mindful of your mental state, and very best of luck!!
  2. dreid

    Fall 2019 - Comparative Literature

    @whatislife69 nothing over here yet!
  3. dreid

    Fall 2019 - Comparative Literature

    Hello pals! I don’t suppose any of you kind people would be willing to share your experiences interviewing for comp lit grad programs? I’m currently floundering working out how to prepare, and would be so so grateful if anyone could shed some light on the sorts of questions that are likely to come up. More than happy to chat in messenger if that’s easier than posting in the forum (and to identify any potential conflicts of interest - don’t want to step on anyone’s toes!), and I will of course report back with my own experiences for anyone in the same boat. Thanks so much in advance ☺️☺️
  4. dreid

    Fall 2019 - Comparative Literature

    About four people posted on the results survey that they had been offered interviews by NYU, so I assume that not being asked to interview means I’m probably not on the shortlist. Of course, this is 100% speculation, so i guess anything could still happen - but I’m not very optimistic!
  5. dreid

    Fall 2019 - Comparative Literature

    Hey comp lit pals! Only just found this thread, but so glad I’ve finally found my people to commiserate with over this loooooong old waiting game. I’m also an implied rejection from NYU (it was a definite reach for me but I’m still sad ☹️), interview at USC and accepted to UT Austin (heard the funding situation is dire tho so a bit hesitant). Massive congratulations to everyone who’s had good news so far! I’m still waiting on UCLA...anyone have any idea when they might start notifying? Gah I can’t wait for this to be overrrr
  6. dreid

    2019 Applicants

    Do we think all the NYU comp lit interviews have gone out? My hearttttt
  7. dreid

    2019 Applicants

    HAHAH this has really tickled me on an otherwise v stressful day. Have never related to anything more
  8. dreid

    UT Austin Acceptances

    Thanks again for your help everyone. I just got a response from the coordinator saying that funding/campus visit info will come my way soon (hooray!). @purrfectpals and @beardedlady - the email also said that “flights will be covered partially, if not in full, by the department”. So that inspires a bit of hope on the financial side of things!
  9. dreid

    UT Austin Acceptances

    Thanks @beardedlady and @spatial_person! I’ll wait until it’s a more acceptable time over there and drop them a quick email. Fingers crossed and omg everyone’s research interests sound so exciting!
  10. dreid

    UT Austin Acceptances

    Hello again UTA pals! Was wondering if any of you wonderful creatures could help me out with something? It’s now been three days since my portal status changed, and I still haven’t had any contact from the department. Do you think it’s too eager to email them and ask about visit days and maybe enquire about the funding situation? Can’t tell if it’s totally normal to have a delay and I’m just being impatient, or if there was an email that just didn’t get to me, or if (worst case scenario) the acceptance genuinely was an administrative error! Thank you thank you thank you for any insights! ?
  11. dreid

    UT Austin Acceptances

    @arbie ah that’s so good to know, I had no idea you could haggle for stipends! Definitely something to bear in mind. Thanks so much, and good luck on all the rest of your apps too!!
  12. dreid

    UT Austin Acceptances

    Congrats on all your acceptances, you are killing it!! Yeah I feel you on the funding thing though, I’ve had a glorious year and a half of full-time salary and I’m already dreading the return to the instant noodle student life. I guess you’ve got to weigh up all the different factors - how well the course fits your needs, whether you will enjoy the city, and also whether or not you can actually survive financially. I certainly don’t wanna have to spend five years living on cereal with no medical insurance (although to be fair that basically defines my undergrad experience and I survived that!). I’m also interviewing at USC next month, which seems to be a lot more generous with their stipends...but then again living in LA is basically the same as throwing money out the window (plus they uh haven’t actually accepted me yet), so who really knows? ?
  13. dreid

    UT Austin Acceptances

    @arbie oh god it’s so hard, I was absolutely certain UTA was gonna be a rejection for me (the lack of visit/funding info is only exacerbating dat imposter syndrome) so honestly I hadn’t even seriously considered the possibility of going there! I’m hoping that visiting the campus and meeting the faculty will give some more clarity, it’s such an amazing place and the course looks absolutely incredible. In any case, I’ve yet to hear from two more schools, and the acceptances I’ve got here in Europe are all pre-funding...so this may be the best offer I have, in which case I’ll be thrilled to take it! My fields are postcolonial/materialist/feminist-posthumanist intersections in contemporary narratives of nuclear radiation (bit niche!). In a weird way, we might have some crossover though! Co-editors of a bestselling collected volume?
  14. dreid

    UT Austin Acceptances

    Hey! Thanks for starting this thread ☺️ I’m the rogue comp lit acceptance, haven’t had an email from the department or anything yet (just an automated msg to check the portal) so no idea if I’ll be at the same visit day. Hopefully I’ll see some of you there though! What are your fields?
  15. dreid

    2019 Acceptances

    thanks so much @Warelin! and especially thank you @dangermouse - this is undoubtedly the result of your expert feedback on my SOP! ?
  16. dreid

    2019 Acceptances

    Guys! Just randomly checked the portal for University of Texas (Austin) and it says I’ve been accepted! No email or anything though, fingers crossed it’s not an error....?
  17. dreid

    2019 Applicants

    Thanks so much, that's really helpful to know! Perpetual refreshing it is then, I guess....is it March yet?
  18. dreid

    2019 Applicants

    Did any of the comp lit peeps on here apply to UCLA? Trawling back through the results page, it looks like they've posted results around the last week of Jan in the past - but last year people still hadn't heard anything by mid-April! Not sure if I should be refreshing their portal every 5 mins, or putting them out of my mind for another three months...anyone in the same boat?
  19. dreid

    2019 Acceptances

    Hello gradcafe pals! I got an email from the departmental chair at USC Comp Lit on Friday, inviting me to campus for three days to meet the faculty and “talk about my work” ? I am somewhere between thrilled and TERRIFIED. I don’t suppose any 2018 applicants/current students have any insight on how this is gonna go down?! How many are invited vs accepted, what to expect from interviews, whether I should prepare a presentation or anything? Would so appreciate any info at all because I am bricking it! Thanks so much!
  20. dreid

    2019 Applicants

    @pdh12 and @placeinspace - I feel ya. Just now, my phone made a beeping noise and I literally leaped out of my chair to check my email thinking it was finally time. There was nothing. Then I realised the beeping noise had come through TheGradCafe, and was caused by someone else posting on the forum that the wait was sending them crazy. Good grief we all need help.
  21. Ooh, I can actually offer some insight here! I've had three graduate school interviews this cycle, two formal and one informal. They've all been at European universities, so I imagine the US system does things a bit differently, but there could be some crossover. I think the most common question I have been asked has been some iteration of "what motivated you to want to study xx?", and "why is your research important to the field?". Like others have mentioned above, I think a lot of the reason for interviewing candidates comes from POIs wanting to get to know who you are as a person - if you're going to be working closely with someone for five years, you want to make sure they're not an absolute nightmare to be around. However, in Europe at least (and in my personal experience), they seem to really want to know the worth of your research. After all, if you're going to be doing some really interesting, original, good-quality research, you've got a much better chance of getting publications/additional funding/prizes/general academic recognition - which, in turn, looks good for the school. On the other hand, if you are just going to be re-hashing work that has been done by scholars time and time again without adding anything new, it's not going to attract as much attention. From that perspective, I'd say make sure you can really situate where your research stands in relation to current developments in the field. It's a horrible metaphor to use, but it becomes almost like a sales pitch: you should invest in me because my research will offer some sort of a return, both to the field and to the institution. I've also been asked quite a few technical questions about critical theory, methodology and how I would structure my thesis - but I got the feeling they were more interested in my thought process and communication skills than my actual responses to those. In fact, in one of the interviews I answered all the technical questions absolutely atrociously but had a really great connection with the POIs, and they made me an offer the next day (unconfirmed funding situation though, so I can't get excited quite yet!). So yeah, I'd say from my experience it's something of a split; they definitely want to know who you are and whether they can envisage a good working relationship with you, but they also want to know what your research will do to advance scholarship in that particular field - and how you will make that happen. Anyway, I hope this helps! Now, fingers crossed for an interview from one of my US applications...
  22. dreid

    2019 Applicants

    Is nobody gonna shout out Adore Delano? By far my fave ever queen! ? (Hi everyone, btw - I’m rejoining the gradcafe conversation after a self-imposed break, as my incessant results page stalking was sending me loopy! Good luck to all you nervous wrecks like myself!)
  23. Hello fellow humans! I know it’s last minute, but I was wondering if anyone would be willing to cast an eye over my personal history statement for Comparative Literature? Would be more than happy to critique your SOP/personal history/anything else in return!
  24. Hello everyone, My question is a somewhat...particular one, so apologies in advance if this seems like it is wasting anyone's time! I am in the process of applying to Comparative Literature at NYU, and there is the option to include a personal history statement to explain how "your background will add to the diversity of our school". I am British, with experience living abroad, studying languages and volunteering/participating in community outreach initiatives, so I think I will try and work some of those things into the statement. However, I also come from a pretty chaotic working-class background - without going into too much detail, my family is enormous, my mother is a baker and my father is a butcher, and the whole situation made applying for undergraduate programs a bit of a challenge (you try writing a coherent college essay in a house full of twelve noisy people, with cakes covering every available surface and half the village trooping through the kitchen!). I am considering including this aspect of my background in the statement, but whenever I try to articulate it, it just sounds comical - which, to be fair, it is. So I guess my question is, how do I go about this? I know that NYU is a very liberal place, so maybe explaining the bizarre eccentricities of my upbringing would work in my favor (I don't know if it makes me a more "diverse" candidate, but it might make me a more memorable one!). But, then again, it also might make me come across as someone who isn't taking the application seriously. Does anyone have any words of wisdom to help me out with navigating this? Thank you so much!
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