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disidentifications

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    2019 Fall

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  1. Without knowing much about your situation, it sounds like there's something about the location of School 1 that's really putting you off what would otherwise be an ideal choice on paper. It also sounds like you're trying to justify your inclination towards school 2, despite its looser fit with your work. Given how much it takes to make one second-guess such a logical fit between one's research interests and a program, I'd say that it might be worth listening to your instincts this time. After all, if you're already convinced that you'll be miserable if you have to continue residing where the first school is located, I don't see how much happier or more fulfilled you'll be in time to come. Regarding your concerns about school 2's academic profile and reputation, it would definitely be riskier to enter a program where your research focus and approaches aren't dominant. However, as plenty of people have already pointed out on these forums, your interests will likely change over time, and so will the direction and composition of departments. It is perhaps true that the English departments some Ivies are known for being a tad more conservative, but I think (based on what I've been noticing on GC and in recent hiring patterns) that they're generally moving towards more "cutting edge", multi- and trans-disciplinary research anyway. In this sense, I don't think that you'll find yourself being so out of place in such departments, considering that they've already extended an offer to you based on the work you propose to do -- it means that they like your research enough, and know that they have the capacity to support it. Other things that you might also want to look into are opportunities for you to take classes in consortiums or in neighbouring schools, or the possibility to invite professors from outside your university to sit on your dissertation committee. These are all avenues for you to draw on resources in other institutions (including, if possible, school 1), while being based in an area that you might prefer to live. Ultimately, like @urbanfarmer said, there's no reason to become miserable just to get a degree, especially when the job market is so dire and the name and reputation of your school is no longer a guarantee of a job. I don't believe that I'm in any position to tell you what to do, but, from my own perspective, I'd say that it's probably more important for you to weigh your well-being in the next six or so years over your longer-term plans, seeing as no one can tell what will become of academia in the future anyway.
  2. Yes! I must say, the process of applying to grad schools was invaluable in compelling me to hone my research focus for my honours thesis much earlier than I was expected to (I mean, having to describe my project in my SoPs did acquaint me pretty well with its central ideas), so at the moment, I am much less frazzled about it than my peers. Still, it's an experience for which I've had to fork out just about as much as you did... (Imagine how many books one can buy with that $900!! 😂😩) (I'm really not looking forward to lining ETS's pockets again.) And yes, do take some time off! We certainly deserve it after all the stress that we've put ourselves through, not to mention that breaks will only be harder and harder to come by as one progresses through grad school and beyond. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you as well wrt Villanova, esp since the program seems so perfectly suited to your areas of interest! I really can't wait to see what you'll accomplish in the future!
  3. I am gutted for the both of us too... Though at this point, having done more work on my thesis and gotten a stronger hold on my areas of interest, I'm also quite excited to reapply, knowing that I'll likely be a stronger applicant the second time round! (To be honest, my heart aches most for the exorbitant application fees that have gone down the drain, because that really!! wasn't!! cheap!!! The time and effort that I've spent on my applications hardly feel wasted since I've learned so much about myself, my interests, and academia through this process.) As for my backup plans, I'm not too sure about them yet. I'll be taking a month-long break right after I graduate, just to give myself some breathing room and space to refocus. Beyond that, I might take up either an editorial or a publishing internship (I'm currently looking at one with Taylor and Francis), because if academia doesn't work out for me, I'd probably like to work in those fields anyway. Thank you for your well-wishes, and all the best to you with your future plans! (Also, can I just reiterate how much I enjoyed reading your writing sample? I've bought a copy of My Name is Asher Lev as a result, and it's now on my TBR pile, which I'll definitely get to after the semester ends.)
  4. Seconding these sentiments, especially since you guys have been here since the early days of this thread! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all your backup plans work out for you, and perhaps we might see each other here again next year — hopefully with better news re: phd apps. (I don't know when I'll sign out of this site proper, since I've gotten so invested in everyone else's applications, but I really ought to soon -- maybe after Harvard officially lets me go -- to get my thesis done 😂. I'll probably be back in the summer though, to seek out advice on reapplying, so if anyone has any tips on reformulating SoPs, or on any part of the application process for that matter, I'd be your more than willing audience!)
  5. On that same note, what about Brown? (They should've notified a week ago!) (Then again, I'm not counting on getting in at either places, so perhaps I'd rather not know.)
  6. C20/21 women's life-writing here. It does seem like a rather crowded concentration, though I suppose that's partly due to the diversity of everyone's areas of interest -- not to mention the overlaps that occur more frequently between this period and other cognate disciplines (film/cinema studies, visual culture, theory/philosophy etc), which means that there'll likely be a larger applicant pool for our concentration. (Of course, this bodes well for neither of us, so I'm preparing to be shut-out this cycle...)
  7. Does Columbia not also do as Chicago does and refer some of their applicants to their MA program? Perhaps that's why rejections are staggered. Edit: In which case, it's also time for this meme to return--
  8. Ah, I see some acceptances have been posted on the results board, so I presume I can chalk this up to another no for me...
  9. How'd you find out? Is the adcomm not only meeting today?
  10. Received an invitation from Oxford's Graduate Admissions... ...to complete an "application survey". *shakes fist*
  11. my university needs to stop sending out newsletters and event updates at such ungodly hours in the day (it's 1am here), because the only emails i'm expecting at this time are those from halfway across the world 😩
  12. is anyone -- or their friend or roommate -- willing to start calling schools?
  13. Haven't had any dreams/nightmares about grad school per se, but I'm rereading Paul Saint-Amour's chapter on perpetual suspense in Woolf's novels (vis-à-vis the prospect of total war) for my honours thesis, and it seems I'm trapped in a perpetual waking nightmare 🤷‍♀️
  14. me @ pretty much all my remaining schools this week: won't you be my valentiiiiiine? (let's just hope this week won't cumulate in a tragic heartbreak.) (edit: though, of course, Chicago got there first, so to all the schools attempting to reject me this week, don't even bother trying, because none of you will hurt my soft and fragile heart as much as Chicago did. jk.)
  15. When one of your POIs at Chicago is, in fact, Deborah Nelson and you're not quite sure whether to be pleased at her very complimentary email... rejecting you from the program to which you applied. ?
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