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About BeachBum

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  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    English PhD

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  1. I totally understand your position. I was an engineering+English major who had a 3.2 cumulative with a 3.8 in English. When I started the application process, I feared that my GPA would ruin my chances at admission. It did not. After decisions were made, I spoke with a number of admissions committee members at universities that accepted me and at others that rejected me. No one made their decision based on my cumulative GPA. Overwhelmingly, decisions were made based on my writing sample, my statement of purpose, my letters of recommendation, and some notion of "fit." To paraphrase one adcom member, "I thought your GPA was concerning until I saw your English GPA. After that, I never thought about your GPA again." However, my GPA did cause a couple of problems: My GPA disqualified me from admission at a handful of schools with school-wide GPA cutoffs. These cutoffs are occasionally "soft" (i.e., an admissions committee can stump for you if they really like you), but they're frequently "hard" (i.e., you have no chance). My GPA disqualified me from certain university-wide fellowships. Graduate schools only have a couple of ways to compare PhD students from different disciplines. GPA is one of those ways.
  2. Turned down UIUC this morning! Good luck to everyone re: today's lunacy!
  3. Just accepted WUSTL's offer! Wheeeeeeee!!! I won't be able to keep up with the congratulations due to all the GC'ers making decisions today, so... CONGRATULATIONS!
  4. Just declined Notre Dame - totally gut-wrenching O_o I hope this helps someone!
  5. Declined Georgetown's funded MA; I hope this opens things up for a GC'er!
  6. I think the "balance" in "work/life/(PhD apps!) balance" can be a a smidge misleading. When I hear "balance," I think of a three-legged stool -- perfectly stationary with evenly distributed weight. That kind of balance might work for some PhD applicants (and I'll admit, it sounds pretty attractive), but I don't think it can (or should) work for everyone. It definitely wasn't how I ended up balancing things. My job, my mental+physical+spiritual health, my partner, family, friends, etc. -- the amount of attention these things demanded fluctuated wildly in the two years that I spent working on my PhD apps. I took all of my paid vacation at once and spent two straight weeks doing nothing but working on my writing sample. There was a week where all I did was work and sleep because the all-important-job-thing HAD to get done. There were also weeks (multiple contiguous weeks) where I avoided everything PhD-related like the plague and gave all my energy to my friends, my family, and myself. If I had anything resembling balance (and I think I did!), then it was a kind of "global" balance where everything sort of... netted out in the end to a happy and healthy human. I sometimes (read: often) got off-balance, and it didn't feel great. But I was never more than a couple of weeks of dedicated effort away from righting the ship. All of this is to say, the particular brand of balance that works for you might end up looking like chaos to someone else. What's important is figuring out what your balance looks like, and then regularly scheduling (not "setting aside," scheduling) time to determine if you need to conduct some re-balancing. Balancing, funny enough, is a bit of a balancing act.
  7. No idea, but I'm here too! Come on, UVA - swing the sword! I'm ready!
  8. What is this? My compulsive every-five-minutes GradCafe reloading was taking a serious toll, so I created a way to get hourly text message updates from the English results page. How does it work? Every hour, my little robot will search for "English" on the results page. If there are new results, you'll get text message updates with the institutions, programs, decisions, statuses, and notes. If there aren't any new results, you won't get any new messages. How do I get it? Download "Telegram Messenger," a (free, secure, privacy-respecting, iOS+Android) messaging application. Search for and join the "GradCafeEnglish" channel. That's it! My robot will send hourly updates into GradCafeEnglish. Why can't I post in GradCafeEnglish? No one except the robot can post. GradCafeEnglish is exclusively for results updates. Will you update it to do <something>? Maaaaaybe... but probably not. If it breaks, I'll fix it. But I'm not promising anything beyond that. This is a teensy little pet project, and it's basically in its final form. I hope you like it!
  9. Absolutely! DH is a huge part of my research, quantitative methods in particular.
  10. Hello everyone! I just stumbled onto this community, and I’m so happy to have done so! I felt myself physically relax after a couple minutes of reading through the forums. Ahhhh - camaraderie! I’m was an English + computer science major who landed in a software engineering role after college. I enjoy the work, but I don’t get the same thrill that I get from literature. So after a TON of introspection, I’m trying to career-switch myself into an English PhD program as modernist with a focus on computational approaches. I am 7/11 applications in right now - hoping to polish off a few more before the new year. Phew! Looking forward to bopping around this forum! Good luck, y’all! ?
  11. Hello everyone! Transatlantic modernism + digital humanities here!
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