I'd like to add to this a bit more. If you had the perfect responses, you wouldn't need the degree because you'd be publishing in top-tier journals through your original contributions. I think the important question you need to ask yourself is whether you'd thrive somewhere where things may or may not be cut-throat or whether you need a more collaborative community. There is no right or wrong answer. Some people do really well and compete better and write better when the community actively supports them and they can push themselves to publish. Others need a more "competitive" community in order to feel motivated to do their work. We all respond to things differently. When you're making your choices, think carefully about the work environment, the location, funding (Do you want roommates? Can you afford rent without roommates?), the atmosphere, class sizes and so on. Think if that's a place that you'll be happy at because if you aren't, your work will suffer. Depression is a really real thing in Academia and the best way to combat it is by choosing a place which you feel would make you happiest. What that happy thing doesn't depend on rankings or professors, it depends on you. As such, only you can decide what things are needed to make you happy.
I was just scrolling through all my app portals and opened UCSB’s to see “accepted”
...had minor stroke
...immediately thereafter noticed the accepted was referring to my app fee waiver, my app status is still very much submitted.
Lol why am I like this? Reading is supposed to be my thing, right?
Welp the refresh button on my email is going to break this week lol! I saw today that I missed a call from a 314 number on Thursday, which sparks a bit of hope in me.
Congrats on the acceptances, it sounds like an amazing program ☺️