Just joined - glad to be here!
I'm currently a junior and have been considering going to graduate school for quite some time but I'm not exactly sure what to do to prepare myself as fully as possible for the applications. I've been enjoying my time in college and doing lots of academic and nonacademic stuff not related to graduate school, but I'm kind of a mess when it comes to planning and working towards grad school.
I'm an international student double majoring in computational biology and mathematics at an R1 university in the US and enjoying it immensely - and I want to continue in the intersection of the two fields (computational genomics, high-throughput tech analysis and design, network inference, systems biology). I've been in and out of research assistantships throughout college but never stuck to one that I feel strongly about (the one I'm working on right now has been going on for about 3 months). I also don't yet know any faculty close enough to ask for a recommendation letter. I was co-author on two papers from a past research assistantship not related to my field (materials engineering), and I have a sole-author manuscript up on arXiv. Current project may result in a pub (according to my research supervisor) but I'm not sure.
My GPA is around average for my major (around 4.6-4.7 on a 5.0 scale), although I have been taking graduate courses and an above-average load in recent semesters. My goal is to finish undergrad with my current GPA but I am not quite sure if that's enough for what I'm aiming towards for graduate school (either continue at this university or another R1).
My university also has a one-year Master's program that requires a 4.25 technical GPA that I'm confident I will reach, and I'm considering spending a year post-undergrad for that to do research and prepare better for grad school.
No clue about the GREs yet.
I have also been dealing with mental health issues since freshman year and diagnosed with ADD a year and a half ago. I am accommodated by the university but it shows on my work and grades.
I mainly wanted to post just to get an idea of what should I be focusing on for the future. Maybe it's too early, I don't know; but I can't help but get nervous when my classmates are getting incredibly lucrative job offers and such. I wanted to be a professor in academia my whole life and I'm my best and most passionate self when doing research. Right now I'm kind of lost.
I would be grateful for any advice! How do I connect with faculty and research supervisors for possible assistantships/projects? Is my GPA enough for R1 institutions? Will the Master's program benefit me in preparing for grad school? Should I take the GREs for a potential added plus for GRE-optional schools? Should I mention my mental health issues and disability to research supervisors/advisors and in grad school applications? I'll take any advice.
Thank you so much in advance!