Hey all -
I have been a ceaseless lurker on this site. I thought it would end soon, but alas! I just found out that I was SO CLOSE to acceptance at UPenn... but, unfortunately, it didn't work out this year. I am a non traditional applicant.. graduated with a BA in my late twenties and I'm in my early thirties now... feeling really far away from academia and having a hard time getting perspective on my competitiveness/ where to go from here. I do critical theory-- mostly feminist/queer theory, critical race studies and psychoanalysis but I also like poetics and have a creative writing practice outside of my academic interests (poetry and playwriting).
I am reaching out to see if:
1. anyone who got into their top choices might feel up for private messaging me / maybe sharing some of your app materials / where you think you went right!
2. any ideas for increasing competitiveness in a year? I am currently freelancing for work as I didn't want to commit to anything long-term. So, I am pretty flexible in what I do next but am very broke from this whole endeavor so need to do something!
3. I applied to ivys and ivy -adjacents this year due to funding and job prospects (plus livability as my partner and our many pets are coming with me when I relocate!)-- I think I have program research overwhelm and it would be great to hear what programs were/are on your radar if you have similar interests and need similar funding! I'm open to funded MFAs and MAs at this point, but am ultimately hoping for acceptance into a PhD program... currently on my list: (English:) UPenn, Johns Hopkins, Rutgers, Princeton, maybe NYU, Penn State, & WGS: University of Arizona.
4. ALSO! Any folks write a new writing sample when you were out of school? How did you access academic texts? Did professors you know help you? I think writing a new one would behove me (especially in the second time around applications) but feel like without the structure of an academic environment, I am afraid I am going to write something weird and not academic. Thoughts?
Thanks so much for reading and congrats to all those going to your dream programs this fall!