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About feralgrad

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  • Application Season
    2020 Fall
  • Program
    MFA Creative Writing

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  1. Getting in off the waitlist is pretty common in my field. That said, this late in the season I wouldn't count on it. There's a chance you'll get in, but you'll want to work on a plan B.
  2. Maybe it's my lack of context, but I find it odd that you're bothered by your roommate going out with other friends. I think it's perfectly normal that she would want to have a social life that's separate from her living situation, especially during quarantine, since spending time outside the house is harder. Perhaps she just wants more personal space. Of course, if you're sensing coldness or tension that's another matter.
  3. I don't see nothing wrong with an unknown program if you're fully funded. Since an MFA won't usually improve your job prospects, clout doesn't matter. I think having the time and money to focus on writing is much more important. That said, a smaller program is likely to suffer more in the upcoming recession, so I'd consider what your plan will be if you lose funding after year 1. I can't say whether that's a strong possibility, but it's worth thinking about.
  4. Thank you so much! I feel like I slid in by the skin of my teeth, but it's a huge relief. Can I ask how your season panned out?
  5. feralgrad

    Fairfax, VA

    Resurrecting this old thread because I was wondering about the viability of living in Fairfax sans car + with a bike. I grew up nearby, but I'm not sure what the local scene is like for bikes. Are there accessible/actually useful trails or bike lanes?
  6. Hey everyone, just wanted to let y'all know that I secured funding! I'll be attending Mason in the fall! I also want to thank everyone for your support and advice. It's been a difficult 2 year journey, and GC really helped me every step of the way (even on the days when checking this thread got addictive :p). For 2021 hopefuls: Don't be afraid to reapply! I turned down partial funding last year, and obviously it paid off. I'm so happy with where I'm headed now.
  7. I had a TA interview a couple days ago, and I've been so anxious ever since. I'm scared that after coming so close to my goal, I'll fall short for the 2nd year in a row.
  8. I don't know much about the screenwriting world, but it sounds like it functions pretty differently from creative writing. CW MFA programs are a great place to network, but you don't need to be in a big city or a well-known program for that. The draw is exactly what you said: time to study writing intensively. The community and mentorship also attract people. It's 2-3 years to develop a novel-length manuscript with a bunch of other writers -- what's not to love about that? Nonetheless, it's not worth taking on debt for in my opinion. I don't have undergrad debt either, and I decided paying for an MFA was a bad choice. Technically an MFA qualifies you to teach at the university level, but the academic job market is abysmal, even worse post-pandemic (I heard one user here describe the humanities job market as "post-apocalyptic," and I think it's much the same for our ilk). Many MFA alums work in publishing, editing, marketing, and university admissions -- by no means bad fields, although an MFA is a somewhat roundabout way to get there. You could also teach K-12 with an additional certification, and your MFA will net you a higher salary. So it's not useless by any means, but it's not a great investment. You're not likely to get rich with an MFA, and from what I've heard the debt can be suffocating.
  9. Welcome to the forum, PEG! Most MFA programs have a minimum GPA requirement between 3.0-3.5. Outside of that, your grades aren't important. Your writing sample is by far the most important part of the application, and it's what you should focus your energy on. The fact that you'll (assumably) have workshop experience is a major plus, and I'd encourage you to take your potential samples there. Beyond your sample, you should be most concerned with your letters of recommendation and statement of purpose. Those materials show admissions committees your personality and what you'd bring to the community. By the way, there aren't really tier 1 schools in the MFA world the way there are in other fields. It's generally advised to go where the funding is, rather than focus on a school's reputation. Since the MFA isn't a super marketable degree, avoiding debt will probably help you more than paying to go to Columbia.
  10. Popping in from the MFA side of the site (saw this on the front page), and I wanted to weigh in on one aspect of your post. I can relate to this a lot. I've always been sensitive to my environment too. That said, I'd caution you against thinking "this awful thing could happen again!" This is a new chapter of your life, you're older and more experienced -- so try to consider your previous crisis a difficult lesson instead of a bad omen. Knowing what you know now, what could you have done differently in undergrad? Now's the time to try those things. I hope I'm not being too much of an armchair therapist here. But in my experience, you can get used to almost anything if you mentally frame it the right way. Of course, that doesn't mean you /should/ get used to anything, but from my distant third-person perspective, it sounds like this sacrifice will get you where you want to be.
  11. Still playing the waiting game! I've been in touch with the program, and they're still sorting out funding. I'm staying hopeful with the understanding that everything (for everyone) is up in the air right now. I'll definitely update this forum either way. Thanks for checking in! :-)
  12. Yes and no. The program emailed accepted applicants a few weeks ago saying that funding decisions would be delayed. Earlier this week I emailed the program's director to ask how TAships would work if the fall semester were online, and I got a quick response explaining how TA duties could be handled remotely. Since he didn't tell me I was out of the running, I'm assuming I still have a chance ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  13. Same here -- got accepted to a program, and still haven't heard a decision on funding. It's adding another level of crippling uncertainty to the already ridiculous amounts of uncertainty in my (and our) lives.
  14. @Lunafiction Doing as well as I can! There's a lot up in the air, MFA-wise and otherwise, but I've been working on a project that's keeping me occupied. In answer to your question, I would say something like, "Dear X, Thank you for your generous offer/waitlist spot. However, I've decided to attend a program that's a better fit for me. Best, Lunafiction" In my opinion, concision is more polite that padding your words in email communication. I'd keep it short, sweet, and to the point, as they say.
  15. @Jreanier I've written at length on this topic several times (including here), but I'll keep it short today. 1. It will not be a little debt. Your monthly loan costs post-graduation would be several hundred dollars a month. I'd encourage you to check out a loan repayment calculator for a clearer idea. That was my wake-up call last year, when I was thinking of going to a program without full funding. $300 a month can be back-breaking when you're an over-educated millennial in today's job market. 2. We will most likely be in a recession when you graduate due to the pandemic. Take a good hard look at your finances/family resources and consider what the next 10 years would look like post-MFA. Maybe, unlike me, you could make it work. But personally, I would have suffered for decades for 2-3 years of fun.
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