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FlyingGoldFish

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About FlyingGoldFish

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  1. Hi everyone, I am having some hair-pulling time trying to answer the question in the title. I have already learned that statement of purpose and/or personal statements are serious deals that explains your goal, research interests, and your distinct fit for the program. I do have few branches of research interests that I narrowed down, which I can envision doing for the rest of my research career. However, I have a very hard time explaining WHY I want to do it. Most of the articles and tips that I read from books/forum tell you to explain why I want to do that particular research. The problem is that I don't have a eureka moment that decided my research interest. Even if I do, I am afraid to use personal story examples that derived my commitment to particular research because of possibility of being overlooked. At the same time, I can't just write, "I want to go into this field because I like it, I've done it, and I fit well in it." It won't make me stand out as a serious candidate, right? Do I need to do more and more thinking? Am I on the right path and just answered my own question?
  2. Hi everyone, I am applying to STEM graduate programs, and I am gathering materials of my previous accomplishments to work on my applications for this season. I have a major concern of my transcript. Unfortunately, I was not a stellar student, and I dropped some classes on the way thinking that I would success if I take it again. However, that was a mistake. I should have kept on going, and now I am worried about the admissions committee looking at my transcript thinking I won't be able to do well in their classes. My overall GPA is 3.2, and the major courses GPA is 3.1. I kept convincing myself not to self-compare to others, and maybe I can shine on my research experiences (2+ years), presentations, and manuscript in preparation for one of my research works. However, the problem is that I dropped an entire semester once because I was suffering Major Depressive Disorder. I've seen some people here who experienced similar mental hardship, and I feel for them too. I do have a letter from my school therapist explaining all the situations that I was going through, but I'm just not sure how to express this hardship on my applications. After researching, I got a feeling that ad com don't really want people who show mental instability. I am much better now, and I learned how to recover, get better, keep running. Another thing is that, after that dropped semester, it's not like my grades were succeeding. They were consistently B's and some C's. The only A's that I got were research courses, intro stem courses, and other humanities. It was difficult for me to manage taking 5-6 courses and research on top of that, and also trying to graduate on time. Since grad schools usually have 2-3 courses, I am confident that I can do better when I get there. I was thinking maybe I can convince one of my professors to mention about my mental hardship in LOR and that I can do better. I don't think I should have the letter from my therapist sent out because that might just seem like I'm asking for sympathy. Does anyone who had similar experiences, or has known a friend who went through similar?
  3. Hi everyone, I do have an experience of applying to just a few schools before (which I got all rejected from, sadly), and I want to make sure that I want to polish my application and stats as best as possible for this upcoming application cycle. Previously, when I submitted applications for chemistry and biochemistry programs, my apps weren't thoroughly prepared as I did not have much time to meet the deadlines. However, since I have few months to work on my applications now, I want to apply to a good number of grad schools. Looking at the programs out there, I keep having bipolar hesitations on applying to top tier schools. On one side of me, I think to myself that maybe they will accept me even though my stats aren't impeccable. On the other side of me, I think to myself that there is no point on bothering to apply because it will be just a waste of time for everyone. I am trying not to think of this year's cycle as a "gamble," meaning that I don't want to simply throw in my application and wishing, 'pick me, pick me!' (which what I kind of did before...). My overall GPA is 3.2, and major is 3.1 (some C's and mostly B's and some A's). GRE is 143/154/4.0 GRE, and 2.5 years of research with no pub. My confidence level just keeps fluctuating while I keep daydream. Thank you everyone.
  4. I applied in my senior year without hope as my stats weren't good, but I tried to take a shot to gain some experience. I applied to about 4 schools for chemistry and biochemistry programs and got all rejects, which I wasn't too surprised since I wasn't finished taking major courses. I'm not too proud of my stats: 3.2 GPA, 3.1 major GPA, 143/154/4.0 GRE, 2.5 years of research experience (both experiences in synthesis and biochemistry research), and no pub. I graduated already, and I'm trying to apply again this upcoming cycle around October-December. I have about 6-8 months before submitting my applications, so what would be the most productive way to fill this gap? Some things that I'm already working on are: - I am currently working on GRE, and I'm also planning to take the Chemistry GRE in September. - I talked with my research advisor, and we can work on a paper to submit for one of the research I did. So, I might possibly be a second-author for the paper.  - I am also trying to replenish the LORs. The research advisor said he wrote a strong one before, and he would update it more for this one. I also have different professor writing LOR for this time who is very understanding and knows me well. I'm currently looking for 3rd recommender, but it's in process for now. - I am trying to find a research position of some sort to gain more research experience. I'm not sure if that would be helpful at this point, since I just have months left. - I am getting the feeling that doing Masters to recover my GPA won't be worth the chance, since it is another investment, and I have a set goal that I want to go for PhD for academia path. I've been seeing some good constructive advice here, and I would love to hear back thoughts and comments on my situation. Thank you
  5. I applied in my senior year without hope as my stats weren't good, but I tried to take a shot to gain some experience. I applied to about 4 schools for chemistry and biochemistry programs and got all rejects, which I wasn't too surprised since I wasn't finished taking major courses. I'm not too proud of my stats: 3.2 GPA, 3.1 major GPA, 143/154/4.0 GRE, 2.5 years of research experience (both experiences in synthesis and biochemistry research), and no pub. I graduated already, and I'm trying to apply again this upcoming cycle around October-December. I have about 6-8 months before submitting my applications, so what would be the most productive way to fill this gap? Some things that I'm already working on are: - I am currently working on GRE, and I'm also planning to take the Chemistry GRE in September. - I talked with my research advisor, and we can work on a paper to submit for one of the research I did. So, I might possibly be a second-author for the paper. - I am also trying to replenish the LORs. The research advisor said he wrote a strong one before, and he would update it more for this one. I also have different professor writing LOR for this time who is very understanding and knows me well. I'm currently looking for 3rd recommender, but it's in process for now. - I am trying to find a research position of some sort to gain more research experience. I'm not sure if that would be helpful at this point, since I just have months left. - I am getting the feeling that doing Masters to recover my GPA won't be worth the chance, since it is another investment, and I have a set goal that I want to go for PhD for academia path. I've been seeing some good constructive advice here, and I would love to hear back thoughts and comments on my situation. Thank you
  6. So I have graduated my undergrad and took my time away from school for about a year. I am trying to apply for graduate programs in biochemistry/chemistry, and I have 3 professors in mind. Recommender 1 would be my research advisor, so he would be the one who could talk about my skills and accomplishments in his lab, my capability, etc. Recommender 2 is the professor whom I took upper level medicine biology class for study abroad. The relationships I have with this professor is with some conversations, and I talked with him several times asking for help to get me into the study abroad program. I recently emailed him, and he said he definitely remembers me. Recommender 3 is the professor I took a biotech class with. I don't have too much relationship with him. I went to his office hours one time, and I had a pretty good conversation in talking about my future goals, research interests, and what I want to do after graduation. It has been almost a year since I left the school, and I moved back home. I had a pretty good relationship with my research advisor (Recommender 1), and possibly Recommender 2 since I studied abroad with him. I am planning to apply for Fall 2020, so I would be starting/submitting my applications in August-October this year. How would I come about asking all three of them for LOR? I don't want to simply email bug them since that might not result in good letters. I want to travel back to campus and meet with all of them to talk about LOR. Is this the ideal, good way to ask them? If so, what time frame should I do this? I was thinking now (March/April) would be too early, and I'm afraid they might forget about me by the time application comes around. One more thing, how can I convince Recommender 2 and 3 for a strong recommendation letter? Should I provide them with lots of information of what my research interests are? I'm concerned that since I only took their lecture courses, the letters may be general without my research characteristics. Thank you for your thoughts, really!
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