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caffeinated applicant

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caffeinated applicant last won the day on February 19

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About caffeinated applicant

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  • Location
    New Jersey, USA
  • Application Season
    2020 Fall
  • Program
    English

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  1. I'm not a current grad student (obviously lol) and my perspective is informed by very few data points. But if the offer package right now is basically the same (not like, private is offering 3x the money right now or includes health insurance while public doesn't), I'd say go with the strong union. I've seen friends at union schools get packages increased and cuts blocked because of the union, whereas I've seen schools without a union slash through grad student packages no matter how wealthy the school is. I think the crisis will exacerbate that divide and that a large endowment won't protect grad students. Obviously this is not super meaningful advice whatsoever given lack of specific knowledge about the programs you're considering and lack of insider knowledge about union accomplishments. But that's my thought process from a place of very low information.
  2. Yeah, I've sent two people at UT Austin a combined three emails and nobody has ever gotten back to me... #solidarity I don't have an acceptance currently, so no reason for me to really need an answer before April 15. If you haven't told them you're sitting on an acceptance, might be good to throw that out there in case it helps them understand the urgency.
  3. Terribly terribly sorry to hear this!!! I don't have words for this crisis, but this is terribly upsetting to hear, and you'll be in my thoughts. We're all rooting for you!
  4. From what I've heard (not from SDSU in particular, but several other unis), this is an acceptance and the Graduate Division review is just a formality. Congratulations!
  5. I'm with @WildeThing here. Do what's best for you, of course, but my thought is that an English PhD doesn't nearly so often lead to a job that will pay off those loans the way an MD or JD does. Would you be okay with paying off loans when you're 40 or 50 or even beyond? Some people are, some aren't. If it were me, I would study up, take whatever job I could that would give me the most time to study in off-hours (temping is often full-time and reliable hours, and I know a few people who prefer restaurant work because then they can write during the day and work at night), and apply again this fall. I remember from a couple months back that you're interested in teaching; I had a reasonably good experience in college working for a private tutoring company--some of them are really good money. Private schools also have different requirements for teaching certification, so there might be something there--I've got a friend, for instance, who taught for two years at a private school between college and applying for PhDs, with no prior teaching experience that I'm aware of whatsoever, including no certification. I was recruited for teaching, too, from a private school placement company that advertised new teachers not needing certification.
  6. I'd like to retract my previous post truly did not comprehend the level that responses on all levels of US public health were gonna fuck up containment whoops
  7. This is so heartbreaking, and it's absolutely appropriate for you to mourn the loss of these months! Please also remember that even though you're not able to go to the conferences or accept the awards to applause (i.e., take the honors that you deserve!!), you have still achieved all these things--I mean that both in the sense that you should feel just as good about your accomplishments, but more to the point, all of this still belongs on a CV, like so: Invited Presentations "Title" at Conference, Location, Date * "Title" at Conference, Location, Date* *These conferences were not held due to global health crisis from COVID019. You'll not be the only one with an asterisk--everyone's careers will be in the same boat. So don't worry about that. But in the meantime... it sucks so much that you're missing these things, as well as just your remaining months at university. It's cosmically unfair, and I'm very sorry, in the sense of being quite sad for you and for your peers. Also I will personally eat anyone who quips "Life isn't fair" in response to college seniors' sadness at the things they're set to miss out on.
  8. I'd like to nominate BU for the award of "Grad Café's Choice: Worst Admissions Process" for 2020 ???? "I'm not too sure myself"... dang.
  9. As someone sitting on two waitlists and no acceptances, I disagree with this one. Right now I'm not able to do my usual due-diligence on schools due to turmoil in my own work and personal life due to the virus sucking up every waking hour, and anyway, many schools and individual people aren't nearly as responsive as they would be otherwise in mid-March--because the virus is sucking up all their time too--so even the emails I do send don't get responses. I want the space to hold these conversations in the middle of April, instead of feeling like my time to get answers and reassure programs of my interest is going down the drain as I make sure that my family is safe and try to help others in and beyond my personal circles. Getting an acceptance on May 17th wouldn't be that different to me than getting it on April 17th, so far as the logistics of moving my entire life and my partner's life to a different state would be, but knowing that the deadline was extended would make my March less of a hellscape. And I know that others are in much, much worse positions! I'm like, top 10% easiest situations! I wish that the deadlines could be uniformly pushed back two weeks or a month so that professors and current students didn't have to deal with grad admissions stuff on top of their mountain of existing responsibilities due to moving classes online, childcare up in the air, professional obligations like standing on sand, etc. etc. I wish the deadlines were pushed back so that current undergrads didn't have to juggle this on top of forced evictions from their dorms. I wish, I wish...
  10. Don't recall the specific text, but some sample language: Thank you again for considering my application. I have made the difficult decision to enroll at another program, and I would like for my name to be removed from the waitlist for 2020 admission.
  11. Yeah, IMO Harvard in particular is handling this very poorly--short notice, short window to leave, and it appears from social media like the only surefire way to get someone's attention to get essential assistance from the university is to tweet about it and get replies from curious reporters the Boston Herald and WaPo. Compare Princeton and Yale's response, which has been to urge students to go home and remain home after spring break ends but, to the best of my knowledge, not require it or close facilities. And that's before even considering if closing campus entirely and moving to online the right thing to do from an ethical or public health standpoint, which I'm not sure that it is if it includes sending European and Asian students back to outbreak zones, or even sending students back to the Bay Area, NYC, or Seattle. And that's even before considering the ethical quandaries related to the university's obligations to students who simply can't afford to up and leave, to professors being asked to move everything online on a dime, to employees of the university (including grad students, undergrad student workers, and hourly staff) who may or may not be paid in a closure..... Even if on the second two levels, it was determined that this was the right thing to do, a bit of compassion on that first could go a long way...
  12. No advice, just solidarity. I've emailed one out of three so far. Trying to get the energy up to email the other two this week... Cosign @snorkles's thought about in person may be easier--I didn't even think of this as it's not a possibility for me due to how far I moved after college, and one of my recommenders is at an even further-out university. I phrase my one email as "here's an update on my application process; thinking ahead, if not admitted I believe I'll reapply this fall, could we chat about strategy after the end of the spring semester." Prof responded with a characteristically short but not cool reply not to give up on waitlist but would be happy to chat. When we do, I'll ask explicitly if prof is willing to write another reference. I think I'll take a similar approach for the other two.
  13. Two waitlists, no acceptances, and one of the schools has been completely non-responsive to my emails (one mid-Feb, one last week). I'm at the point in time where I need to start reaching out to faculty and grad students directly if I want to have those pre-decision conversations about program life. I had been hoping to be connected to people via the DGS or whomever, the way that if you are invited to campus, you are given a schedule of meetings with people who are--presumably--excited to speak with you and already plan to convey a significant amount of information to you in an organized way, but it doesn't appear that this is in the cards. I get that faculty have many important responsibilities, all the more so during the current coronavirus outbreak, but I'm feeling quite down today about waitlist-as-not-priority-student all the same. The calculus makes sense--you have limited time and thus devote it to the admitted students, that's fair--but my existing insecurities make this legwork to connect with people in the program all the more agonizing.
  14. I don't know you, I don't know your story, yadda yadda, but if it were me: I would take UW Madison's MFA offer and turn down the PhDs without asking for deferrals. I would bet that if I had a second crack at PhD applications after an MFA, I'd have a much better shot at Chicago or Brown or Duke Lit or Harvard. UW Madison is one of the great MFA programs in this country, and without any real evidence to back this up, I would think that a UW MFA would make my application look better to a committee, even before the improvements to my application that I'd be able to make with two additional years in a writing program. And hell, maybe in two years I would see instead an opening to teach creative writing or work a cool day job while I query a novel, rather than apply to PhDs again right away. The world is wide open. I'm with you on the wariness about planning out your life until you're 30 when you're 22 (with apologies and adjustments if you're an older or younger college senior!). Helpful context: As you'll see in my signature, I didn't apply to any UCs. I made that determination before looking at faculty or programs or anything based on the funding situation in the UC system--low pay, high cost-of-living (especially rent), and frankly, I couldn't be 100% sure that a UC would keep their promises on full funding.
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