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About heyheyhey42

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  • Application Season
    2020 Fall
  • Program
    Speech-Language Pathology

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  1. I will most likely be deferring my admission a year at UW-Milwaukee, if I can. Switching to online courses was a really hard transition for me, and I do not want to do it for another semester or even year. I feel like I didn't get as much out of my classes this semester, and I'm just worried the same thing will happen. (This is specific to me. I know some people do really well with online programs, but there's a reason I didn't apply to any online schools in the first place.) On top of not wanting to do online courses, I am still not 100% on my decision. I probably would have accepted at ASU if not for the pandemic, but that's its own post. If I can defer and UWM will hold my seat, I will, and then probably apply to some other schools and work as a paraprofessional or daycare.
  2. I know that it is generally advised against now, but I asked the graduate coordinator at one of the schools I applied to if a PhD student would be okay, and they said that would be perfectly fine. The programs I applied to generally said two academic professors in the field of CSD, and someone else who could speak to your professional abilities. I figured that would be fine, but I guess not. Luckily I was still accepted to a few programs and will, COVID-19 permitting, be attending this fall.
  3. Yeah, I also believe this is true. I know in my case, my lab has probably 30 RAs, and many of them were applying for graduate school at the same time I did. They sent out a template for us to use, and the graduate student gets to write a small blurb, but it was mostly the same format for everyone. I thought a more personal letter would be better for me, and this didn't prove to be true.
  4. Did you have work in a related field? Were your professional references SLP or other clinicians? I think since mine was in academia, but not yet a PhD, it put me at a disadvantage.
  5. They couldn't comment on the content of the letters because they don't have access to them during quarantine. I know two of my recommenders (both professors in my department) fairly well, and they both agreed to write positive letters for me. A few of my classmates who were admitted also had letters from them both. They said in an email that a PhD student generally "isn't a very good idea," and that it's always better to get a letter from a PI. They also suggested trying to get a letter from the head of the department, but no courses with the department head were available that lined up with my course sequence. 🤷‍♀️
  6. I was rejected from my overall top choice school, UW-Madison. I'm graduating with my bachelor's from UW this weekend, so I already knew the area and some of the faculty. It was a great choice for me: location, cost, externship opportunities, and strength of the program. I thought I had a pretty solid application and was fairly confident I would at least be waitlisted. Imagine my surprise when I read my rejection email. Given the craziness that is COVID-19, I've recently been considering taking a gap year, and applying again to schools this fall. I decided to email someone on the admissions committee at UW to see if they had any suggestions on how to improve my chances. She said that overall, my application was pretty competitive. My downfall was my letters of recommendation. I work in a large lab, and decided to use a PhD student mentor as a recommender. This is someone I've met with regularly over the last couple years, and has seen my work. I decided to go with the PhD student over my PI, because I have never had a one-on-one conversation with them. I figured it would be better to get a personal letter from someone who knows me, rather than a template one from someone who probably doesn't know my name. I doubt this was the only reason I didn't get into UW, but I bet it made a pretty big impact. So, for those of you applying this fall or any other time in the future: learn from me! Even if you don't know your PI that well, ask them for a letter of rec over a grad student. Maybe it won't be the deciding factor between admitting you or not, but it certainly won't hurt.
  7. That’s a possibility! I know the coordinator mentioned we can do an externship in every state but California. It’s ok if you don’t know this, but do you know what housing looks like for that? I can’t afford two leases, and I’m guessing lots of places won’t offer a semester-only lease.
  8. I saw somebody posted on the results page that they had to email two people and call a third to be told they were denied. I just emailed the person who sent out admissions decisions, but I'm not holding my breath. I haven't been impressed with ASU's lack of communication, even before COVID-19 shut everything down. At this point, I'm assuming I was rejected.
  9. That I am not 100% sure about. I am trying to stay positive and make myself excited, but I tried and failed to "get through" undergrad at a place I didn't love, and ended up destroying my mental health. I had to take a year and a half off from school before I felt ready try again. I don't want to be a self-fulfilling prophecy and am trying to be happy about my decision, but that will always be in the back of my mind. I don't really like the campus or surrounding area. It feels a bit too cramped. And, as I grew up in Milwaukee, I was hoping to explore somewhere else for a little while. There are things I like about Milwaukee, but I'm ready for a change. I could just move after I graduate, but I feel like finding a CF in a completely new state could be challenging, especially when I could be competing with local applicants. I liked that Northwestern had connections to a lot of unique externship settings, and they have a lot of interesting research being conducted. But, it's too late for Northwestern. I'm happy about not having to pay off $100k in loans, but I still wish I could have gotten in at a school I would be happier at.
  10. I’ve thought about this, but how would schools I apply to react when they see I’ve already tried grad school? Could they think I’m just not cut out for grad school/SLP, or be nervous that I’d drop out again?
  11. @littlet4lks this is honestly another reason why I’m considering a gap year. I’ve made it through online school this semester, but I just don’t think I will get as much out of online lectures and simucase. I’d rather wait and get the in-person experience.
  12. Do you have any other suggestions for trying to make the best of it? None of the research professors are doing really interests me, and while I am thinking of a PhD in several years, I just don't know how I would be any happier doing research I'm not invested in.
  13. I felt like I had a pretty good shot at UWEC and UWW, but I was waitlisted at both of those schools. I felt pretty good about Marquette and UW-Madison (where I am currently a senior, I am aware that it’s still really competitive but a large portion of my classmates got in). I’m not sure there is such thing as a “safety school” for SLP programs.
  14. Hi, thanks for your response. I actually grew up in a Milwaukee suburb and am quite familiar with the area. I was hoping to get some more time away from Milwaukee because while it’s home, I want a little space to branch out. I can’t quite express it, but I just don’t think UWM is a good fit for me. Some of the research professors are doing is interesting, but nothing that necessarily aligns with my clinical interests (I am considering a PhD down the line, but not 100% yet.)
  15. Some of you may have seen my previous posts trying to decide between Northwestern and UW-Milwaukee, which out of the 10 schools I applied to, were the only ones that accepted me. Neither were my top choice. I would've preferred Northwestern, but I really didn't want to be over $100,000 in debt. So I committed to UWM, but kept my name on a couple waitlists. I based my decision solely on finances. Now, I almost feel like I regret my decision. I know that it's the best decision in the long run. I know that UWM still has a good program that will get me to my goal of being an SLP. I'm just not convinced UWM is the place for me. I've been told before that grad school is what you make of it, and it's a lot different from undergrad, so "fit" doesn't matter as much. I've also been told to just move somewhere after grad school if Milwaukee isn't for me. I'm someone who is very easily affected by my environment. I've visited UWM a couple times and while the campus was nice enough, I'm not sure I'll feel comfortable on campus. My mental health took a big hit my first semester of college because I wasn't comfortable with where I was (a similar situation where I had to prioritize finances over comfort). I really don't want that to happen again. I've cried quite a few times out of pure frustration about this. I keep thinking about what I could've done differently. Should I have taken the GRE again? Retaken the class I failed freshman year because of my mental health (not a CSD course)? Should I have volunteered at the clinic more? Tried to find a job related to the field? Applied to more schools? I keep running through scenarios in my head. I feel like I've made a mistake and I'm going to regret something I did or didn't do. Did any of you currently in SLP grad school feel this way? Is it worth it to withdraw, take a gap year to improve my application, and apply to schools again? I just feel so defeated.
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