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  1. I'm upping this for the newbies. Great advice in here.
  2. Expect to be wined and dined. Enjoy it because it's a great opportunity to meet scholars you're interested in working with (even if you don't attend that university)! All I advise: Be open, friendly and polite. Some of the prospectives you'll meet (even if they choose other places) will be future colleagues. Don't be a tool and brag. (This happened during one of my visits). Note: After being admitted, don't feel the need to visit EVERY school you got into. If you know you're definitely not attending, skip the visit. I felt like on the admission weekends, I was tiptoeing around trying to be as well read as possible around faculty, being nice to everyone... and it's not worth going if you know you're not going to be attending that program. Also, if you think you'll have a chance to see the city the university is in, you're very wrong because you will not have time for that.
  3. I'm visiting friends, spending time with family and backpacking Europe! This is my last summer of freedom as my program is year round for the next 5 years... Please enjoy your summers guys!
  4. Definitely check out programs that are strong on the life course. Minnesota is the one that comes to mind. Other ideas?
  5. I'd just suggest really learning the various models/different statistical coding languages. By really understanding what components that work together in a model from a statistical standpoint, you can gain a lot of insight into why certain models are used in certain situations and be able to interpret the results from academic papers (using models you know). For me, that was a very good jumping off point. There's a lot of quant stuff going on in sociology now. Social network analysis is the new big thing, it seems. Personally, I'm very excited about event-history modeling since it allows you to really utilize longitudinal studies. Obviously, that is more on the graduate level, but I'd just suggest immersing yourself in understanding/being able to really interpret the results that you see. Learning SAS/SPSS/Stata/R is a valuable tool as well.
  6. I'll be attending one of the universities mentioned on this list for demography in fall! My advice: Look carefully at which specialties are combined with the demography degree. One of the reasons why I chose my grad school is that the my area of specialty in sociology is one of the best in the country. This combined with the fact that the demography degree is so well-respected played a vital role in my decision. Similarly, the school I chose preferably had a well-respected population center. Just in response to Demographer's comment about it being less competitive, it's not. It's still HIGHLY competitive. Wait until you apply; you'll see.
  7. I just made my decision between 2 great schools. I used the same sort of criteria as FertMigMort, now that I think of it.
  8. I'm a bit nervous about relocating as I know absolutely nobody where I'll be moving. This is my first "real" move, so I'm just nervous about getting settled: finding friends (how did I make them in the first place!?), finding a roommate, finding an apartment--and just living in a town I've never been to. I am a veteran of cold weather. Seriously, it's not that bad once you get used to it. For a good jacket that fits most seasons, I'd suggest one that was made of QUALITY wool or down. Good wool will be thicker--and not scratchy! Check the liner to make sure that it's sewn tight/possibly lined with something warm. I suggest buying it 1 size up so that you can fit a sweater/layers under it. A store like Macy's carries jackets in ALL locations rather than just in colder places, so I'd try to find out which department stores would have clearance jackets right now (near you). Warning: You DO NOT need a floor length down jacket like I've seen with many migrators from warmer climates. You just need a warm coat. A peacoat is my go-to jacket 3/4 seasons. I generally buy it 1 size up so I can wear it with a sweater in winter--or sans sweater in fall/spring. A good hat simply will cover your ears and stay on your head. Fleece is always good although there's a million materials out there. Try JcPenney or basically any major department store. In terms of shoes, you just need GOOD waterproof boots. You don't necessarily need SNOW boot although I'd suggest a cute pair of boots that is both lined with something warm in addition to being waterproof. I do own BOTH although I only use my snowboots like 10 days a year, which doesn't justify the cost to me. Some people just prefer a well-made pair of leather boots that they waterproof themselves (useful for all seasons!). However, you might just want to get one nice pair of warm boots that also look acceptable (and not just in the snow!) that is suited for late fall-spring. This isn't really the BEST time to buy them as clearance on boots just ended in Northern states. Wait until October/November to find a good pair. Running outside IS possible! You tend to warm up so quickly that it's not worth it to spend crazy amounts on exercise gear. Personally, I start working out indoors after a certain point in winter although you will always see outdoor runners. I like UnderArmour's warm clothes although they tend to be too warm after you run for 30min. Honestly, as long as you wear a hat/gloves, you can wear a sweatshirt/sweatpants/shirt/sneakers to run in the cold. Snow is a bit tougher to run in as it weighs you down, so I'd suggest just running @ your university gym. PM me if you want some more advice about winter.
  9. I tried to make it clear I had been accepted to/was looking at similar universities as I think disclosure is important. I opted to take the approach to just talk about research/whatever came up instead of my decision. I felt I just had better connections with students and faculty whenever I decided not to disclose what schools specifically I was looking at. I think it helps professors look at you less as an applicant but more as a student in the program. This will result in a better discussion than when they're discussing their view of x school--and trying to sway you. My feeling is that even if you don't end up at that school, you'll be able to cultivate a relationship with an established faculty member who may be able to work with you in the future or help you. I'm looking at this from a networking standpoint as you would at a professional conference. These are influential people who are willing to talk with you; unless it's a private conversation once trust is established, don't disclose the school. If you feel the need tell simply say: "I'm looking at large/medium/small public/private school that is very good in (specialty)--very similar to your school." One professor actually complimented me on the fact that I was so tactful about this--and just focused on meeting her/the research/the program. My advice: Talk to grad students/other applicants about other schools (if you must). Be tactful when you're discussing this during the visit. These are your future colleagues; keep that in mind. As SocialGroovements says, You're IN. Wearing jeans to your visit won't get your visit rescinded, ha. This isn't an interview--and you want to be approachable. However, don't look SLOPPY as you're meeting professors for the first time. However, you don't need a full suit or even a power skirt/heels. My advice for people unsure about HOW dressy: Dress as you would for a class presentation with your peers. Basically: put together/semi-professional, but not overly dressy.
  10. Advice I was given regarding my gap between UG and G: "ENJOY BEING YOUNG AND IN A CITY. GO OUT WHENEVER YOU CAN." This is was completely out of left-field from a prof I always considered very very straightlaced. Ha
  11. Ha, giacomo... You can pay the oversize luggage fee and we'll be even. Seriously though, Europe is on the bucket list (if my bank account will be so kind).
  12. Well, actually...this summer I might have enough for a really nice trip as I'm basically enslaving myself to work right now. However, I'm just concerned that I'll spend too much...and all this work for grad school will go to waste. bah.
  13. You're seriously reading my mind right now. I feel like I'll be old by the time I have the $$ to afford to fulfill my terrible wanderlust.
  14. Spiltends, agreed! For my job, I need to dress "business casual" although I find it just not looking good on most people. For my last visit, I went with something that was more me: nice jeans + nice shoes + blazer. The other students were dressed in your typical ill-fitted "business casual" clothes. Advice: Girls, just get a nice looking blazer, not the $10 one you see at the store. A good blazer seriously makes your outfit look more x1000 more polished than a cheap one and it will last longer. I think one of the reasons I've never liked business casual is that for those of us who are younger and can't afford quality business casual clothes, we end up buying these spandex-y tops that never flatter too much--and these blazers that just cut wrong. I felt kind of underdressed since I wasn't wearing a blazer/slacks/work top. I'm very good at pulling off "polished casual" as I call it, but the second I can't wear my jeans... I start feeling uncomfortable in what I'm wearing. btw guys, I suggest wearing something nice (in your view!) the first day--however, it seemed like the second day-jeans were fine.
  15. Dress like you're going to a decent office job where you need to wear a nice dress/skirt/pants + nice top. Don't go too dressy, but look put together. Also, if you have a chance to spend time with grad students outside of the visit out/at a restaurant---go. They will answer more honestly and you'll enjoy the visit more. Caveat: don't get drunk and make an ass of yourself.
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