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  1. Upvote
    sbgrad reacted to cog in NSF GRFP 2013-14   
    Ohhhhhh yeah you should definitely shatter that illusion.
    I won the award last year (why am I here?) after two years of nothing (no HMs).  The things that reviewers tune into are SO WEIRD.  One of my reviewers from last year went on and on about how qualified I am because of all the biology techniques I'm trained in...  that I haven't used since I was a freshman in college, and which are totally irrelevant to my current research. The other two reviewers' comments were actually germane to my current research, so some of them pay attention.
    In the past I had a reviewer suggest that my advisor probably came up with my research proposal. This was for NO REASON. My advisor even told me he included in his LOR that my essays were all my original work (I guess that's something they're supposed to say). Also, the research really was, in reality, very sincerely my own idea AND different from what my advisor normally does. So frustrating to be eliminated because of a reviewer's whim.
    I've also read reviews from friends who had reviewers that fell in love with them and wrote long, poetic reviews about how what an inspiring applicant they are. Reviewers are crazy! And they go through these things fast. There's a big luck-of-the-draw dimension here. 
    So if you get the award: be gentle to your colleagues who didn't! And don't rest too long on your laurels.
    And if you don't: Please don't take a GRFP rejection as any kind of statement on your value as a scientist.
  2. Upvote
    sbgrad got a reaction from vermoose in Santa Barbara, CA   
    I lived in a 4-bedroom, but I'm pretty sure the rooms are about the same size either way.
    The bedrooms come with an xl-full bed (width of a full, length of a queen), a desk, two shelving units, and a closet. They're not very big, and there's no real room to add any additional furniture, but I never felt cramped.
    The living room comes with a couch, two upholstered chairs, a coffee table and a couple of end tables. There's a storage cabinet-thing as well, not sure what to call it but we used it for extra kitchen storage. There's also a dining nook with a 4-person table. Again, there's not really room for extra furniture but I've seen some pretty impressive rearranging.
    The kitchen has a fridge, 4 electric stovetops, an oven, a microwave, and a sink. No dishwasher. Not very much counter space but I cooked all the time and was always able to make it work. I do enjoy having a bigger kitchen now, though. I would often use the dining table as prep space when the counter wasn't enough.
    The bathrooms have your basic toilet, shower, and sink. There's a medicine cabinet behind the mirror and storage under the sink. Again, minimal counter space.

    There were also 2 coat closets in the 4-bedroom. Not sure how that works in a 2-bedroom. There are also windows all over the place, and the heating works well when you need it.

    I'm pretty sure there are laundry facilities in every building. There was in mine, at least. $1.25 for a wash, $.25 for every 15 min of drying.

    My main complaint was that it's small, but space is expensive in this area. Personally I think San Clemente is a great place to start. Rent is decent, it's convenient, and probably a lot of the other first years in your program will be living there.
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