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Found 3 results

  1. KayAnne14

    Screw The Back Up!

    Hello my fellow potential grad school students! So recently, I've been getting a few messages asking me what I'm doing during the abysmal "waiting it out" process. Rather than going into detail on every single reply, I've decided a blog post would be the most beneficial to everyone, myself included. As much as you may think differently, I am new to this entire process myself. I say that because I want everyone to know one simple thing: I have no idea what I'm doing. Yes, I may have started this blog and yes, it may have connected with people, but that doesn't mean I'm some sort of pro! I am a 22 year old who decided to follow my dream and take the next step toward my next educational frenemy (aka grad school). So, let me answer the question that so many have asked: what am I doing to pass the time? First, let me just say a whole lot of nothing. Yes, I work, and yes, I'm partially continuing personal research on a few matters, but it boils down to doing a whole lot of nothing. I work 5-6 days a week, go to pt about twice a week, I try to do research but half the time I get distracted half way through and end up on random websites like Pinterest, Facebook, and the occasional YouTube which gets me hooked for a few hours. I would love to say that I'm continuing my research, which is coming along swimmingly, and I have made new discoveries which will soon lead me to the path of enlightenment. Or that I'm planning for my next step (grad school or otherwise) and have everything planned out to a tee. Also, it would be fun if I could tell you that I became famous in my short time period on this blog and am now in the process of publishing my first worldwide famous book that is soon going to be made into a movie and be sold out all over the world. After all, any of those options right now would be worth my time; however, sadly none of that is happening. The truth (besides what I already hinted to above), secondly, is I'm thinking about a lot of "what if" scenarios. I know I've touched on this a bit in the past, but I wanted to be honest with you. It's not like I write about something and then it magically changes the moment it gets over 200 reads. That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works. The issue doesn't go away. No matter what you or I may try to do. The thought of rejection will forever linger in the back of my mind, and if you're like me then you're the same (hate to tell you). I think everyone fears rejection, after all, no one likes to be told "no" or that they aren't good enough. If you do like to be told these things...honestly, I have no advice or witty remark to make here so you've officially left me at a blank, but still. Rejection sucks. Especially since we all know how it feels. With the thought of rejection comes the scenario of what I (or you) am/are going to do if this whole expedition of grad school doesn't work the way we expect it to. In other words, what's going to happen next if this doesn't work out? Well, I feel like in that sentence lies the root to our underlying problem. I'm sure that you've planned out how grad school is going to work out for you, where you're going to go, and what is going to happen after graduation. I have to and there's nothing wrong with that! However, if you're like me, then the question of "what if" lies deep in the core and, like I said, here lies the problem. I know I've said having a back up plan is a smart move (after all, I probably have over a dozen at this point and I still continue to add to that list), but after typing this out so many times it got me wondering. When I started to wonder I came to a frighteningly, devastating, partial realization that may be only for me, but I'm going to tell you anyways because that's the point of you reading up until this point. If by having all these back up plans, like I said I did, then that, in fact, is my problem. I started to think that by putting all this effort into the "what if" question scenarios, I'm actually taking away from what I actually want to happen which is grad school. I know that with applications already in there's not much I can do besides wait, but I could still be planning out what is going to happen not "if" but "when" I get in. We (again, I'm assuming you're like me) put all this effort into the higher possibility that our dreams will fail, but that takes away our hope of fulfilling our dreams. So, and I know this is easier said than done, stop. Stop degrading yourself to your back up plan. If it happens, fine, if it doesn't then that's great too. But at this point, you back up plan has taken away enough of our precious time. Now it's time to think about what we WANT to happen, rather than think about what may or may not happen. Finally, my last piece of advice is simple: go shopping. Not literally, of course! After all, we are potential grad school students, we're beyond broke. But play around with a few ideas like, "where you're going to live once you get accepted?" Or, "what are you going to decorate your apartment like?" To which, may I suggest Pinterest. Spark the inspiration of acceptance and think about these things. Look at apartments, look at decorating/organizing ideas, and look at scholarship possibilities (after all, we're broke and need all the help we can get). You've got more fire in you than you realize, and I hope that this sparks a little bit of inspiration. Anyways, thank you all for reading and I apologize if you have read some of my recent stuff...had a little bit of writer's block and I think I may finally be out of it. Be sure to check out the #SpreadTheLove campaign on my blog, and I also have another poll about Facebook so be sure to check it out. Also, I love hearing from you guys, so thank you all for your comments, your "fan mail" for those of you calling it that, and for your shares! It's amazing to know that people actually get a small kick out of reading my writing and it really makes me happy. Hope everyone has a great week, and I look forward to hearing from you in some way, shape, or form! Until next time, K.
  2. Only because "the thing no one wants to talk about yet everyone needs to think about at some point but no one wants to because it may seem like you're heading towards failure" was a bit long to be title worthy... Welcome back, guys and gals and all those lovely folks who have read my writing before...you know, in that one "blog" post... I hope everyone is having a great day! Why? Because I'm about to ruin it. I know, I'm such a horrible person, but it was bound to happen eventually. In my last post (So, you've entered the abyss...) I briefly discussed the idea of having a back up (or BU for those loyal readers out there...you know, the entire one of you). Well, now it is time for me to elaborate. This is the one thing that everyone who begins the grad school process must come across at some point, however briefly it may be. The truth of the matter is, though, this is going to be the path that some of us end up taking. I thought it best to bring it into the light. Now, the BU plan is different for everybody and doesn't have to be set on a single thing. For example, I'll use myself. While my graduate dream is to become the world's best and most well-known maritime archaeologist by the time I'm in my early 30s, I have a hugely different back up plan...12, in fact. What can I say? My OCD causes me to plan for multiple contingencies. After all, you never know what may happen! So, obviously, my next plan is to become a world renowned writer. Just kidding! While there may be one or two of you out there who are actually getting what little amusement you can out of my writing, it's not my next plan of action. A plan of action, yes. I wouldn't have a three or four half written books sitting on my computer for nothing if it wasn't. Apart from becoming some sort of writer, I may end up starting my own dessert food truck where all the fandoms can unite in the form of your new favorite desserts. (And before you ask, I do have baking experience. I used to be a dessert baker at a local...well, that's beside the point.) If that doesn't work out, I'll go work in a museum somewhere, or maybe do an internship abroad, or, heck, I don't know, become a hard core princess of some small unheard of country! Although not every single one of those may seem attainable (the part about me becoming a writer part, because of course it's possible for me to become a princess), that's beside the point. The point is to have a plan. Any sort of plan, because any sort of plan is still some sort of plan. So, while you are starting to have that little inkling in the back of your head of something else that may seem a bit interesting to you, my advice: look into it. Entertain the idea of actually accomplishing it. That being said, however, don't let a simple back up plan distract you from your main goal. You've got it within your to get yourself where you need to be. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. At least now you know that you'll always have my vote of support. So now go! Go out and make your back up plan. If you don't get into grad school, then show the world just what you can do without it. Don't cut yourself down before you've even begun to fully stand up on your own two feet. Become the tree that rises towards the heavens and who's broken vines and branches have only made you stronger. If you get accepted into your dream program, that's amazing! But if not, then don't worry because there is something better out there for you, even if it takes you a little while to find it. I really wanted to end this little post on a high note so it wouldn't be so depressing, and I hope that I achieved that... Thank you for reading this far and I hope that one day I get to hear what your back up plan may or may not be. Be sure to stay in touch and good luck with all your future endeavors! Sincerely, K.
  3. Undergrad Institution: A University of California Major(s): Bioengineering / Biomedical Engineering Minor(s): Electrical Engineering and Political Science GPA in Major: 2.60 Overall GPA: 2.54 Length of Degree: 4 years Type of Student: Domestic, Black male. Degrees Applying for: MS in EE (where research interests align) or MS in BioE/BME GRE Scores: Not taken yet Research Experience: Undergraduate Researcher in Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering Lab. I worked on two projects here, one of them analyzing ketamine as an anti-depressant (effectiveness and side-effects) and the other is real time "mind reading" through miniature microscopic imaging and mathematic computation. Two tentative authorships should come out of this. 2 presentations. 15 hrs/week. Took a lot of personal ownership on the projects I had, and felt genuinely very interested in learning more about the more electrical engineering side of this field (Signal Processing, Neuroengineering, and MEMS). By the time applications are in, I will be in this lab for 1.5 years. Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Academic scholarships UROP Grants 3 Dean's Lists. Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Senior Design Project: Will be related to Microfluidic Health Diagnostic Devices or Embedded Drug Delivery Device. Internship at major medical device and pharmaceutical company. Any Miscellaneous Information that Might Help: Campaigned for and established a food pantry on campus to fight food insecurity. It secured funding for next 10 years. The project started at the end of freshman year, and I will be seeing it through to the end. Have tutored STEM concepts and been a part of many efforts to recruit African-descent, Latino, and women into STEM. (summer camps, tutoring, volunteering, mentoring, etc.) Difficult life circumstances -- had to work 35 hrs/wk. Many family deaths (6+), increased responsibilities at home (tutoring, cooking, picking up brother), and more I'd rather not get into. Because of this, I have a huge upward trend in my more recent grades, and I hope to do well with the 3 remaining quarters before application season ends. I am here to ask two questions: I have two letters of recc in mind already -- one from the PI of my lab and one from a professor I took an upper division class with. The upper division class relied heavily on class I'd done poorly in. The class and research the professor conducts are related to my research interests, and I got an excellent grade in it. For my last one, I could ask the dean of my school, since we've worked together before multiple times doing recruitment, retention, and other events, and he knows me in a professional (but not academic) capacity. The reason I am a little hesitant is that I don't think he knows me as well as the PI for my lab and the upper div professor who's class I did well in. I can also ask my manager for the internship, but again, he only knows me in a professional capacity. Should I try to make a good impression with the 6 more biomedical engineering professors whose classes I will take, and ask one of them? Who should I ask for my third letter of rec? I know my numbers don't stack up against the average applicant. What are some EE MS programs I should be looking at, considering my stats? I want to study EE so I get more classes about signal processing and computation so I could study BCI's, signal processing, and neuro-engineering with a more solid base in coding and data structures. I have a few programs in mind, but I truly don't think I will stack up against the competition with the average applicants at those, honestly. Thanks for your help, and I appreciate the honesty and advice.
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