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ridgey

Contact with the programme before fall

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I just now accepted an offer. Should I email and introduce myself to my advisors? Or can that wait until I move to town?

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I just now accepted an offer. Should I email and introduce myself to my advisors? Or can that wait until I move to town?

I would say start now. Maybe even visit one day over the summer and see who you can speak with.

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My opinion is that it's probably a good idea to establish contact way beforehand with the professors that you're most interested in. Ask about whether or not they're taking students this year and/or if they're interested in taking someone for some smaller projects to test the water (if you don't already know from visits), ask them what kind of projects they have and are going to be extending that are relevant to your interests, and even ask for some suggested preliminary reading to get up to speed on the projects you like before getting there. If you do that, I think you can hit the ground running when you get there. That's what I'm doing / going to try to do. I suppose it also shows initiative and enthusiasm which can only serve to improve professors' impression of you.

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ask for some suggested preliminary reading to get up to speed on the projects you like before getting there

This. Your summer should be spent getting ahead if at all possible. Ask for syllabi from past courses that sound interesting to you and then mine the bibliography.

Edited by Postbib Yeshuist

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This may be unpopular or may depend on field, but I say your summer will be best spent resting and having fun doing non-work-related things, because you're not going to have time to do anything for a while after you start graduate school. There's no need to try and impress professors before you get to your school, you'll have more than enough time to do that once the semester begins.

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This may be unpopular or may depend on field, but I say your summer will be best spent resting and having fun doing non-work-related things, because you're not going to have time to do anything for a while after you start graduate school. There's no need to try and impress professors before you get to your school, you'll have more than enough time to do that once the semester begins.

I 100% agree with this. If there are 5 books you've been meaning to read for fun, read them before you start or wait and hope that you'll have time to read them over break. Just as an example, I have been reading the same novel since my flight back to school in January. I'm about 1/3 of the way through, and was 1/4 through when I landed in January... TAing, grading, research, grant apps, coursework, and getting prepped for summer fieldwork have taken up ALL of my time. Enjoy the freedom while you can because it will be the last true vacation you have for a long time.

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I agree with the last two posts here. I was originally nervous about my abilities before starting courses, but after talking to a current grad student in the department I will be going to, I'm more relaxed about the whole thing.

They told me that no matter how much reading I do ahead of time or no matter how much I think I can prepare myself, I am still going to feel overwhelmed, frightened, and under-prepared my first semester/year, so I might as well spend my summer doing my own thing and not think about school all that much.

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