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Anxiously Hopeful

I do not have a plan B

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Ever since I finished with my applications in the first week of December, I had been braving the waiting period quite well.  I enjoyed Christmas with my family, helped a friend with his applications, read books and articles, and worked out. The anxiety started creeping in from New Year onwards when in the results page of gradcafe I read the acceptance posts of the students. What relieved was that the posts were made by Ph.D. aspirants since I have applied to a master’s program. However, the relief was short-lived since today I noticed that a person had been accepted to the master’s program in Biomedical Engineering at Purdue. I have also applied there, and that gives me chills. Am I about to hear from them any time soon or will I be notified in a subtle way that I have been rejected in April? Did they consider the updated statement of purpose that I sent them? Such doubts wreak havoc in my brain.  While I have applied to six other graduate schools, including some very ambitious ones like Johns Hopkins and other safe ones like Arizona State University, what scares me is that I do not know what I am going to do if I did not get into any university. Having scored a reasonably decent score of 323 in GRE and a gold medal during graduation, I was confident enough to ignore plan B back then. Nevertheless, now, when I see my colleagues doing something or the other with their lives while I sit at home with online courses and constant check my mail and gradcafe, I don’t feel right. 
Nonetheless, there is still a voice in my head saying I should not overthink when the results haven’t even arrived yet and that everything happens for a reason. Hope keeps pushing me forward. Studying in the USA is my dream, and I will not give up.

PS: This is my first blog post :)
 

Edited by Anxiously Hopeful

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You should be hopeful and it is not over until it is over. Unless you get a rejection letter from University, hope is still there. Last year my friend was admitted with full funding offer in one university which rescinded the offer a month later citing lack of funds in department!! She had applied in eight universities and got rejection from 6 while got unfunded offer from another university. It was disappointing for her. To her amazement, she got funded offer from both Universities in Mid June, which was very very late. Somehow she went through the visa process and yes, she is a grad student in a very good university. 

In all fairness, keep your fingers crossed, I am also on the same page as you are but with slightly different circumstances. My 2018 was not that great, I couldn't get visa after securing admission, so I am part of process once again. With all the qualities you have, I am sure even if you do not get a favorable response, you would do something productive and good.

 

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Considering my plan B is staying at my dead end job for another year, I feel your pain!  Still, I wouldn't overthink not having heard anything right away from the schools.  Did the person's claimed acceptance line up with that program's usual acceptance window based on past years' results on the admissions search here?  I wouldn't feel too worried unless you get to the point where the primary wave of acceptances for all of your schools has gone been over for a few weeks, and even then there are possibilities of late acceptances as @vaibhavpandey said.  Remember that in the US, accepted students have until April 15th to make a final decision on all of their offers so if you're waitlisted (officially or unofficially) that's another point where you might get some good news if you're a borderline acceptance case.  So keep your head up!  You definitely seem to be a very qualified candidate from a numbers perspective.

In terms of a plan B, it's always good to have one.  Last year when I was unsuccessful in applying I spent time thinking about how I could best improve my application for the next year.  I finished my master's thesis and my MA degree, presented my work at a conference, and spent a lot of time polishing my writing sample and statement of purpose.  I also found the job that I have now which isn't glamorous or a long term solution, but pays the bills for the time being.  If you're serious about going through another application cycle if you don't get in this time around, I would begin thinking about a plan B and how to make yourself a more attractive candidate for the next time around.  Work on your writing sample, stay current with research in your field, try to find activities that boost your CV.  If you can find a job related to your field for the next year, all the better!  Basically expect the best, plan for the worst.  Even if you get in this year, these activities will help keep you busy while you wait for the programs' responses.

Good luck to you and everyone here; hopefully we'll all be headed to our dream schools this fall!

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On 1/15/2019 at 4:29 AM, vaibhavpandey said:

You should be hopeful and it is not over until it is over. Unless you get a rejection letter from University, hope is still there. Last year my friend was admitted with full funding offer in one university which rescinded the offer a month later citing lack of funds in department!! She had applied in eight universities and got rejection from 6 while got unfunded offer from another university. It was disappointing for her. To her amazement, she got funded offer from both Universities in Mid June, which was very very late. Somehow she went through the visa process and yes, she is a grad student in a very good university. 

In all fairness, keep your fingers crossed, I am also on the same page as you are but with slightly different circumstances. My 2018 was not that great, I couldn't get visa after securing admission, so I am part of process once again. With all the qualities you have, I am sure even if you do not get a favorable response, you would do something productive and good.

 

Wait what? This can happen? How did you not get a visa after securing admission? Did the embassy tell you why they rejected your visa? ?

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@Anxiously Hopeful It is similar for me - worse, I think. I am applying for PhD for the second time. The last time I applied was in 2016 when I was going through traumatic times- I was not in my right mind and I understand now that I had submitted shitty applications, so I am not astonished that I didn't get anywhere. This time, I have more qualifications (including university teaching experience for 1 year, more publications - even a book of my own), my SoP is better researched and all my mentors have given me warm votes of confidence. Yet, at least two of the five places I applied to have sent out interview invitations this week and I haven't heard from any.

I have taken leave from work (thank god it's term break at the university) and I am so anxious I could eat my hands. I know that there are various factors involved, and this does not necessarily mean that I am a failure, but I need to leave this city and I am so tired to begin trying again from square one.  

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On 1/18/2019 at 2:25 AM, ViralCapsidGuy said:

Wait what? This can happen? How did you not get a visa after securing admission? Did the embassy tell you why they rejected your visa? ?

Unfortunately my visa is still in process (Since August 2018)!!! ??

It was EU research masters, which could have improved my application for fall 19 PhD. Nevertheless, I am back to my job and going through the stressful process of applications again. I have heard from only one program till now, which was a reject but I am hoping something positive will be there for my 2019.

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On 1/18/2019 at 2:22 PM, Troodondodo said:

@Anxiously Hopeful It is similar for me - worse, I think. I am applying for PhD for the second time. The last time I applied was in 2016 when I was going through traumatic times- I was not in my right mind and I understand now that I had submitted shitty applications, so I am not astonished that I didn't get anywhere. This time, I have more qualifications (including university teaching experience for 1 year, more publications - even a book of my own), my SoP is better researched and all my mentors have given me warm votes of confidence. Yet, at least two of the five places I applied to have sent out interview invitations this week and I haven't heard from any.

I have taken leave from work (thank god it's term break at the university) and I am so anxious I could eat my hands. I know that there are various factors involved, and this does not necessarily mean that I am a failure, but I need to leave this city and I am so tired to begin trying again from square one.  

This is second year running for me too, I hope we go through someway. It is stressful to see people getting responses but we getting absolutely nothing. ?

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