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So many people are talking about their backup plan ideas for what they might do if they don't get in to their program(s) of choice or don't receive funding. In a perfect world, we all get in and we get funding! I know I've been adding to my folder of end-of-the-world memes ?

While we wait, what are your other hypothetical options? Applying again? Traveling? Another career path? Throwing a silent fit? Maybe this will help those of us who are freaking out about our futures (or at least provide a good distraction).

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I think I would try to work at a university or company as a research assistant or lab tech. If that doesn’t work, at least get a job in retail until I get a science or engineering job. Work for a year or maybe two in order of get some experience. I might travel if I get a enough money at some point. After that, I would apply again. But I would want to get some more research experience under my belt since I am already taking a gap year and I wouldn’t want to look like a slacker. 

My dream is to travel more, though, if admission this time doesn’t work! 

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I've got a job offer at Google – as a bonus, my boyfriend also works at Google and we could live together instead of doing long distance while I get my masters. So I've got a pretty sweet fallback if I get rejected from my dream school! ?

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To be honest, I never really thought about it...I guess failure is too terrible to contemplate. But as good luck has it, I recently started a job that is quite nice, so in all likelihood I would continue working for a year in order to safe some money and then reapply. Or maybe I would accept my defeat and simply go to a safety school, which (surely?!) won't reject me. 

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8 hours ago, crazycheese8 said:

I've got a job offer at Google – as a bonus, my boyfriend also works at Google and we could live together instead of doing long distance while I get my masters. So I've got a pretty sweet fallback if I get rejected from my dream school! ?

Wow, that's amazing! Does that make it hard to choose? Top school or Google, or would you go to one of your others if you had the chance?

@Moods Where would you travel? 

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(1) sign up for a half-ironman so that I'm too busy training to be sad (2) keep working and figure out how to do this research without the support of a university, I guess.

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I applied for a position as a researcher at the local hospital. The requirements are very aligned with the research I have done before, so I think I have a good shot at that.

But I still have to make a plan C in case that fails too.

 

If I get rejected all over again and don't get this position at the hospital, I'll probably just acknowledge defeat and stop applying because I don't think my profile will get better this year ?

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My backup is attending my Alma Mater's business school for a master's in either big data or information assurance, staying with my lab group, and then redoing PhD applications. 

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3 hours ago, MayliC said:

@Moods Where would you travel? 

Oh, I have soooooo many places I want to visit, I could on forever. But I would love to travel around the US more. Visit some national parks (Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Yosemite) and big cities (Boston, Seattle, Portland, San Fran, Philly, Chicago), eat delicious food at mom-and-pop places, and make memories with the people I am with. My dream trip, though, is either exploring Europe by train or go to Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and Korea all in one big trip.

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Continue working in my current company, at least just got promoted this year so if didn't get my master, I will apply again the next year, and also keep an eye in the job market for new opportunities. 

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Attend a language school in Japan for the school year and conduct independent research in Kyoto. Try again in autumn.

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I am really fortunate in that my undergrad school has some really good connections. I've had a few recruiters from Lockheed Martin reach out to me in the last couple of months, so I'll probably interview with them and hopefully I'll get an offer. If all goes well, I'll try to get a Master's while working there and then moving onto a PhD instead of the current plan to push straight for the PhD. I would like to move, but my parents have also been kind enough to let me live there so I can save up and the rent amount they asked was really small. I feel hopeful about the next few years. I just want to hear a response from the programs I applied to soon so I can plan accordingly. 

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4 hours ago, Moods said:

Oh, I have soooooo many places I want to visit, I could on forever. But I would love to travel around the US more. Visit some national parks (Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Yosemite) and big cities (Boston, Seattle, Portland, San Fran, Philly, Chicago), eat delicious food at mom-and-pop places, and make memories with the people I am with. My dream trip, though, is either exploring Europe by train or go to Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and Korea all in one big trip.

I also want to go to all the parks! Such a big landscape to explore, but pretty expensive to leave the country. I really want to go to India, too. 

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My boyfriend will be starting his last year of school this fall - if I don't get into grad school this round I'd probably move in with him at an apartment by his school. I find some sort of job there (thankfully he's in a city-ish area) and start looking into immigrating to Canada. Not kidding about the last part - maybe I'll look into grad schools up there if I get rejected this app season. 

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15 hours ago, MayliC said:

Wow, that's amazing! Does that make it hard to choose? Top school or Google, or would you go to one of your others if you had the chance?

 

I feel pulled in both directions, but I would definitely go to my dream school if I do get in! I'm actually only applying to the one program, and I've been wanting to go there forever. I just finished my undergrad so I don't feel a strong need to jump into more school right away (unless it's the perfect fit).

The Google offer is really great, so if I don't get in I'm still super excited about what's next ?

 

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11 hours ago, Moods said:

Oh, I have soooooo many places I want to visit, I could on forever. But I would love to travel around the US more. Visit some national parks (Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Yosemite) and big cities (Boston, Seattle, Portland, San Fran, Philly, Chicago), eat delicious food at mom-and-pop places, and make memories with the people I am with. My dream trip, though, is either exploring Europe by train or go to Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and Korea all in one big trip.

That is really awesome!!! I am doing some backpacking in Asia in April and I can't wait.

Edited by crazycheese8

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This is my Third time applying.  My past two backup plans was make money and pay off my debt...whelp, that's done, I guess.  For a third year?  Give up, probably.  I have two degrees and have been working in the degree I'm not applying to grad schools in because it's nearly impossible to find a job in physics with a bachelor's.  I may have to consider a full career change and try a new way of approaching science outside the seemingly mandated academic route.  Doesn't help that I'm not in my early 20s as some of these other applicants.  So, I have to make a solid choice and a good one.

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14 hours ago, crazycheese8 said:

That is really awesome!!! I am doing some backpacking in Asia in April and I can't wait.

That's amazing! With mine, they are just dreams and hopefully one day will happen! But you are actually going out and doing THE THING! I hope you have a wonderful time exploring Asia!

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If I don't get in I wouldn't be too bummed out. I saved a lot of money living at home during undergrad so I could maybe finally take a break from stressing out full-time and get a local consulting job or something at the community writing center. Consulting's been the most rewarding job I had all through undergrad and I could maybe even spend some more time exercising and working on mental health. 

I'd have time to remember how to do math for the GRE and I'd reapply to even more schools the next year.

Edited by Ellis

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Hopefully I won't need a backup plan. :P
I've thought about it though.
Travel was a backup plan but I'm trying to save money.
Maybe retreats and art classes while I apply to more programs.
I've decided against applying to counseling programs since I was SO close last year.

Maybe try to tackle the GRE.

Edited by Writer M

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I'll probably stay in my lab job or say fuck it and move to Qatar, learn arabic, and work for a petrol company as a chemical engineer. 

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