Jump to content

Recommended Posts

17 minutes ago, lotsoffeelings said:

I keep going through my materials, and there's nothing more I could have done for most of them (4.0, 99th percentile GRE, LORs from "prestigious institution"), and I would guess I might get some kind of response similar to yours. In terms of what is left to work on in the next year, I am going to turn to more professors/friends for feedback on SoP and WS, since those are the only things left to improve at this point. 

I also have LORs from a “prestigious institution” and even though I’m starting to be mentally prepared for next year, the thought of telling my recommenders about this year fills me with dread. I know they put a great deal of effort into my letter and I hate to disappoint them. They had such high expectations and well here I am lol

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 2.6k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

That would be me. My first acceptance and I’m thrilled.

just got my Michigan offer. 6 years funding. Fuck. 

IN AT YALE!!!  IM GOING TO LOSE MY MIND I DON'T KNOW WHO I AM ANYMORE 

Posted Images

1 hour ago, vondafkossum said:

Okay, but seriously: acceptances to UCR went out 31 January. Here it is 26 February, and the rest of us are just... still waiting for an official rejection. Is it just UCs that seem to have this problem? I remember waiting a very, very long time to get officially rejected by Berkeley (lol) last year. 

In a complete state of delirium and desperation, I emailed UCR last night asking for them to rip off the bandaid already (in the nicest way possible, of course) so I'll let y'all know if I hear anything. The drawn out rejection is just pure torture.

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, bethisbetter said:

In a complete state of delirium and desperation, I emailed UCR last night asking for them to rip off the bandaid already (in the nicest way possible, of course) so I'll let y'all know if I hear anything. The drawn out rejection is just pure torture.

Let me know if they respond! I sent an email about two weeks ago that has yet to receive a response.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ugh. Just got rejected from Brandeis. I only have one more to go (chandler voice: BU could you B any slower?), but it's not looking good. I know everyone says it's not over until it's over, but I kind of wish I could trick my brain into thinking it's over. I'm 100% reapplying next year (and probably adding 10 extra schools) and I plan on retaking both GREs and working on my writing, but I feel a bit lost.

I know we all feel this way, and we are all right the feel this way, but I really felt like I earned it and I deserved to get in... My heart truly goes out to anyone feeling this pain right now. I hope you know you're worthy and you deserve all of the chocolate cake money can buy.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I got offered a MA spot at Boston College (same thing they offered last year - scholarship of 11K). BC was my dream school when I was in high school many moons ago - my god, the architecture - and it was hard to walk away from the offer last year.  However, as much as my heart wants to accept on aesthetic alone, I don't know if going into more debt is worth it. However, however, it opens the possibility of getting into a """better""" PhD program afterwards with a stronger writing sample and teaching experience. However, however, however, I'm also very, very tired of this process and want to just start the damn PhD already. 

Hey! Hey, Boston University! Yeah you, ya punk! I need you to hurry the F up and make my life either easier or even more indecisive! 

Edited by gooniesneversaydie
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to post a quick rant, which I'm writing for cathartic/therapeutic reasons. Don't take anything in it too seriously.

In office hours the other day, I let my thesis chair know that I was not having much luck this season. She made a remark to the effect of: "I regret having wasted the time writing you a letter." She phrased it in a comical way--we joke darkly with one another--so it wasn't as if she was intending to be hurtful. But it stung, because before now, I had only thought of how disappointing it would be for me if I were shut out--not that it would be a disappointment to all of the people who took time to write letters of recommendation, look over my writing sample, listen to me stress out, and so on. I've taken on some debt in the course of my MA; I've also worked harder and for longer than I ever have in my life (and I have been in some strenuous work situations; doing physical labor for sixteen hours a day six days a week actually didn't feel as difficult as some moments in my MA). This was the only goal I have been working toward for years--the prospect of getting shut out now makes me feel so foolish. I exhausted myself in full display of everyone I care about and respect and it's beginning to look as if I have failed nonetheless.

(What's even more aggravating is the fact that so many "radical" scholars are putatively opposed to hierarchy, while the Ph.D. admissions process is so clearly an orgy of fascination with prestige. Academics, once again, show themselves to be all theory and no praxis. I was rejected by all of the prestigious schools I applied to and waitlisted by all of the less-prestigious schools I applied to, leaving me to wonder if the extreme lack of prestige at my current institution was a deciding factor in admissions decisions--unless, of course, my writing sample was precisely good enough to grant me access to one realm of academia but not the other, which strikes me as a rather unlikely scenario.)

Edit: with an hour's time between me and this post, I can tell that there's a somewhat unpleasant element of ressentiment to the above post. Of course, if I get admitted off of the waitlist (or to Fordham, the last school I've applied to but haven't heard back from), you can count on a post from me to the effect of, "The system works!!!! If at first u don't succeed, try, try again!!" and so on. As Bo Burnham says, though, if someone wins the lottery, they're going to tell you to buy a ticket. 

Edited by digital_lime
sheepish regret
Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel everyone on the struggle to figure out what you did wrong when you've worked so hard and people you respect gave you feedback. To me, the worst feeling is the world is not knowing how to get better.  Don't forget the lottery element and factors out of your control, like school prestige, connections of your LORs, whether you're non-traditional, etc.; give your SoP and writing sample another clear, critical, ruthless look and get more feedback; and if you can-- just get back in the ring to try your chances again. You're going to need persistence in this game no matter what you do.

I feel lucky at this point that I am going to pull through, but I applied to sixteen schools. If I'd applied to the nine that rejected me - a very respectable number - my only options would be a nonfunded MA at Boulder and I'd be in the shutout category.

Edited by merry night wanderer
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, digital_lime said:

I'm going to post a quick rant, which I'm writing for cathartic/therapeutic reasons. Don't take anything in it too seriously.

In office hours the other day, I let my thesis chair know that I was not having much luck this season. She made a remark to the effect of: "I regret having wasted the time writing you a letter." She phrased it in a comical way--we joke darkly with one another--so it wasn't as if she was intending to be hurtful. But it stung, because before now, I had only thought of how disappointing it would be for me if I were shut out--not that it would be a disappointment to all of the people who took time to write letters of recommendation, look over my writing sample, listen to me stress out, and so on. I've taken on some debt in the course of my MA; I've also worked harder and for longer than I ever have in my life (and I have been in some strenuous work situations; doing physical labor for sixteen hours a day six days a week actually didn't feel as difficult as some moments in my MA). This was the only goal I have been working toward for years--the prospect of getting shut out now makes me feel so foolish. I exhausted myself in full display of everyone I care about and respect and it's beginning to look as if I have failed nonetheless.

I'm only on waitlists, too, and I have an MA from a program ranked in the 40s. I'm really sorry for the hurt you're feeling after your advisor's comment. The reality is that they have a job in your dream field, and it doesn't REALLY hurt them if you don't get in after they write a letter, so it's too bad that they made that comment. I let my advisor know about my situation, and they replied that it's such a hard time and programs are accepting fewer and fewer people, etc. I hope you can get some encouragement like that too, because you have worked SO HARD. The reality of all this is that rejections are very rarely about you--it's such a luck thing. Fingers crossed for Fordham or a an acceptance off a waitlist for you (or both!)!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Even though I'm yet to hear from NYU and UPenn (I mean, who HAS - both are implied rejects I suppose (congrats to the admits)), I'm considering the rejection I got from Columbia today as the final nail in the coffin for any further good news. Thinking about this as the end of my application cycle, I can't help but feel relieved - I have one solid acceptance to what has been my dream school since finishing my MA in 2018 (and my dream city since visiting in 2012). Now all I've got to do is visit next week, soak it in, and say yes. Not being Oxford or Cambridge educated, from a failing state secondary school, a "first generation scholar," I was convinced that this application cycle would be a complete bust for me. It turns out that all it takes is one offer to make the whole thing worth it (despite the imposter syndrome I have as a constant companion at the moment). Despite feeling crushed by all the rejection (my supervisor once told me that the experience of working in Academia is the experience of rejection, and keeps a stack of every rejection they ever got in their office), I feel like the luckiest little queer scholar who could. And it really was luck; I hope that you all get just as lucky very soon. x

Edited by ja.col
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ja.col said:

Even though I'm yet to hear from NYU and UPenn (I mean, who HAS - both are implied rejects I suppose (congrats to the admits)), I'm considering the rejection I got from Columbia today as the final nail in the coffin for any further good news. Thinking about this as the end of my application cycle, I can't help but feel relieved - I have one solid acceptance to what has been my dream school since finishing my MA in 2018 (and my dream city since visiting in 2012). Now all I've got to do is visit next week, soak it in, and say yes. Not being Oxford or Cambridge educated, from a failing state secondary school, a "first generation scholar," I was convinced that this application cycle would be a complete bust for me. It turns out that all it takes is one offer to make the whole thing worth it (despite the imposter syndrome I have as a constant companion at the moment). Despite feeling crushed by all the rejection (my supervisor once told me that the experience of working in Academia is the experience of rejection, and keeps a stack of every rejection they ever got in their office), I feel like the luckiest little queer scholar who could. And it really was luck; I hope that you all get just as lucky very soon. x

I see you! This is a very nice and healthy way of thinking. I still subscribe to the idea that you only need one to make this worth all the struggle. Too sad that I've yet to get my one. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Wimsey said:

On the day before my first campus visit, a conspicuous pimple decides to appear on my face. Love that for me. 😅

Are you going to WUSTL? Please let me know how it goes and your thoughts on it. I can't make it😩

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, timespentreading said:

I'm only on waitlists, too, and I have an MA from a program ranked in the 40s. I'm really sorry for the hurt you're feeling after your advisor's comment. The reality is that they have a job in your dream field, and it doesn't REALLY hurt them if you don't get in after they write a letter, so it's too bad that they made that comment. I let my advisor know about my situation, and they replied that it's such a hard time and programs are accepting fewer and fewer people, etc. I hope you can get some encouragement like that too, because you have worked SO HARD. The reality of all this is that rejections are very rarely about you--it's such a luck thing. Fingers crossed for Fordham or a an acceptance off a waitlist for you (or both!)!!

Thanks for your kindness, internet stranger. You brightened my day!

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, ja.col said:

Even though I'm yet to hear from NYU and UPenn (I mean, who HAS - both are implied rejects I suppose (congrats to the admits)), I'm considering the rejection I got from Columbia today as the final nail in the coffin for any further good news. Thinking about this as the end of my application cycle, I can't help but feel relieved - I have one solid acceptance to what has been my dream school since finishing my MA in 2018 (and my dream city since visiting in 2012). Now all I've got to do is visit next week, soak it in, and say yes. Not being Oxford or Cambridge educated, from a failing state secondary school, a "first generation scholar," I was convinced that this application cycle would be a complete bust for me. It turns out that all it takes is one offer to make the whole thing worth it (despite the imposter syndrome I have as a constant companion at the moment). Despite feeling crushed by all the rejection (my supervisor once told me that the experience of working in Academia is the experience of rejection, and keeps a stack of every rejection they ever got in their office), I feel like the luckiest little queer scholar who could. And it really was luck; I hope that you all get just as lucky very soon. x

Love, love, love--you've accomplished so much already just getting to Chicago, and the years you've got ahead of you are so exciting! I look forward to the day a few years from now when I'll read a new, excellent essay in queer studies thinking, Gosh, that's brilliant, I've never thought of it that way, without knowing that the writer is an anonymous GradCafe user from years ago who went to their dream school. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Cryss said:

Are you going to WUSTL? Please let me know how it goes and your thoughts on it. I can't make it😩

I am! Sorry to hear you can't make it. I will let you know my thoughts. 

Now I just hope the weather in my region will cooperate with my flight schedule....

Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, ja.col said:

Even though I'm yet to hear from NYU and UPenn (I mean, who HAS - both are implied rejects I suppose (congrats to the admits)), I'm considering the rejection I got from Columbia today as the final nail in the coffin for any further good news. Thinking about this as the end of my application cycle, I can't help but feel relieved - I have one solid acceptance to what has been my dream school since finishing my MA in 2018 (and my dream city since visiting in 2012). Now all I've got to do is visit next week, soak it in, and say yes. Not being Oxford or Cambridge educated, from a failing state secondary school, a "first generation scholar," I was convinced that this application cycle would be a complete bust for me. It turns out that all it takes is one offer to make the whole thing worth it (despite the imposter syndrome I have as a constant companion at the moment). Despite feeling crushed by all the rejection (my supervisor once told me that the experience of working in Academia is the experience of rejection, and keeps a stack of every rejection they ever got in their office), I feel like the luckiest little queer scholar who could. And it really was luck; I hope that you all get just as lucky very soon. x

Sounds like you'll fit in really well here. I look forward to meeting you next week. 

Edited by snorkles
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in the process of coming up with questions to ask current grad students via email and when I go to my in-person visit. Their profiles online do not state what year they are, which is a bummer. But out of the 8 people I'm emailing, I'm hoping to get varying insights. I don't want to bombard anyone (I probably will anyways, because 'type A' personality), but does anyone have any recommendations on what should be asked to current students? 

Edited by gooniesneversaydie
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, digital_lime said:

In office hours the other day, I let my thesis chair know that I was not having much luck this season. She made a remark to the effect of: "I regret having wasted the time writing you a letter." She phrased it in a comical way--we joke darkly with one another--so it wasn't as if she was intending to be hurtful. But it stung, because before now, I had only thought of how disappointing it would be for me if I were shut out--not that it would be a disappointment to all of the people who took time to write letters of recommendation, look over my writing sample, listen to me stress out, and so on. I've taken on some debt in the course of my MA; I've also worked harder and for longer than I ever have in my life (and I have been in some strenuous work situations; doing physical labor for sixteen hours a day six days a week actually didn't feel as difficult as some moments in my MA). This was the only goal I have been working toward for years--the prospect of getting shut out now makes me feel so foolish. I exhausted myself in full display of everyone I care about and respect and it's beginning to look as if I have failed nonetheless.

I feel this last sentence a lot from my rejections last year. To be fair, a lot of the reaction I interpreted as disappointment is because none of my close family or friends have ever applied for PhDs before, so nobody really understood the process or the odds. I don't know if it's the same for you, but a lot of people may just know that you're a very clever and hardworking person who loves their research and therefore don't understand why you would be struggling to get a place, and express their support and frustration on your behalf in a way that sounds like disappointment in you. Some of my family and friends who said the most hurtful things in the thick of it (like "why did you even attempt it?") were the ones who were most worried about my health during a very difficult year, and looking back I can't really fault them for saying the wrong thing at a stressful time; I was obviously exhausted, as so many of us are, and it did have a direct impact on my health, and I don't blame anyone for not understanding why you're still so committed to an experience that pushes you so hard at times.

As for your thesis chair, I'm sorry she said that, though it sounds like it was also an ill-judged attempt to make you feel better. I actually got upset this year in a meeting with my MA director because I hated having to ask him and others to write more LoRs for me after last year's failed cycle, and he was incredulous and a little bit angry that I was even worried about it, because (in order) "I'm glad to support you, it's literally my job, the application system shuts out excellent candidates all the time and you're nowhere near the first person to ask more than once, and the circumstances in which I might be unable to write a letter for you would be nothing to do with your worth as an applicant". Anyone who has taken the time to help you out with your application is very unlikely to be disappointed in you, as they know all the time you've put in; they're far more likely, if they've seen how hard you worked, to be seeing your own disappointment now too and offering some solidarity and frustration for you, in perhaps a slightly misguided way.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, digital_lime said:

(What's even more aggravating is the fact that so many "radical" scholars are putatively opposed to hierarchy, while the Ph.D. admissions process is so clearly an orgy of fascination with prestige. Academics, once again, show themselves to be all theory and no praxis. I was rejected by all of the prestigious schools I applied to and waitlisted by all of the less-prestigious schools I applied to, leaving me to wonder if the extreme lack of prestige at my current institution was a deciding factor in admissions decisions--unless, of course, my writing sample was precisely good enough to grant me access to one realm of academia but not the other, which strikes me as a rather unlikely scenario.)

Yes, especially to the part in bold, and this is my main gripe with academia (and, I believe, the public's gripe with academics). As for prestige vs. talent issue, I definitely think prestige has likely played a (big) part. There are certainly better and worse applications, and there's the question of fit, but if you're getting waitlisted/accepted (and being waitlisted is more of an acceptance than a rejection), then that means your application is perceived as marking you as ready for this level. I don't think there is really that much of a difference between the level of work you do or the level of graduate students at the program you applied for. The faculty might be more famous, and you might get more time and support to help you do good work, but if you're good enough to be waitlisted at UConn/Buffalo you're good enough to do your PhD at Harvard/Berkeley. Fit, extenuating circumstances and, of course, prestige, will play a role but never put yourself down because you are more than capable to do this work, even if you get shut out.

Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, gooniesneversaydie said:

I'm in the process of coming up with questions to ask current grad students via email and when I go to my in-person visit. Their profiles online do not state what year they are, which is a bummer. But out of the 8 people I'm emailing, I'm hoping to get varying insights. I don't want to bombard anyone (I probably will anyways, because 'type A' personality), but does anyone have any recommendations on what should be asked to current students? 

If my memory is right, there’s an extensive list of sample questions in the early pages of the campus visits thread! Off the top of my head, I plan to ask current grad students at varying stages of the program if they feel properly supported by faculty, the program itself, and the community in terms of funding opportunities, professional opportunities like conferences or publishing, and preparation for entering the job market after graduation. I’d also want to know if they feel happy in the community/city, since one of my worries is about socialization. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, gooniesneversaydie said:

@tinymica Oooo - thank you for the tip - I'll look for that list on the other thread! 

I'm sure this other list has a lot of good questions, but here's some other-- potentially not as obvious-- things to ask that (in no particular order):

1. Where do students live? (esp important for bigger cities-- get an idea of what neighborhoods you should scout for housing)

2. Ask students what professors' reputations are. Not academically, but as someone to work with. For instance, I have a friend who's chair is infamous for disappearing for weeks and weeks at a time (not literally-- just not responding to emails, or being really hard to meet with). My friend likes the hands-off approach, but if you're someone who wants more guidance, this would be a good thing to know. Alternately, I work with someone who is infamous for giving intense, endless writing critique. I don't mind this, and it's made me a better writer, but I know other people have a hard time with the extent of his criticism. It's important to work with good scholars, but also important to work with people whose advising style meshes with what you need.

3. If you have any particular health concerns (and probably even if you don't), I'd suggest asking students what their take on their healthcare plan is. This is everything from doctor choice, what medications are covered (and how much of them), availability of mental health services (seriously! don't underestimate the importance of having a therapist! this is a stressful time!), etc. 

4 . Ask them how many hours a week they spend working. Ask how they've managed a work/life balance. 

 

Also, if at all possible (and I realize that sometimes it's not!), I'd suggest talking to people in person rather than over email. Over email, I think you'll probably get a rosier picture... not because they're hiding a dark secret, but just because it's easier to let your guard down when you're face-to-face with someone. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, poetryislit said:

Anyone know when to expect UPenn rejections/waitlist notifications? I have some time-sensitive things to decide which are just waiting on Penn's confirmation. 

I'm wondering the same!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.