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2020 application thread

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23 hours ago, historyofsloths said:

Also, are there any current Indiana University people here on the board? I haven't heard anything and acceptances and rejections went out last week, though not many as far as I can tell. Wondering if the system is similar to U of Michigan's (cohorts) or if I should take this as another L.

I got my NELC acceptance for Indiana yesterday. Not sure if this helps.

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22 minutes ago, Edminzodo said:

I got my NELC acceptance for Indiana yesterday. Not sure if this helps.

Congratulations! It does help, it tells me that they're likely doing it by cohort rather than collectively.

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I'm trying to decide if I should start budgeting for a new laptop for the fall. I have a 4 year old Macbook Air and I am wondering if anyone has suggestions on whether or not a new laptop is recommended?

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17 minutes ago, jocelynbymarcjacobs said:

Really hoping to hear from at least one school today! Have only received a decision from 1/5 schools... 

I'm in the same boat, I'm waiting for two programs to open their floodgates (Penn and Emory) and for Indiana to finally tell me what's up. The wait is excruciating.

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10 minutes ago, historyofsloths said:

I'm in the same boat, I'm waiting for two programs to open their floodgates (Penn and Emory) and for Indiana to finally tell me what's up. The wait is excruciating.

I agree. My lease is up in June and I just, at the very least, want to know if I am moving states or not! 

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1 minute ago, jocelynbymarcjacobs said:

I agree. My lease is up in June and I just, at the very least, want to know if I am moving states or not! 

Same! Usually I'd start looking for apartments in March, but I can't really do a thorough search for 6 different states.

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Waiting on Emory too. Felt for sure it would be last week and then I got my hopes up it might be today. At almost 5PM EST, I’m calling off my email vigil for the day. 

Edited by smithsonian
Forgot the quote.

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2 hours ago, histori041512 said:

I'm trying to decide if I should start budgeting for a new laptop for the fall. I have a 4 year old Macbook Air and I am wondering if anyone has suggestions on whether or not a new laptop is recommended?

If it is within your means you should definitely be looking at a new one.

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3 minutes ago, historyofsloths said:

Well it's only 4 PM CST in Indiana and I've been waitlisted! I'll take the W for this one as well and hope that either someone who was accepted to Michigan or Indiana accepts another offer.

Congrats! Hopefully you are fully accepted soon. :)

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12 minutes ago, historyofsloths said:

Well it's only 4 PM CST in Indiana and I've been waitlisted! I'll take the W for this one as well and hope that either someone who was accepted to Michigan or Indiana accepts another offer.

I just got Waitlisted at Emory. Check your email!

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2 minutes ago, smithsonian said:

I just got Waitlisted at Emory. Check your email!

Oh god oh man oh god oh man (nothing yet)

Congrats!

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4 hours ago, historyofsloths said:

Oh god oh man oh god oh man (nothing yet)

Congrats!

Thanks! Hope you hear soon from some of yours. 

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20 hours ago, histrees said:

I logged into my UChicago account today and it is now asking for official transcripts for my BA and MPhil programs. Was this something I was supposed to do? I had uploaded transcripts that still appear as 'received' on their application checklist, but now they seem to be asking for the official ones. I'd hate to think this was an oversight on my part, as the last time i checked (maybe 2 weeks ago) they weren't asking for any additional materials. Does anyone have any insight into this, or is this appearing on everyone's account now? 

 

17 hours ago, Michael Scarn said:

No answer for you, but I checked my own account and saw the same missing information. I last checked the portal last week and didn't see this. From what I know Chicago doesn't require official transcripts unless you get accepted? Not to get mine or anyone's hopes up, because there is no status change to my application, so I really am not sure why it has changed on the portal. 

 

17 hours ago, thattaiwnanhistoryguy said:

I see the same request for official transcripts as well, but I doubt it has any significance.

I had this yesterday and now it seems to be gone ...

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If someone has been accepted onto the waitlist for a school youre waiting on, does that mean you're likely to not have been admitted? Don't they send out acceptances first? My first time applying here, sorry. 

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2 hours ago, HistoryMan1001 said:

If someone has been accepted onto the waitlist for a school youre waiting on, does that mean you're likely to not have been admitted? Don't they send out acceptances first? My first time applying here, sorry. 

It's likely. 

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Anyone know if Penn has an official waitlist/if they only admit those they have interviewed? 

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1 hour ago, DeNovo said:

Anyone know if Penn has an official waitlist/if they only admit those they have interviewed? 

If you mean UPenn as opposed to Penn State, I do know at least one student currently in their PhD program was accepted off of their waitlist. Don't know about the interviews, though. 

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On 2/18/2020 at 2:15 PM, histori041512 said:

I'm trying to decide if I should start budgeting for a new laptop for the fall. I have a 4 year old Macbook Air and I am wondering if anyone has suggestions on whether or not a new laptop is recommended?

I went into my program with mindset of a clean slate. New laptop, new schoolbag, blah blah blah. That said, I had an 8 year old MacBook. It was giving me a lot of issues while I was writing my MA thesis, and one day I actually had to open up the back and re-seat the RAM. Not the end of the world, and my thesis was backed up in my google drive, but still a scary moment when everything was formatted and near final submission. Consider it, if you can. PhD programs are long, tech doesn't last forever, and changing computers in the middle can be incredibly inconvenient. 

That said, for most historians, a MacBook is overkill. I got a little HP on Amazon for half of what I would've paid for MacBook air, and it's just fine.

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1 hour ago, DanaJ said:

I went into my program with mindset of a clean slate. New laptop, new schoolbag, blah blah blah. That said, I had an 8 year old MacBook. It was giving me a lot of issues while I was writing my MA thesis, and one day I actually had to open up the back and re-seat the RAM. Not the end of the world, and my thesis was backed up in my google drive, but still a scary moment when everything was formatted and near final submission. Consider it, if you can. PhD programs are long, tech doesn't last forever, and changing computers in the middle can be incredibly inconvenient. 

That said, for most historians, a MacBook is overkill. I got a little HP on Amazon for half of what I would've paid for MacBook air, and it's just fine.

I want to cosign. I had to replace my laptop in the middle of my first year, but the one I bought (extremely cheap and unreliable, don't be like me) ended up dying early in my third year. I found a laptop that had the specs I wanted at the price I could afford, and it has been good to me (it's an Acer Aspire E5-575 if anyone is interested). However, I recently went through a horror show trying to recover the documents I had on my last laptop because the external drive they were on was lost in my latest move. I HIGHLY recommend you have a reliable laptop at the very start of grad school. It's great if your current laptop does the job, but if you're having any issues, get an upgrade. Also, treat your external drive like a block of gold. And maybe back stuff up on the Cloud, too. 

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19 minutes ago, ashiepoo72 said:

Also, treat your external drive like a block of gold. And maybe back stuff up on the Cloud, too. 

I freely admit to being paranoid (especially because my laptop is now too old to automatically Dropbox sync) but I recommend not just one external drive but multiple-- I have one I keep with me and use for weekly backups, and another that I keep at my parents and back up every six months when I visit. Plus a 64 GB flash drive for saving ZIP files of my dissertation and research materials. And I manually upload stuff to Dropbox. You can never back up stuff too much. 

Also on the point of protecting your computer: I once watched a student knock over her paper coffee cup (sans lid) onto her laptop keyboard. She went from having a functioning laptop to a hunk of useless metal in under thirty seconds. Even thinking about it now makes me feel slightly nauseous. Keyboard covers are much less expensive than a new laptop, and if you take your laptop to study in coffee shops, crowded libraries, etc., you definitely don't want someone else knocking a drink onto it or knocking it over. 

Edited by gsc

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11 minutes ago, ashiepoo72 said:

And maybe back stuff up on the Cloud, too. 

I second that. With Microsoft Word, you can set it up that the document is automatically saved on OneDrive (you get some amount of storage for free, which should be enough for a lot of text documents).

On 2/18/2020 at 2:15 PM, histori041512 said:

I'm trying to decide if I should start budgeting for a new laptop for the fall.

I don’t know much about MacBooks, but my laptop is pretty old (older than yours) and it’s still reliable. If you do get a new laptop, I recommend one with an SSD drive because it makes it so much faster: it never takes my laptop more than a second to load despite its old age. The ones with SSD (as opposed to HDD only) are more expensive, but when it comes to laptops, when you buy a more expensive one, it may save you money in the long run. Also, if your battery starts losing charge fast, you can always replace just the battery without buying a new laptop.

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On 2/17/2020 at 11:52 AM, OHSP said:

Perhaps fewer applicants / dare I (jokingly) say the words "dying discipline"**. 2 of the 40 students I'm currently teaching in a history class are history majors or minors, and that was roughly the same last semester. 

**maybe hibernating rather than dying. 

In the past two years enrollment in undergrad history classes are generally down across fields at my university.  The dept. is figuring out how to bring enrollment back up.

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1 hour ago, ltr317 said:

In the past two years enrollment in undergrad history classes are generally down across fields at my university.  The dept. is figuring out how to bring enrollment back up.

It's a systemic problem. Rhetoric about "useless degrees" has pushed a lot of students into business degrees and STEM, though there's an oversaturation issue, now.

RE Laptops: yes, spending a bit more up front on a higher quality laptop is money well-worth spending. It's also a bit out of vogue now, but it's not a bad move to have a desktop for home work. You can get a pretty solid desktop for an almost dirt cheap price, and they last far, far longer than most laptops (average useful lifespan for a laptop can be about 3-6 years; I've had the same desktop for 8 now).

Edited by psstein

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