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2019-2020 Application Thread

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2 minutes ago, niceward said:

My struggle with processing these rejections/waiting is that the process is so obscure to the average person. I come from a working class background, so my family doesn't get it. My mother, for example, has no idea what to say to me. My adviser has recently been promoted to Chair, and she's become distant as a result. My friends and boyfriend aren't really interested in graduate school, so their response is sympathetic but unsatisfying. I feel so alone in this. 

If it helps, I feel like I'm in the same boat. I had very little knowledge of the process going into this and there are many things I wish I knew earlier.

Having only received rejections so far, I'm sort of freaking out about my chances of getting in anywhere. I feel like I'm annoying my family and friends at this point, so instead I'm just anxiously refreshing this forum/my email - not sure if that's any healthier, haha.

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17 minutes ago, Romcomulus said:

Naw they've been on here for a little while. He/she was helpful at first, but when sloth girl started getting accepted everywhere, a lot of people started showing their ugly sides.

@Romcomulus thank you so much, this means a lot! 

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17 minutes ago, Mixedmethodsisa4letterword said:

I thought that person's first post was about the Michigan acceptance. 

If they are not a troll then it's even more sad. 

 

15 minutes ago, Romcomulus said:

You're right, I confused them with another user. Could be a troll. 

So I'm not sure if they were a troll or not, but I do know that their date for when we have to get back to Michigan for the visiting weekend was a different date that what my letter said? 

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2 hours ago, Artifex_Archer said:

In addition to the suggestions above, I'd also ask him about his work. Doing so helps you in multiple ways. First of all, you do want to get a better sense of 'fit,' and secondly, people tend to enjoy talking about themselves, especially vis-à-vis the things they really care about. I'd also ask about faculty outside the department who may be studying topics that correspond with your interests—someone in the history department who writes on X, someone in the philosophy department who studies Y, etc.

Remember—because people tend to forget these things when they're nervous—to thank him for his time both before and after the call; immediately afterward [if you don't take notes during], jot down a list of key items from the conversations; and then send a follow-up, thank you email that refers to at least one of those 'key items' [e.g., 'thank you for the book recommendation on____'; 'I was very encouraged when you mentioned the opportunities to ______ because ________ is very important to me,' etc.].

 

If you search elsewhere on GC there's a fairly extensive thread where people provided these and other suggestions.

 

And good luck!

Thank you! I'm trying to familiarize myself a lot more with his work, he's in American politics and I'm in CP so I'm working on finding the overlaps with what he does and what I'm interested in to find things to discuss

1 hour ago, Marika8 said:

Agree with the above mentioned. Always send a thank you email. 
questions I like to ask are about possibilities for publications and teaching. Summer funding and expectations around fieldwork (if appropriate for your research interest). I always ask about approx. average number of years for students to complete PhD. I know this can often be found online, but that question has given me some insights to the support and funding available at different departments. 
 

good luck!!

Thank you  for the suggestions! I actually haven't been able to find that online for this program yet so that's a good point, thanks!

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10 minutes ago, allben said:

If it helps, I feel like I'm in the same boat. I had very little knowledge of the process going into this and there are many things I wish I knew earlier.

Having only received rejections so far, I'm sort of freaking out about my chances of getting in anywhere. I feel like I'm annoying my family and friends at this point, so instead I'm just anxiously refreshing this forum/my email - not sure if that's any healthier, haha.

Feel free to message me, if you need to vent or anything. I feel like a little whiny airing out my woes publicly like this, but the DMs are for crying. ❤️

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15 minutes ago, niceward said:

My struggle with processing these rejections/waiting is that the process is so obscure to the average person. I come from a working class background, so my family doesn't get it. My mother, for example, has no idea what to say to me. My adviser has recently been promoted to Chair, and she's become distant as a result. My friends and boyfriend aren't really interested in graduate school, so their response is sympathetic but unsatisfying. I feel so alone in this. 

Doing PhD will be a long lonely journey. Starting from the application, I can feel that already. My families can’t relate what PhD is like at all. They even ask me why I only applied for political science. I should apply for lots of other majors. For me, after a short period of excitement, even receiving an acceptance can stress me just a bit more. Travel to the other side of the earth, be away from families all the year around, long distance relationship..... anyways, I really don’t have any better words to cheer you up. But just want to let you know, your loneliness is not alone.  I am sure many people feeling the same. Not sure if it works for you,     For me, I am looking forward to the reward and trying to overlook how I will have been through 

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15 minutes ago, sloth_girl said:

 

So I'm not sure if they were a troll or not, but I do know that their date for when we have to get back to Michigan for the visiting weekend was a different date that what my letter said? 

Do you know what the date(s) are for Michigan's visiting weekend? 

Edited by NotMyHML

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Just want to put it out there that second cycles are not a big deal and can definitely work. Not getting into any programs this year is not the end of things, if a PhD is really what you want then doing a second cycle is absolutely no big deal. Last year i left the cycle with no funded offers, and this year i received a funded acceptance from my top choice.

I know that this isn't what ya'll want to hear right now, but just know that this is not the end!

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Just now, NotMyHML said:

Do you know what the date(s) are for Michigan's visiting weekend? 

I've attached what they sent me!

Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 11.47.38 AM.png

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23 minutes ago, niceward said:

My struggle with processing these rejections/waiting is that the process is so obscure to the average person. I come from a working class background, so my family doesn't get it. My mother, for example, has no idea what to say to me. My adviser has recently been promoted to Chair, and she's become distant as a result. My friends and boyfriend aren't really interested in graduate school, so their response is sympathetic but unsatisfying. I feel so alone in this. 

I’ve been there too. This is my third(!) time applying for PhD programs. I applied straight out of undergrad and the following year, didn’t get accepted. So I took a break from applying and got some work experience directly related to what I now want to research. This time around, I’ve had a lot more luck. I’m only applying to 5 schools, and so far, I have been accepted with funding to 3 and still waiting for two. I know it may seem tough with the rejections now, but I hope I can give you some hope that even if you don’t get in this year, you won’t have less of a chance in the future.

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1 minute ago, sloth_girl said:

I've attached what they sent me!

Thanks @sloth_girl!!

9 minutes ago, needanoffersobad said:

Doing PhD will be a long lonely journey. Starting from the application, I can feel that already. My families can’t relate what PhD is like at all. They even ask me why I only applied for political science. I should apply for lots of other majors. For me, after a short period of excitement, even receiving an acceptance can stress me just a bit more. Travel to the other side of the earth, be away from families all the year around, long distance relationship..... anyways, I really don’t have any better words to cheer you up. But just want to let you know, your loneliness is not alone.  I am sure many people feeling the same. Not sure if it works for you,     For me, I am looking forward to the reward and trying to overlook how I will have been through 

Sending solidarity to @niceward and @allben - just want to say that my DM is also open for anyone wanting to talk. I feel quite lucky that my family have been supportive, but they all live in a different country and I'm in the US by myself. The journey is likely more lonely for some of us; but I hope we get through it alright.   

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I might have posted it before....... anyone hear from Vanderbilt? It seems, at least on this forum, no one yet has ask about it.     
 

And I wanna ask about interview. I got an interview but it is very casual style. Is it normal? Cuz usually in my region at least, interview is very serious with loads of questions on research interests, plan, motivation.  But this casual one, the professor seems like lay back on his chair, asking what course I took before for quantitative analysis, when did I move to the current country I live in ?    It confuses me what’s the point of the interview . 

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Wow, Georgetown acceptance!  Anyone claiming it?  I'd love to attend that program, but seeing as Daniel Nexon said they accept only 2 people for IR, I think it's really unlikely I'll be admitted, lol.  

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13 minutes ago, sloth_girl said:

 

So I'm not sure if they were a troll or not, but I do know that their date for when we have to get back to Michigan for the visiting weekend was a different date that what my letter said? 

Definitely a troll. Wasn't going to say this earlier but this guy's first posts about getting into Michigan were very similar to the style of post that falsely spammed the results page. 

Not to mention that if he is real that he'll be easily doxxable to all faculty/grad students at Michigan/admitted students within a month + the public within a year if he enrolls at Michigan based on info provided already on this board and a clearly bad irl attitude. I struggle to believe that someone is that unaware that people here are the community that they're about to enter. 

Ps @sloth_girl (but also posters at large, and those seeking to follow a similar strategy in the future), I know people have been sporadically giving you a hard time here because you've applied to so many programs, which is BS because schools know how to manage waitlists. The fact is, unless you come from an uber elite undergrad+excellent grades+recs from famous people, nothing is guaranteed and if your goal is to get into the best possible program (and if you're trying to get your SO a nearby job as well), you're best to not to leave out any school in the top 15 if finances allow. That's how the market works. Fit matters, but our perception of fit is so different from what the admissions may perceive as fit. 

If you want to talk programs/vibes my PMs are open. I went through a similar cycle to yours (found the forum later though so here I am retroactively lurking and posting) and know the analysis paralysis feel and know that deciding is easier when there's someone to talk impressions and worries through with. 

 

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3 minutes ago, needanoffersobad said:

I might have posted it before....... anyone hear from Vanderbilt? It seems, at least on this forum, no one yet has ask about it.     
 

And I wanna ask about interview. I got an interview but it is very casual style. Is it normal? Cuz usually in my region at least, interview is very serious with loads of questions on research interests, plan, motivation.  But this casual one, the professor seems like lay back on his chair, asking what course I took before for quantitative analysis, when did I move to the current country I live in ?    It confuses me what’s the point of the interview . 

May I ask what school was it for the interview? Was it Penn State by any chance? I'm still waiting for a decision from them. Saw some PSU rejection posts on the result page today and it's making me anxious.

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1 minute ago, kaze_ng said:

May I ask what school was it for the interview? Was it Penn State by any chance? I'm still waiting for a decision from them. Saw some PSU rejection posts on the result page today and it's making me anxious.

Sorry I should have made it clear. The interview is from Vanderbilt. It’s more than a week ago. Penn state , I receive acceptance with no interview. 

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12 minutes ago, needanoffersobad said:

I might have posted it before....... anyone hear from Vanderbilt? It seems, at least on this forum, no one yet has ask about it.     
 

And I wanna ask about interview. I got an interview but it is very casual style. Is it normal? Cuz usually in my region at least, interview is very serious with loads of questions on research interests, plan, motivation.  But this casual one, the professor seems like lay back on his chair, asking what course I took before for quantitative analysis, when did I move to the current country I live in ?    It confuses me what’s the point of the interview . 

Interviews at visit days? friendly and a little serious, so be ready to talk and answer questions about what you want to research and who you want to work with, but also with some small talk. Mostly very casual and they're not judgy, they just want to convince you to make the right decision. 

 

Edit for vandy interview: a little more serious than above, but the professor will probably want to have more of a conversation than like a formal job interview. Congrats on the vandy interview, it means they like you. 

Edited by BunniesInSpace

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41 minutes ago, niceward said:

My struggle with processing these rejections/waiting is that the process is so obscure to the average person. I come from a working class background, so my family doesn't get it. My mother, for example, has no idea what to say to me. My adviser has recently been promoted to Chair, and she's become distant as a result. My friends and boyfriend aren't really interested in graduate school, so their response is sympathetic but unsatisfying. I feel so alone in this. 

Hey @niceward [and anyone else who's in a similar situation].

 

If it's not too bold of me to say, I see you. (I think.) It's really lonely. Like, fingernails-clawing-out-your-insides lonely. I want to write a more thorough post on this later [mainly out of my own selfish need to process this stuff], but in brief: after a lot of success/luck—in terms of programmes, grades, scores, and self-guided projects/publications—I struck out the first year after I received my MA. The second go-around, I only got into one school, which really wasn't a good fit for me at all; it took a lot of faith, but I turned it down and re-applied a third cycle.

 

I wasn't always the best at coping. Let me rephrase that: one of my research interests is Stoicism, and I'm sure that on many occasions, the way I reacted to my emotions and experiences had Seneca face-palming from beyond. And, you're right; friends and family often don't get how any of it feels. They don't know what to say to you. You don't know what to say to them. It's like not having any kind of emotional/experiential 'mirror'. And it's also depressing/slightly infuriating [on an internal level, usually] to have all of these passions and interests and not to have them echoed by those around you.

 

From what you write it sounds like you're still waiting on a few schools. I'm sending my best thoughts that you and others get really great news, really soon. But regardless, please feel free to DM me at any time—even if, I don't know, you just want to gabble about the awesome research interests you undoubtedly have. Or if you want a sounding board. Or to be indignant, or to have any of the feelings you might judge yourself for having. This goes for anyone dealing with rejection/waiting: I don't care if what you really just need is to vent, stream-of-consciousness, to someone who maybe has some idea of what you're going through. If you want, I'm happy to provide... well, I guess since this is a forum, 'an ear' wouldn't be accurate, but a set of eyes, sure.

 

Anyway, like I said. Sending lots of good thoughts. And if grad school is important to you, you're always allowed to try again. Keep writing; keep going; rock on.

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4 minutes ago, PolSci95 said:

Just got a call from Stanford. Admitted. I cannot believe it yet. Theory applicant

Congrats!!!

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5 minutes ago, PolSci95 said:

Just got a call from Stanford. Admitted. I cannot believe it yet. Theory applicant

Same!! IR subfield. Amazed and shocked.

Edited by Nichrome

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