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*I is stressed* venting thread for Fall 2020 Applicants

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48 minutes ago, PsychPhdBound said:

Agreed!! I'm so grateful for these forums! No one else in my life really understands what this process is like. They are all trying to be supportive but from the start they've all been "of course you'll get in, you're so smart" and I've had to explain 1,000 times, it's not about smart, most serious applicants are smart, it's about SOOOOO much more and it doesn't make much sense. For example, I've been invited to interview at a "Top 5" program, but didn't hear a word from my personal top choice which is toward the bottom of the "Top 20". Also, I'm interviewing at a "lower ranked" program, I think it's like #60/70, and I'm actually MORE excited about it than the #2 school, so who the heck knows! đŸ€Ł

Exactly. My 3 schools are excellent but weren’t in my top 5 choices. It doesn’t make a lot of sense as to where I was invited & where I wasn’t.  

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I still have three programs I haven't heard from. When I check results, no one has posted about them for my degree programs- where they have been posted about in past years BUT normally by only one or two people a year (and sometimes not at all in a year). So part of me wants to just say that I those are probably rejections, and I'll hear from them when they send out their rejection notices; while another part of me keeps thinking they may just be late in sending out interviews this year.

Ironically, the first option (if someone else had posted about them, so I knew that they has already sent out interview invites) would be so much less stressful!

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1 hour ago, cxh1054 said:

I've got my first interviews this week and am starting to feel some nerves.  The programs have such low acceptance rates that the stakes feel very real.  I feel very fortunate to have the interviews I have, but that's just the first hurdle. 

Same! My first one is Thursday and Friday of this week and I'm definitely getting nervous now. Best of luck to you, we've got this!

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Is it considered "normal" (I don't like the word, hence the quotation marks) to not be successful first round and have to apply for a second round? Curious, as I work with a girl who is applying for her third round but most of my former coworkers only applied one round. 

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2 minutes ago, happycola23 said:

Is it considered "normal" (I don't like the word, hence the quotation marks) to not be successful first round and have to apply for a second round? Curious, as I work with a girl who is applying for her third round but most of my former coworkers only applied one round. 

It's very normal. The Clinical Psychology doctoral admissions process is the most competitive program in the US, UK and Canada. Not everyone will get in the first time and that's okay. Some people won't get in the second time either which is heart breaking but there is usually some sort of progress every year. Some people get more interviews or get on more waitlists. By the 3rd year, most will get in or opt for a masters and some do give up. As long as a person is working to get their CV better, research experience better, GRE scores better etc, they will usually find a place.

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1 hour ago, happycola23 said:

Is it considered "normal" (I don't like the word, hence the quotation marks) to not be successful first round and have to apply for a second round? Curious, as I work with a girl who is applying for her third round but most of my former coworkers only applied one round. 

 

1 hour ago, Oluwachristabel said:

It's very normal. The Clinical Psychology doctoral admissions process is the most competitive program in the US, UK and Canada. Not everyone will get in the first time and that's okay. Some people won't get in the second time either which is heart breaking but there is usually some sort of progress every year. Some people get more interviews or get on more waitlists. By the 3rd year, most will get in or opt for a masters and some do give up. As long as a person is working to get their CV better, research experience better, GRE scores better etc, they will usually find a place.

I completely agree- TOTALLY normal. I actually know more people who got in on their second or third round (for clinical) than their first. It's ultra competitive and sometimes it makes sense, but sometimes it doesn't. You may be the MOST qualified person on paper, but in real life, someone else clicks more with the POI (despite being less "qualified") or you may be less "qualified" but you work in a lab where you've been able to get to know your POI and therefore are at an advantage. I really hope you get in, but it's also important to not take it too personally and remember there are thousands of amazing qualified applicants trying to get into programs as well. I think you just try to keep your head up, and if you don't get in- seek feedback and use it as a motivator to get in next time. 

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Trying to focus on the positive of getting 1 clinical psych PhD invite on my first round, but can’t help but feel like a failure due to the rejections and slim chance I have at acceptance into this one school this year.. Ughhhhh I hope this interview weekend goes perfectly

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51 minutes ago, clinicalpsych.2020 said:

Trying to focus on the positive of getting 1 clinical psych PhD invite on my first round, but can’t help but feel like a failure due to the rejections and slim chance I have at acceptance into this one school this year.. Ughhhhh I hope this interview weekend goes perfectly

I 100% agree!! Same boat. Good luck! My interview is at the end of the February and is the only one I’ve gotten. I only applied to 5 schools but I had been (mistakenly) hopeful. 

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On 1/16/2020 at 6:29 PM, clinicalpsych.2020 said:

Hi fellow GradCafe friends! I just needed to vent because this process has been painful. 5 rejections so far, and only 1 interview. Still waiting for responses from the last few programs. I am very thankful for the 1 interview since it’s for my top program! I was told by the POIs I am applying to work with that I made it to the top 5%. But after receiving nothing but rejections lately, I’m still worried my chances of getting in this round are slim. Anyone else in the same boat as me? What are some things you are doing to help with this kind of stress? It’s very discouraging to say the least, so any feedback would be greatly appreciated! 

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anyone else feel like time until interviews is passing soooooo slowly? i recieved my invite before christmas and the interview isn't until valentine's day. I'm dying here

additionally, it's probably irrational, but i'm scared my only invite (thus far) was only extended to me because I personally know the POI (my current PI's former mentor). Obviously I didn't just apply to work with her because of my PI - i love the program and have met a lot of people from it in person at conferences and I feel that the fit is fantastic - but there's that nagging in the back of my mind telling me that that's the only reason I'm invited. the more time i wait the more i think about all these things!

tldr: I'm gonna need a massage after april 15; this process is stressing me out!

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10 hours ago, happycola23 said:

Is it considered "normal" (I don't like the word, hence the quotation marks) to not be successful first round and have to apply for a second round? Curious, as I work with a girl who is applying for her third round but most of my former coworkers only applied one round. 

Yes

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1 hour ago, mmmmcoffee said:

additionally, it's probably irrational, but i'm scared my only invite (thus far) was only extended to me because I personally know the POI (my current PI's former mentor). Obviously I didn't just apply to work with her because of my PI - i love the program and have met a lot of people from it in person at conferences and I feel that the fit is fantastic - but there's that nagging in the back of my mind telling me that that's the only reason I'm invited. the more time i wait the more i think about all these things!

tldr: I'm gonna need a massage after april 15; this process is stressing me out!

This is actually one of the things both my academic and thesis advisors have explained to me (in one case very bluntly in a "here's academia culture you should be aware of" type speech)- networking is one of the key ways of being more likely to get interview invites (or at least a second look at your application to make sure they really didn't want to invite you for an interview). So, I wouldn't feel like this is "the only reason" you were invited and I definitely wouldn't feel like that's a bad thing if it did tip the scale.

Every program I have an interview invite to, so far, are programs where I either REALLY chatted up the faculty at conferences &/or at other presentations/guest lectures/etc... (and tried to make sure they would be able to connect me to my application when it rolled around) OR are places that my advisors know the faculty at well, and so were able to create a personal link for me similar to what you are describing (like the interview I'm going to next week is where three of my faculty got their PhD's from, two in the exact program and specialization). Additionally, 2 of the 3 places I haven't heard from (and am starting to assume rejections) I have no human relational/connections to. Before this process, I wasn't expecting networking to have such a big impact (I have little academia or middle/upper class cultural capital, so I was very grateful to have a couple professors who are aware of and take the time to explain stuff like this), but I also relate it to the fact that we are in a social/human science field and the importance of human connection is a thing.

tldr: you're not being irrational and you should focus on rocking the interview- cause you are definitely in the running for getting accepted 😃

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Starting to feel some dread here... Just saw that my last school I was holding out for sent out invites yesterday and I didn't get one. So I'm officially at 4 interviews, one of which already took place and the first round of offers went out and I didn't get one, although I'm waitlisted at one school and haven't gotten any official rejections. I have my last 3 interviews coming up and the pressure on them is starting to mount.

This is my third round applying and I really need it to go well. Any positive thoughts or wisdom anyone can share? :(

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So while I've only received two official rejections and the rest are assumed and this is my second cycle (although last year I only applied to one school, my undergrad, so maybe I won't count that just to make myself feel better) I can say that I won't be attending any interviews this year, which is disheartening. HOWEVER, having another year to establish more of myself I can improve my gre score, save money, and do one of the things I enjoy the most which is TRAVEL and what better way to run away from your problems than a nice vacation. Before applications were due I already had a ticket for Tokyo in march, my cousin wants to plan a trip to Portugal in September, and my boyfriend is studying abroad in Russia for the summer, so maybe I'll visit him there too.Â đŸ€©This may be my attempt to make myself feel better, but life shouldn't stop just because I'm sad! 

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3 minutes ago, Stressed&CoffeeObsessed said:

Starting to feel some dread here... Just saw that my last school I was holding out for sent out invites yesterday and I didn't get one. So I'm officially at 4 interviews, one of which already took place and the first round of offers went out and I didn't get one, although I'm waitlisted at one school and haven't gotten any official rejections. I have my last 3 interviews coming up and the pressure on them is starting to mount.

This is my third round applying and I really need it to go well. Any positive thoughts or wisdom anyone can share? :(

I would try and stay as ready and clearheaded as possible. I know it probably feels like the walls are coming in around you, but you still have 3 interviews left! Those are 3 more chances to absolutely nail it, 3 more chances to get an offer, 3 more chances to get an acceptance. I KNOW it's easier said than done, but I'd hate for you to psych yourself out before your other interviews. Your perseverance is strikingly clear, I'm happy you've stuck with this goal and I hope you continue to do so ❀ 

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16 minutes ago, Schy said:

So while I've only received two official rejections and the rest are assumed and this is my second cycle (although last year I only applied to one school, my undergrad, so maybe I won't count that just to make myself feel better) I can say that I won't be attending any interviews this year, which is disheartening. HOWEVER, having another year to establish more of myself I can improve my gre score, save money, and do one of the things I enjoy the most which is TRAVEL and what better way to run away from your problems than a nice vacation. Before applications were due I already had a ticket for Tokyo in march, my cousin wants to plan a trip to Portugal in September, and my boyfriend is studying abroad in Russia for the summer, so maybe I'll visit him there too.Â đŸ€©This may be my attempt to make myself feel better, but life shouldn't stop just because I'm sad! 

LOVE your positivity and appreciate this viewpoint so much! After applying my first time, I got a Masters to better establish myself, and after the second attempt, I got a job as a research a research coordinator to get even more experience! In between I took a 2 week vacation to Spain and presented at a conference in Ireland. You should absolutely travel, live your life, get excited about the possibilities in the next round, and enjoy every second!

And thanks for your encouraging reply to my post! It's so hard to cling to hope in this process but I appreciate you reminding me that I still have a chance! :)  And that even if this time isn't it, it isn't the end of the world. 

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3 minutes ago, Stressed&CoffeeObsessed said:

LOVE your positivity and appreciate this viewpoint so much! After applying my first time, I got a Masters to better establish myself, and after the second attempt, I got a job as a research a research coordinator to get even more experience! In between I took a 2 week vacation to Spain and presented at a conference in Ireland. You should absolutely travel, live your life, get excited about the possibilities in the next round, and enjoy every second!

And thanks for your encouraging reply to my post! It's so hard to cling to hope in this process but I appreciate you reminding me that I still have a chance! :)  And that even if this time isn't it, it isn't the end of the world. 

I think as long as people have a goal everything is right with the world! Even though things haven't turned out the way you planned them, you haven't stopped. Getting your Masters, getting a job as a research coordinator, these are all amazing aMAZING accomplishments. And a 2 WEEK VACATION SOUNDS LIKE A DREEAAAMMM. Also being able to travel and present research internationally??? *chef kiss* 

I hate sounding so corny, but I really do hope the best for you, whether that's getting into a Phd program or otherwise, you clearly make the best of your situation and that's extremely admirable! 

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Talked with my mentor the other day about back up plans if I don't get accepted this year, and she reminded me of something: so much of this process is out of our control and out of our realm of understanding. I've been spending the last week frustrated at myself for how my first application round has been going. But the only thing I should really be doing is forgiving myself, acknowledging that I've been working hard, and channeling all of those frustrations into having a successful interview process.

I don't really believe in destiny or the idea that there's a reason for everything that happens to us. But I do believe that life will work out just fine. We're all driven enough to do well in undergrad, obtain relevant experiences, apply for one of the hardest grad school programs out there, and be so actively invested in the process that we post on this forum. That drive will get us somewhere. Will it be grad school for psych or something completely different? Will it be this year or in five years? I don't know, but I'm sure it'll all work out. We'll be fine.

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52 minutes ago, yeeboi said:

Talked with my mentor the other day about back up plans if I don't get accepted this year, and she reminded me of something: so much of this process is out of our control and out of our realm of understanding. I've been spending the last week frustrated at myself for how my first application round has been going. But the only thing I should really be doing is forgiving myself, acknowledging that I've been working hard, and channeling all of those frustrations into having a successful interview process.

I don't really believe in destiny or the idea that there's a reason for everything that happens to us. But I do believe that life will work out just fine. We're all driven enough to do well in undergrad, obtain relevant experiences, apply for one of the hardest grad school programs out there, and be so actively invested in the process that we post on this forum. That drive will get us somewhere. Will it be grad school for psych or something completely different? Will it be this year or in five years? I don't know, but I'm sure it'll all work out. We'll be fine.

This was SO good to read. In the same boat - thank you for posting.

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1 hour ago, yeeboi said:

Talked with my mentor the other day about back up plans if I don't get accepted this year, and she reminded me of something: so much of this process is out of our control and out of our realm of understanding. I've been spending the last week frustrated at myself for how my first application round has been going. But the only thing I should really be doing is forgiving myself, acknowledging that I've been working hard, and channeling all of those frustrations into having a successful interview process.

I don't really believe in destiny or the idea that there's a reason for everything that happens to us. But I do believe that life will work out just fine. We're all driven enough to do well in undergrad, obtain relevant experiences, apply for one of the hardest grad school programs out there, and be so actively invested in the process that we post on this forum. That drive will get us somewhere. Will it be grad school for psych or something completely different? Will it be this year or in five years? I don't know, but I'm sure it'll all work out. We'll be fine.

I love this, thanks for writing your comment.

The one thing I worry about is that I already feel like I'm so behind. At 27, I expect I'm older than a lot of people on this forum because I already have a Master's degree (in experimental psych) and I will always wonder if I did the wrong thing by getting a degree I didn't want in the hopes that it would boost my chances in getting into a clinical psych program. I might have been wrong about that, it's certainly looking that way now. The thought of starting another Master's degree when I'm 28, almost 29, is super disheartening. But I can't take back any of my past decisions, it is what it is.

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1 minute ago, sparrow123 said:

I love this, thanks for writing your comment.

The one thing I worry about is that I already feel like I'm so behind. At 27, I expect I'm older than a lot of people on this forum because I already have a Master's degree (in experimental psych) and I will always wonder if I did the wrong thing by getting a degree I didn't want in the hopes that it would boost my chances in getting into a clinical psych program. I might have been wrong about that, it's certainly looking that way now. The thought of starting another Master's degree when I'm 28, almost 29, is super disheartening. But I can't take back any of my past decisions, it is what it is.

We're the same age and have the same circumstances 💕💕 I feel you. *hugs*

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6 minutes ago, sparrow123 said:

I love this, thanks for writing your comment.

The one thing I worry about is that I already feel like I'm so behind. At 27, I expect I'm older than a lot of people on this forum because I already have a Master's degree (in experimental psych) and I will always wonder if I did the wrong thing by getting a degree I didn't want in the hopes that it would boost my chances in getting into a clinical psych program. I might have been wrong about that, it's certainly looking that way now. The thought of starting another Master's degree when I'm 28, almost 29, is super disheartening. But I can't take back any of my past decisions, it is what it is.

 

4 minutes ago, Oluwachristabel said:

We're the same age and have the same circumstances 💕💕 I feel you. *hugs*

26 here, turning 27 this year. I have a lot of anxiety about going back at this age---especially because I want children----so I totally understand your stress. But you can't second guess yourself, it was the right decision for you at the time and it might still be the right decision for you now. Life is an evolving process, and it's gonna be okay. 

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