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justacigar

*I is stressed* venting thread for Fall 2020 Applicants

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18 hours ago, Gabriela B. said:

I really thought this was just me. :( Every time I get an email I have a mini heart attack!!! 

For real! Why are they advertising for a program that I already applied to? Like, you got my attention already...now let me in!!
Image result for let me in gif

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2 hours ago, justacigar said:

Agreed, casting a wide net is not necessarily a better option. POIs can tell when you lack direction and purpose, and want someone who fits well with what they are doing because they love that discipline, not because you are willy-nilly trying to force yourself to fit ya know? It's also possible to find a new niche within their research, if it's something they are interested in. POIs love when students bring in relevant, new ideas. 

Hm okay this makes sense, and is likely what killed my chances during my last Skype interview. The professor asked me if I had ideas for research projects that I’d want to start working on once I’m in the program, and I was worried that if I said a specific research idea and she didn’t like the idea it would kill my chances, so I was dumb and said I was open-minded and currently wasn’t sure because I’m genuinely interested in a lot of the research being done in my field. Maybe I should have shown that I have a better idea about WHAT exactly it is that I want to study. 🤔 Thank you for the advice!!!

Now that I think about it I decided to apply to PhD programs kind of at the last minute this cycle, and so I think I was too focused on crafting a well-written personal statement than actually digging through the literature and REALLY figuring out what I actually want to study in graduate school 😖

Edited by lolhelp

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1 minute ago, lolhelp said:

Hm okay this makes sense, and is likely what killed my chances during my last Skype interview. The professor asked me if I had ideas for research projects that I’d want to start working on once I’m in the program, and I was worried that if I said a specific research idea and she didn’t like the idea it would kill my chances, so I was dumb and said I was open-minded and currently wasn’t sure because I’m genuinely interested in a lot of the research being done in my field. Maybe I should have shown that I have a better idea about WHAT exactly it is that I want to study. 🤔 Thank you for the advice!!!

Interesting! I did the opposite in my last interview. The professor asked what research interests I have, and I gave a brief of what I was currently doing for my thesis and what I hoped to do next for research, that would build off the current thesis research. They cautioned that it was a good idea to not be too narrowed in on the research project direction, and I said that I would definitely keep my mind open for suggestions on other ways to approach the research topic. I was offered admission, so it seemed to work okay.

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1 minute ago, PsyZei said:

Interesting! I did the opposite in my last interview. The professor asked what research interests I have, and I gave a brief of what I was currently doing for my thesis and what I hoped to do next for research, that would build off the current thesis research. They cautioned that it was a good idea to not be too narrowed in on the research project direction, and I said that I would definitely keep my mind open for suggestions on other ways to approach the research topic. I was offered admission, so it seemed to work okay.

That’s really interesting! Maybe all POIs are different then, and some like narrow already-established research interests while others prefer for the student to be open-minded to many ideas? Or I said something else during that interview that screwed me over lol. 

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24 minutes ago, lolhelp said:

That’s really interesting! Maybe all POIs are different then, and some like narrow already-established research interests while others prefer for the student to be open-minded to many ideas? Or I said something else during that interview that screwed me over lol. 

It honestly has the feel of a moving goal post. I think you are right and different professors/programs are looking for different things. I think we just be ourselves during the interviews and do the best we can to think on our feet in order to show willingness to work within/contribute in a positive manner the program and that's the best we can do.

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I need a little vent session because I feel like I am going a little coocoo.

I am extremely grateful to have multiple interview invites, but the excitement tends to quickly dissipate the moment I book my travel arrangements. I am not a big traveler, and I get super depleted dealing with the airport and flights. And now..... I basically have every weekend booked for an interview for the whole month of February and the first weekend in March.... x_x

To make matters worse, even though I am pretty easy going and sociable, I am introverted by nature,  so I do need my solo time to just collect myself and recharge my social batteries. I am concerned at the fact that I will be lodging with current grad students, and having the pressure to always be on my best behavior.

All these factors compounded with the main stressor of interviewing for doctoral programs is making my head spin to be quite honest. I am trying to take one step at a time, but it's so difficult when it's only two weeks till my first interview weekend (aka when the chaos begins).

Any advice for how to cope or techniques that helped you keep sane during the interview mayhem will be greatly appreciated!

 

P.S. I hope everyone is taking care of themselves during this crazy time! (I had to up the amount of times I meditate throughout the day lol.)

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15 minutes ago, emotional said:

I need a little vent session because I feel like I am going a little coocoo.

I am extremely grateful to have multiple interview invites, but the excitement tends to quickly dissipate the moment I book my travel arrangements. I am not a big traveler, and I get super depleted dealing with the airport and flights. And now..... I basically have every weekend booked for an interview for the whole month of February and the first weekend in March.... x_x

To make matters worse, even though I am pretty easy going and sociable, I am introverted by nature,  so I do need my solo time to just collect myself and recharge my social batteries. I am concerned at the fact that I will be lodging with current grad students, and having the pressure to always be on my best behavior.

All these factors compounded with the main stressor of interviewing for doctoral programs is making my head spin to be quite honest. I am trying to take one step at a time, but it's so difficult when it's only two weeks till my first interview weekend (aka when the chaos begins).

Any advice for how to cope or techniques that helped you keep sane during the interview mayhem will be greatly appreciated!

 

P.S. I hope everyone is taking care of themselves during this crazy time! (I had to up the amount of times I meditate throughout the day lol.)

Getting interviews is pretty stressful in the nature. I think the universities are aware of this situation. One of the programs sent the interview schedule yesterday, and they mentioned that they will be providing a couple of empty rooms to get relaxed or to meditation or to pray. Maybe they will provide this kind of opportunity too.

 

Good luck!!

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23 hours ago, PsyZei said:

I do think this is a thing. For most of my applications I tried to show that I was a potential fit with at least two professors in the program. Sometimes that was easy (as there were multiple faculty were similar research interests), but sometimes looked like there being one professor I was an obvious fit with (which I'm sure they could read as being my preference), then one professor I was a fit with peripherally or niche-wise. Example, for one it was like no my research focus in not the same as theirs AND one of their research focuses is improving mental health services for under-served and hard to reach populations and here I am discussing my current research about improving understanding, from a mental health lens, of an under-served and hard to reach population. It's of note that while I did get an interview invite for that program, it was from my preferred POI (not the one for who the fit was more of a reach). Yet, I can't help but feel doing this at the very least doing this shows that I've seriously looked into the complete program/faculty and demonstrates that I will likely do well in connecting to the program as whole, not just to my one specific POI.

Honestly, unless the other POI was studying blatantly different topics with no overlap whatsoever, I would not worry too much about it.

Because for one you are increasing your chances, as a professor who may not be your first choice, might find you to be a good fit of a project.

 

I was also told that some professors do a quick CTRL+F to search for their name in applicants' statements.

 

If nothing else, it at least motivates collaborations with other PIs, and may indicate to faculty that you have looked into who may serve as your committee. 

 

Again, unless you are casting your net so wide that there is no overlap between the POIs you applied to, and were studying vastly different topics, I don't see how it could harm you. 

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I submitted the last of my applications today, and I am going to take the weekend off for a road trip.  This process is incredibly stressful sometimes, but It's so important that we take care of ourselves. As someone who has been rejected before, regardless of the outcome, we'll all be okay and life will go on.

 

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2 hours ago, sparrow123 said:

My god waiting is hard. My nerves are absolutely fried right now. At this point outright rejections would be welcome, because then at least I'd know. 

I've been emailing the faculty that I applied to work with and just straight up asking where they're at in the application process. I've received rejections, but weirdly enough it feels good to just know. I would encourage you to just email who you applied to work with and ask! I seriously feel so much better, which is incredibly weird because I just got rejected lol. 

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5 minutes ago, lolhelp said:

I've been emailing the faculty that I applied to work with and just straight up asking where they're at in the application process. I've received rejections, but weirdly enough it feels good to just know. I would encourage you to just email who you applied to work with and ask! I seriously feel so much better, which is incredibly weird because I just got rejected lol. 

I’d recommend emailing the program director/someone in administration rather than your PI. It can come across as pushy/impatient and hurt your chances (this cycle and future cycles) if you inquire with your PI. 

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1 minute ago, hopefulgrad2019 said:

I’d recommend emailing the program director/someone in administration rather than your PI. It can come across as pushy/impatient and hurt your chances (this cycle and future cycles) if you inquire with your PI. 

Oh okay, good to know!. I've only emailed two PIs so far, so I guess I'll just wait and not email anyone else. I thought it was okay since I noticed some others have also said that they have contacted their PI directly just to ask. I guess I will just keep waiting! 

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I’ve only got a couple of schools left that I need to hear back from, and I’m afraid they’re both gonna end in no interview invites. Just like almost everything else has. I’ve been hiding the rejections from a lot of people in my life, afraid to face them and what they might think. It’s hard to even face myself with this sometimes, as optimistic as I try to be. Just wanted to send some good thoughts to everyone here who might be on the same boat. 

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5 minutes ago, yeeboi said:

I’ve only got a couple of schools left that I need to hear back from, and I’m afraid they’re both gonna end in no interview invites. Just like almost everything else has. I’ve been hiding the rejections from a lot of people in my life, afraid to face them and what they might think. It’s hard to even face myself with this sometimes, as optimistic as I try to be. Just wanted to send some good thoughts to everyone here who might be on the same boat. 

You'll be surprised at how much better you'll feel after you tell the people closest to you, and you'll be surprised at just how encouraging and supportive they may be. I just posted in this thread a few days ago about how hurt and defeated I was feeling because of all of the rejections I was receiving, and I was literally in the exact same boat as you; I had no idea how to tell my loved ones. But I've been slowly starting to confide in them and just reach out for support and tell them what's been going on. You are definitely not alone, and I would encourage you to do the same and just let them know what's going on, you will feel MUCH better over time as you develop a Plan B and realize that life doesn't stop here. You can always try again and you'll be fine. 💛

I was literally in the exact same boat this entire week, so feel free to message me if you need to vent any more. 

Edited by lolhelp

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28 minutes ago, hopefulgrad2019 said:

I’d recommend emailing the program director/someone in administration rather than your PI. It can come across as pushy/impatient and hurt your chances (this cycle and future cycles) if you inquire with your PI. 

Does anyone have a recommended format to follow when emailing the program director/admin about this topic? I'm going to overthink this a lot. If someone has an email they send and just wanted to PM me, I would be super grateful!

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4 minutes ago, lolhelp said:

You'll be surprised at how much better you'll feel after you tell the people closest to you, and you'll be surprised at just how encouraging and supportive they may be. I just posted in this thread a few days ago about how hurt and defeated I was feeling because of all of the rejections I was receiving, and I was literally in the exact same boat as you; I had no idea how to tell my loved ones. But I've been slowly starting to confide in them and just reach out for support and tell them what's been going on. You are definitely not alone, and I would encourage you to do the same and just let them know what's going on, you will feel MUCH better over time as you develop a Plan B and realize that life doesn't stop here. You can always try again and you'll be fine. 💛

I was literally in the exact same boat this entire week, so feel free to message me if you need to vent any more. 

Thank you. Seriously. I’ve told my mentor about everything, but being vulnerable to people in my personal life about this terrifies me. I know it’s irrational, and that the people that care about me will never think less of me because of this. But I’m afraid of seeing the concern in people’s eyes. The pity that this isn’t working out the way we all thought it would. 
 

I’ll genuinely try tonight though. I have a couple good opportunities to tell people close to me. Thanks for giving me a boost. 

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On 1/23/2020 at 5:02 PM, emotional said:

I need a little vent session because I feel like I am going a little coocoo.

I am extremely grateful to have multiple interview invites, but the excitement tends to quickly dissipate the moment I book my travel arrangements. I am not a big traveler, and I get super depleted dealing with the airport and flights. And now..... I basically have every weekend booked for an interview for the whole month of February and the first weekend in March.... x_x

To make matters worse, even though I am pretty easy going and sociable, I am introverted by nature,  so I do need my solo time to just collect myself and recharge my social batteries. I am concerned at the fact that I will be lodging with current grad students, and having the pressure to always be on my best behavior.

All these factors compounded with the main stressor of interviewing for doctoral programs is making my head spin to be quite honest. I am trying to take one step at a time, but it's so difficult when it's only two weeks till my first interview weekend (aka when the chaos begins).

Any advice for how to cope or techniques that helped you keep sane during the interview mayhem will be greatly appreciated!

 

P.S. I hope everyone is taking care of themselves during this crazy time! (I had to up the amount of times I meditate throughout the day lol.)

I'm with you in this hectic time.   If you are not a fearful flyer, I would suggest doing what I am doing and treating plane time as me time. Pleasure reading, catching up on podcasts, etc. I'm off work and interview prep on the planes. It's not the greatest relaxation admittedly, but I've been making do. 

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On 1/10/2020 at 11:09 AM, justacigar said:

Okay, very unrelated to application stress, but I hate that GradCafe limits the amounts of reactions you can give in one day! I need to upvote the Fairly OddParents meme! I need to!

I would like this post but I'm out of reactions too lol

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49 minutes ago, Grad_School_Hopeful said:

I would like this post but I'm out of reactions too lol

Hahaha that gave me a good chuckle

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I'm so drained.  First time applying, and it's starting to look like the majority of the schools I have applied to will not be extending me in-person interview invites. I had one  in person interview that seemed to go well, and several phone interviews that went okay but did not send me in person interview invites. I feel disappointed but ready to run it back next year and gain some more research experience to hopefully me out more, but I reeeeeeally wish I just knew right now what is going to happen. sigh.

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On 12/19/2019 at 10:44 AM, cccneuronccc said:

I am SO sad to be told not going to get a formal on-site interview AFTER having a skype interview with the POI from my first choice program. It felt so close. Didn't feel it went bad at all but apparently that's just in my head. It's so hard not to think I singlehandedly  messed everything up. I would probably feel less terrible if never getting invited for a skype interview. I don't even know whether to apply for the same program next year. 

 

I'm in the same boat. I had a skype interview last week and didn't receive an in person interview. It stings for sure but I'm trying not to take it too personally. It somehow feels worse than a flat out rejection email. 

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