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18 minutes ago, cassidyaxx said:

I was at my personal training session today and was *sucking wind*. My trainer asked me if I've been stressed or have had a rough few days.

Me: *remembering last night I ugly cried to my boyfriend for over an hour about how stressed I was about hearing back from Notre Dame and getting off of waitlists and that I can't plan anything right now until I know which is driving me crazy* Also me: "hmm.. no I can't think of anything that would be doing this"

I hope the best for you about Notre Dame! 

I am in a similar boat - two waitlists 😕  trying to be hopeful, but it is extremely stressful! 

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26 minutes ago, brockdenbrown802 said:

I hope the best for you about Notre Dame! 

I am in a similar boat - two waitlists 😕  trying to be hopeful, but it is extremely stressful! 

Thank you! I hope the best for you, too! Agree, waitlists are a special sort of torture but you never know what could happen :) 

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3 hours ago, cassidyaxx said:

I was at my personal training session today and was *sucking wind*. My trainer asked me if I've been stressed or have had a rough few days.

Me: *remembering last night I ugly cried to my boyfriend for over an hour about how stressed I was about hearing back from Notre Dame and getting off of waitlists and that I can't plan anything right now until I know which is driving me crazy* Also me: "hmm.. no I can't think of anything that would be doing this"

Omgggg I'm sending you any positive energy I can today! I mostly lurk but I see how much you support everyone in this lil virtual community. I'm really hoping for the best for you. ❤️ I understand the anxiety that comes with not being able to plan anything...I feel like this entire last year has done that to a lot of us re: the pandemic. We either can't make plans or we do and then the universe laughs in our faces haha. Grad apps are another added layer on top of everything else. You're doing amazing, though, and we all really appreciate your presence. I really feel like any school would benefit from having you around. I'm hoping you hear good news back from the waitlists soon!

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So, I don't want to be negative, but I'm sensing a rejection from Virginia. I've only seen two acceptances and like one waitlist on the results page. Also, does anyone know what's going on with Penn State? I only see one acceptance, and the comment is asking if anyone's heard from them. 

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40 minutes ago, dogeared said:

You're doing amazing, though, and we all really appreciate your presence. I really feel like any school would benefit from having you around. I'm hoping you hear good news back from the waitlists soon!

Thank you so much for this, I have really been struggling the last few days and have been feeling really defeated and self-conscious (from grad apps but also other reasons) and this post made me cry happy tears. I remember my family lost power randomly on Thanksgiving and my mom was so upset because of all the food she had cooking/needed to be cooked and I just started laughing hysterically, because it really does seem like the universe really is laughing in our faces, especially in the last few months! It's really hard to be part of this process and so your words mean a lot to me. 

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1 minute ago, cassidyaxx said:

Thank you so much for this, I have really been struggling the last few days and have been feeling really defeated and self-conscious (from grad apps but also other reasons) and this post made me cry happy tears. I remember my family lost power randomly on Thanksgiving and my mom was so upset because of all the food she had cooking/needed to be cooked and I just started laughing hysterically, because it really does seem like the universe really is laughing in our faces, especially in the last few months! It's really hard to be part of this process and so your words mean a lot to me. 

@dogeared is right! @cassidyaxx I just want to echo everything they said. And add that I really admire your resilience and dedication to your work. Your research truly is so interesting, and it's been so cool to see how it's developed over the past few years. I really hope there is waitlist movement and you hear good things sooner rather than later. We are all rooting for you here (not to be corny and quote Whitman, but we are with you and know how it is). This process really beats you down. Please take care of yourself and be gentle with yourself. Your work is meaningful and valuable; you have something to contribute and something to say. But even beyond that, you are meaningful and valuable, separate from your work. The stress of this process is so debilitating, and on top of all the other stressors in the world right now...it's so much to carry. I hope this little community can help remind you (and me, and everyone else here) that we're not alone in this, and that we are here to build each other up and care for each other as scholars and as people. Manifesting good news for you, and soon.

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15 hours ago, Bopie5 said:

I hope this little community can help remind you (and me, and everyone else here) that we're not alone in this, and that we are here to build each other up and care for each other as scholars and as people. Manifesting good news for you, and soon.

Omg really thank you so much for your kind words. ❤️ It has truly been so great to see everyone grow as scholars and perhaps even more importantly, I'm glad to know there will be such compassionate and supportive people going into academia. I am so happy for the people who have received good news already and I do feel hopeful that a lot of us will continue to receive it either by moving off of a waitlist or getting unsuspected acceptances! 

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1 hour ago, cassidyaxx said:

Also, would anyone be interested in a waitlist/movement thread? I don't remember if they had one last cycle but there was one for the 2019 cycle and I found it pretty helpful for those of us who are largely waitlisted well, everywhere lol

I’d be interested in a waitlist thread! I have some offers but am waitlisted at 4 places including my top choice (uhg)

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2 minutes ago, Rehana202 said:

I’d be interested in a waitlist thread! I have some offers but am waitlisted at 4 places including my top choice (uhg)

 i'll see if I can make one rn!!

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Hello my fellow literary geniuses  - 

So, things aren't looking too good for me this cycle unfortunately. (@cassidyaxx I am totally feeling your pain right now) I'm basically starting to prepare for having to apply again next cycle, and I wanted to get a few tips from you guys for next time around. 

For my SOP - the majority of it was spent explaining my research interests and some of the questions I was looking to answer through my research, etc. because it's a very unusual area of focus. I saved the last couple paragraphs for explaining why I thought the school was a good fit for me. What's your thoughts on this format? Did you guys do something similar - discuss your research interests and then save why the school was a good fit for last OR did you talk about why the school was a good fit throughout the progression of your entire SOP?

Also, by the time next cycle comes around, I will have been out of academia for a few years. I'm lucky enough to have a very secure job to hold me over, but I'm just wondering what action I should take to try and strengthen my application in other ways for next year? While I'd like to get an adjunct teaching position or something, that's obviously almost impossible in this job market right now. I'm of course submitting to lots of contests and lit journals to try and get a publication or two under my belt. But what else should I be doing? Should I try to volunteer as a reader at a lit journal? I was thinking about taking a couple online classes over the next year in my research area, just to show that I'm still really engaged in it. I feel like I'm at a slight disadvantage, because I did my MA overseas, and was not given the opportunity to be a TA or anything during it, as I know most grad students do while acquiring their master's, so my resume is lacking in that.

Finally, if anyone knows of any departments or programs that happen to dip their toe into the cross section between lit and psychoanalysis, dream studies, etc. please let me know! Definitely going to apply to more schools next cycle, but it's difficult to find programs that specialize in my research interests. 

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9 minutes ago, A Small Raven said:

For my SOP - the majority of it was spent explaining my research interests and some of the questions I was looking to answer through my research, etc. because it's a very unusual area of focus. I saved the last couple paragraphs for explaining why I thought the school was a good fit for me. What's your thoughts on this format?

This is what I did, and from the feedback I got from my letter writers, it made sense the way I had it written. In theory, if you've framed your research and questions well, the committee should have an excellent idea of how good of a fit you are before you get to your paragraph telling them that. And with the limited space, I prioritized telling them about myself/framing my research over telling them about their department.

I also made sure to include my teaching experiences and why  I wanted to do the PhD, Explaining why I want to be a professor. I  have moved back and forth from academia, so it felt necessary to explain it. Tangentially, I did not do anything on top of the job I am currently working, but it's a corporate trainer job, so I am writing curriculum and teaching, which lends itself to the application process well.

But that's just my two cents, and I'm sitting at 2 rejections and a waitlist, with one pending.

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2 minutes ago, kirbs005 said:

This is what I did, and from the feedback I got from my letter writers, it made sense the way I had it written. In theory, if you've framed your research and questions well, the committee should have an excellent idea of how good of a fit you are before you get to your paragraph telling them that. And with the limited space, I prioritized telling them about myself/framing my research over telling them about their department.

I also made sure to include my teaching experiences and why  I wanted to do the PhD, Explaining why I want to be a professor. I  have moved back and forth from academia, so it felt necessary to explain it. Tangentially, I did not do anything on top of the job I am currently working, but it's a corporate trainer job, so I am writing curriculum and teaching, which lends itself to the application process well.

But that's just my two cents, and I'm sitting at 2 rejections and a waitlist, with one pending.

That's something I probably could have done more - explain WHY I want to do a PhD and become a professor. I don't think I really touched upon that much at all in my SOP. 

If my job was more relevant to academia, then I might not feel the need to bulk up my application more. But I'm a marketing director for a small business, and while I do a lot of content output and management, podcast producing, and even historical research and article editing etc., I feel that it doesn't necessarily have a direct line of relevance to academia.

I'm sorry you're in a tough spot too this cycle - I hope you get good news soon! 

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15 minutes ago, A Small Raven said:

Hello my fellow literary geniuses  - 

So, things aren't looking too good for me this cycle unfortunately. (@cassidyaxx I am totally feeling your pain right now) I'm basically starting to prepare for having to apply again next cycle, and I wanted to get a few tips from you guys for next time around. 

For my SOP - the majority of it was spent explaining my research interests and some of the questions I was looking to answer through my research, etc. because it's a very unusual area of focus. I saved the last couple paragraphs for explaining why I thought the school was a good fit for me. What's your thoughts on this format? Did you guys do something similar - discuss your research interests and then save why the school was a good fit for last OR did you talk about why the school was a good fit throughout the progression of your entire SOP?

Also, by the time next cycle comes around, I will have been out of academia for a few years. I'm lucky enough to have a very secure job to hold me over, but I'm just wondering what action I should take to try and strengthen my application in other ways for next year? While I'd like to get an adjunct teaching position or something, that's obviously almost impossible in this job market right now. I'm of course submitting to lots of contests and lit journals to try and get a publication or two under my belt. But what else should I be doing? Should I try to volunteer as a reader at a lit journal? I was thinking about taking a couple online classes over the next year in my research area, just to show that I'm still really engaged in it. I feel like I'm at a slight disadvantage, because I did my MA overseas, and was not given the opportunity to be a TA or anything during it, as I know most grad students do while acquiring their master's, so my resume is lacking in that.

Finally, if anyone knows of any departments or programs that happen to dip their toe into the cross section between lit and psychoanalysis, dream studies, etc. please let me know! Definitely going to apply to more schools next cycle, but it's difficult to find programs that specialize in my research interests. 

Sorry to hear about this! I remember seeing a post from you because we are both also interested in creative writing. I agree with @kirbs005... the "why" part seems to be really important. Like, what is the bigger picture with your research, why do you think it is an important contribution to the field(s), why did you gravitate toward it in the first place? I feel like putting your research into perspective like this is a cool way of packaging your research up as something you're trying to "sell" (which I guess that's what we are trying to do with these SOPs....as ugly as it sounds lol). You might have already done all of this, if so then disregard all of this haha!

In terms of what to do for the next year: just do what you can. I don't think volunteering as a reader at a journal is a bad idea at all. I do think that showing you are doing personal research in your own time would definitely benefit you on an app whether it is through online classes are starting a blog or something. I don't think it has to be anything extravagant. It would just send the message that this research is something you *need* to do. You can definitely get creative with it, I think. But of course, don't break your back for it and overload yourself. Depending on the kind of program and environment you want to be in, I think that you can kind of get a feel for the type of stuff they would find impressive. I know someone whose successful YouTube channel helped them in applications because of the nature of their research -- so doing something that shows you are serious about the research and willing to approach it in your unique way could be something that some places value above publications... (I'm personally more into that sort of education and not so much in to "professional experience" and CVs being the sole representation of a human). So definitely make sure you apply to places that fit your style, whatever you choose to do. There are programs with professors who are really just wanting to see something different, from what I've been told. I think you could get super creative with your research interests. They sound so so so cool, honestly. I really want to hear more about them. 

And the obvious would be strengthening writing samples. I just looked at what I submitted a few months ago and I'm already cringing at it hahaha. If you can talk to someone who is currently a PhD student, they might be able to give you direct feedback if they have time. Maybe in the summer? If you have any way of contacting someone you trust, that would be great. Even a past professor from your MA perhaps? I know that people are busy and stuff but if you ask far enough in advance, people seem really eager to help.

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17 minutes ago, Shake829 said:

I saw that one person posted a Rochester acceptance a few days ago. Do y’all feel that all acceptances have gone out and that the cohort is just smaller because of COVID-related funding issues?

I've also been wondering about Rochester! In past years, they seem to send out all acceptances on the same day or within a couple of days... So I think it's a combo of people who got accepted, but are not on Grad Cafe and the university limiting offers.

14 minutes ago, Shake829 said:

Also, serious question: why is it that almost all schools send acceptances days sooner than rejections? Like, why make us all wait?

I think this varies depending on how each university handles applications. I doubt it's malicious, but it certainly sucks. So they might set aside top applicants first, wait for some responses, think about waitlists, and then reject the rest.

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30 minutes ago, Shake829 said:

Also, serious question: why is it that almost all schools send acceptances days sooner than rejections? Like, why make us all wait?

The scenario I imagine is this: Acceptances are important, and the schools want to get those out as soon as they can. Rejections are the opposite and have no priority. There is a part-time, two-day-a-week work-study undergrad making minimum wage to sit at the office desk and do admin stuff. They'll get around to it when they get around to it. Probably a post-it note on the computer that says, "Send out rejections!" But they have homework to do.

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1 hour ago, Shake829 said:

Also, serious question: why is it that almost all schools send acceptances days sooner than rejections? Like, why make us all wait?

cruel and unusual punishment, possibly oof

but thinking about it logistically, the admissions committees are essentially selecting a few acceptances out of a pile of rejections, including the waitlist. While there are most definitely applications that are rejected right away, a lot of applications are probably given varying degrees of consideration and it would take much more time and effort on their part to send out rejections in tiers as they go through the pile and select who to admit. It would also probably open them to a lot of complaints and annoying emails/calls from applicants that were rejected earlier on in their elimination process, and make it harder for them to use one generic form-type rejection letter?

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18 minutes ago, NervousYolk said:

cruel and unusual punishment, possibly oof

but thinking about it logistically, the admissions committees are essentially selecting a few acceptances out of a pile of rejections, including the waitlist. While there are most definitely applications that are rejected right away, a lot of applications are probably given varying degrees of consideration and it would take much more time and effort on their part to send out rejections in tiers as they go through the pile and select who to admit. It would also probably open them to a lot of complaints and annoying emails/calls from applicants that were rejected earlier on in their elimination process, and make it harder for them to use one generic form-type rejection letter?

I get that sending during the process itself is arduous (and would perhaps be more dehumanizing for those rejected early), but I guess I was asking why not send all the rejections at the same time when sending the acceptances—you know?

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