grimmiae Posted July 27, 2011 Share Posted July 27, 2011 At first I considered these to be more personal questions, but my curiosity got the best of me, and I would really love feedback. I realize that this is a very long post, but if any grad students have the time to answer one, a few, or the whole thing, I appreciate it. Sorry for the long post, I tend to be overly verbose, and my mind is always filled with questions about grad school. I hope that this can also launch an interesting discussion for others as well. 1) my first semester of independent research did not go terribly, but my relationship with the professor as well as our research interests did not match in any sense of the matter. I do not regret this experience, in the long run it was beneficial. It gave me a thicker skin to criticism, and it forced me to push myself in ways that I never thought were possible. My relationship with the professor consisted of this: I would go into his office and he would set his watch for five minutes, and then he would get angry with my for asking too many questions and kick me out. He wanted to limit me to this survey data which ended up greatly restricting the kind of research that I wanted to do, and it ended up hurting my internal and external validity, but it wasn't like it was the worst first research project- I got valuable learning experience regarding how approach a research project step by step. Towards the last half of the semester he told me to not ask him anymore questions...at all. It was hell to say the least, and he ended up giving me a B for the independent research course. Due to this experience I switched labs, and fortunately I realized that my previous research experience with one professor is not generalizable in any sense. I am working with a new professor and we get along great and she is extremely supportive with my research ideas. In your opinion, would you "explain" this B on your transcript as a poor research match? (obviously I am not going to mention all of these minor details about how jerky of a guy he was, personally I just think he is burnt out and needs a vacation) I have other professors who will write my LoRs that can speak of my research abilities in a positive light, or should I not even draw attention to the B I got in independent research? I realize this is just an individuals perspective, but that is what I am looking for here. I really hope that this doesn't hurt me too much in the end, because I have more experience now and I feel more knowledgeable regarding pitfalls with crabby professors and confining- almost suffocating research hypotheses. 2) If you could make a list of "what I wish I would've know before I went to grad school" what would you say about your experience? 3) What is your perspective on masters programs? Do you think that masters programs hurt you in the end, since what I really am striving for is my Phd due to my focus on research and going into academia. 4) If there was a way to self reflect on whether or not I am cut out for grad school is there a set of questions that you wish you would have asked yourself before you applied and accepted the offer to your program? I am a very hard working and diligent person, but if there is something that I am naive to I would rather have that be apparent now, rather than later. I am also aware that the job outlook for professors is glum but I have examined all my other options and I do not want to go into a direct helping field like therapy, school psychology, or guidance counseling. I have already been helping individuals with physical and mental illness/disabilities for years. 5) in some of the research reports I am reading now have stats that I am unfamiliar with. They appear to be more advanced than a basic undergrad stats class. Should I be worried about this? If I get accepted do they expect you to just read a highly advanced study and comprehend every minute detail? Should I consider taking an upper level stats class in my senior year? 6) I realize that I do not have many awards or distinctions, some applicants I have noticed have recieved alot of obscure awards that I haven't really heard of, I slowly adjusted and switched my major several times before deciding on psychology. Do professors/ grad committees really like to see awards? 7) In my Sophomore year I took a semester off to really think about what I wanted to do in my life. Do I mention this somewhere in my application? It was a good thing, I realized that being a psych major was what I wanted to do in the end. Personal times of questioning yourself are definitely not a negative things in my eyes, but I was wondering if it is worth explaining this somewhere in my application. 8) and lastly if you could describe what a day in grad school is like as well any other bits of advice that is greatly appreciated. I also am I aware that some of these may overlap, but thanks for reading this long post if you took the time. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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