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do POIs lie about not accepting students?


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Maybe I'm just being neurotic, but I've gotten a couple recent responses from potential POIs to my email inquiries, stating tersely that they aren't accepting students. Some of them are high profile professors, and given the late timing of my first attempt at establishing contact, and of course my worries about what they think of my stated research questions, I'm wondering if they're just being dismissive without wanting to offend. Are potential students who wait until a month before the application deadline to make contact taken seriously?

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Of course it doesn't matter and I was almost going to admit that in the original post. It's just that the reason I delayed so long is because I didn't think I was likely to get in to some of these programs so I focused instead on the ones I had a much better chance with. But with the nagging feeling that I might be unnecessarily limiting myself, especially because it doesn't cost anything to inquire, I decided to contact them anyways. Now I'm left wondering though if it was a bit of a self-fulfilling doubt if my late communication ruined my chances. So it would make me feel better if I was able to conclude that I never had a chance to begin with b/c they aren't accepting students. Not a very useful thread topic, I know, but I stress.

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IMO, you should not let anyone, least of all yourself, deter you from applying to at least one of your "dream schools." If you've hit a road block with some big named professors, see if there are others at that department with whom your research interests "fit." If you're in a field in which convention requires you to reach out to a professor before hand, figure out a way to explain why you're late to the dance. If you're in a field where such communication is not necessary, consider the advantages of not initiating contact.

More generally, look inward. Find reasons to have more confidence in yourself, your abilities, and your potential as a scholar. You have not gotten to this point by accident or by luck or from the favors of others. You have gotten to this point because of your own hard work.

Down the line, there will be moments when you, as a graduate student, encounter peers, professors, and students who will get inside your head. Likewise, your field will find ways to challenge you. At times, you will have set backs. You will navigate these experiences more successfully if you have self confidence to draw upon.

(If you were to fill out your profile a bit more and/or start posting in the forum related to your discipline, you may get guidance that is better tailored to your specific needs.)

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