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Sh*t people say when you are applying to grad school


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"RELAX. You'll get in everywhere!" My least favorite line ever

Real convo I had when I first started my PhD (paraphrased): Them: So, what do you do for a living? Me: I'm a PhD student here at the University in Department XYZ. Them: Oh, cool. So, you're g

People keep telling me, "You'll get in somewhere." For some reason that just makes me more frustrated and doesn't comfort me at all. So since I have no time to make a video about this. Plu

"Why didn't you apply to Harvard? Everyone applies to Harvard, just to see."

 

Apparently, I did not know this. Just to see what?

omg, one of my relatives said that to me!

She was like, "it's not like you got accepted to top schools like Harvard or MIT" (Yap, she said that after I told her I got accepted to 3 schools, what a horrible person).

Edited by Quantum Buckyball
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"why don't you just pursue this(enter another field of study), i'm sure you will get a real job afterwards"

 

low blow... i must say...

 

With your degree, why are you going to grad school. You can get a good job as an engineer with out an advanced degree. 

 

Yes dad, usually as a consultant....

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omg, one of my relatives said that to me!

She was like, "it's not like you got accepted to top schools like Harvard or MIT" (Yap, she said that after I told her I got accepted to 3 schools, what a horrible person).

 

My aunt asked if I was gay during Christmas dinner one year because I was 18 and hadn't had a boyfriend yet....

 

Unlike her daughter who had dated the same guy for two years.

 

It could be worse

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I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with parental pressure here.  I kept getting, "Why would you want to go to School A if you get into School B?  Ask anyone on the street about School B, and they know it's really good!"  Well, Mom, because School A has the #3 ranked program in my field, a couple professors with very close matches to my intended research, and a close-knit, happy group of students.  Yes, the average person on the street won't know that much about it, but it has a lot of name recognition in my specific program, being so highly ranked.  School B has a wonderful program with a lot of name recognition, granted, but the research fit isn't as good and the students in the program seem less tight (not to mention the funding is harder to get).

 

The truth is, Mom wants me to go to School B because it's in the city where she grew up and she would enjoy visiting me there.  School A is in a small town in an area she doesn't really want to visit.  And she just doesn't understand that overall name recognition of the school to an average person is less important than name recognition in my field.  She's also afraid that I'm only interested in School A because chances are pretty good that my boyfriend will end up there in a year or two.  Because, of course, I base all my major life decisions on what my boyfriend could be doing in two years.

 

Anyway, I showed her - I got rejected from School B!  I couldn't go even if I wanted to!  Of course, now she thinks I'm settling for School A and has suggested I wait and reapply next year.  I'm probably going to a top 5 program with full funding!  In what way is that settling?  I've decided to just stop talking to her about it until I get all the final results in.  Save the argument for another day.

Edited by lpeppersauce
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I get introduced to a lot of new people where I work, so I get some good reactions just stating that I studied Sociology and Philosophy as an undergraduate.

"..sosa....sos....sosacology? I know what Philosophy is... I think."

"Oh... I have a friend who's a psychiatrist. Is that something you can go to med school for?"

"I knew a guy who had a master's in Psychology. He worked for FedEx after he graduated. Actually, he still works for FedEx come to think of it."

"...since you studied psych-... er, whatever..."

"Are those the people that do social experiments?"

"What do you do with that?" - The classic. It gets one of two answers: 1. Reach Enlightenment 2. Develop as a perceptive and articulate human being. Each gets a response of cautious, confused laughter.

 

Really? I haven't heard of anyone who can confuse sociology with psychology...

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Really? I haven't heard of anyone who can confuse sociology with psychology...

 

i've encountered many, many people who confuse sociology with.. well, pretty much everything, but mostly anthropology and psychology. 

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Got into the food science PhD program at UC Davis as their top choice candidate. My supervisor was like, "Your grades are decent, you're an in-state student, and you're a girl. Of course they accepted you." Umm...thanks? I'd like to think that they reviewed my application in more detail than that and based their decision on my accomplishments rather than my location and gender.

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i've encountered many, many people who confuse sociology with.. well, pretty much everything, but mostly anthropology and psychology. 

 

Hmm...I guess it's understandable. Sociocultural anthropology especially has its roots in sociology. In places like Europe, anthropology as a discipline is still highly sociological at its core. Psychology is less similar, but as a dietetics grad, we had a requirement in which we had to choose a course among intro sociology, general psychology, and cultural anthropology. In that sense, I suppose they are similar since they all offer insights on how best to perceive and/or interact with individuals from a perspective other than our own ethnocentric judgment. But still, I haven't met anyone who actually confuses sociology with psychology. I feel that psychology is just too different.

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Could be worse...

 

"You don't like working here?"

"Why do you need a PhD?"

 

Of course, I continually get coworkers bugging me about updates to my stuff...

 

"When are you going to find out?"

"Did you find anything out yet?"

"If you haven't heard back yet, does that mean you got rejected?"

 

I am not worried as much as some of them!

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My mom went with me on a visit to a school in an area she had never been, and immediately was like "we'll come visit you and [my husband] if you come here!"  My thought = "you wouldn't come visit me at such-and-such school?"  HA!  She was only saying it to encourage me because I wasn't initially as excited about the place we were visiting, but after the visit I decided that if I was to receive an offer, I'd be happy to accept.  Moms can be so funny sometimes! 

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omg, one of my relatives said that to me!

She was like, "it's not like you got accepted to top schools like Harvard or MIT" (Yap, she said that after I told her I got accepted to 3 schools, what a horrible person).

 

Woah, that is just awful! So sorry you got zero support or encouragement from your relative.

 

I think this process is making me more conscientious of how I respond to others in situations similar to mine. I've been making a point of sincerely congratulating people when something good happens, and for my other friends applying to grad school I NEVER ask, "So have you heard anything?" Instead, I ask things like, "How are you feeling about the process?" or "So did that interview change your opinion about the program?" I just got so tired of the have-you-heard question, even though it's well-meaning, that I don't want to subject my friends to the same!

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I've also been getting the, "you'll get in everywhere, I'm certain of it" comments. While it's nice to have the moral support, this opinion is not based in fact, so it does little to alleviate my anxiety.

 

I can't tell you how many people I've had to say things like "thanks for the optimism, but that's not how it works when the humanities aren't all that well funded and most of my programs only accept those they can fund" then they look at me like I'm an idiot

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Anyway, I showed her - I got rejected from School B!  I couldn't go even if I wanted to!  Of course, now she thinks I'm settling for School A and has suggested I wait and reapply next year.  I'm probably going to a top 5 program with full funding!  In what way is that settling?  I've decided to just stop talking to her about it until I get all the final results in.  Save the argument for another day.

 

I haven't really talked to my mom at all about my grad school plans for this exact reason. I am too stressed out to be fielding a bunch a negative comments, and anyways, this is not the hill I want to die on.

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I think this process is making me more conscientious of how I respond to others in situations similar to mine. I've been making a point of sincerely congratulating people when something good happens, and for my other friends applying to grad school I NEVER ask, "So have you heard anything?" Instead, I ask things like, "How are you feeling about the process?" or "So did that interview change your opinion about the program?I just got so tired of the have-you-heard question, even though it's well-meaning, that I don't want to subject my friends to the same!

 

Do you automatically assume they had interviews? and if not... how did you find out without asking them if they had heard anything? ;)

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Do you automatically assume they had interviews? and if not... how did you find out without asking them if they had heard anything? ;)

Possibly by waiting for them to give them any news concerning interviews first.

I assume "how are you feeling about the process" is the standard question, while the interview question is reserved for those who have chosen to disclose such information.

Edit:grammar

Edited by Jvcxk
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