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


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parent: have you retaken the GRE yet?

me: yep, I think I did ok (I didn't even sign up)

parent: Son, let me tell you, you need a good GRE. You can't let those kids from China have a higher score than you

me: yea I won't let that happen (I don't actually give a sh*t)

parent: Also, send me your essay, I'll revise it for you.

me: but I've already submitted

parent: send it to me and I'll revise it.

me: ok...

parent: make sure you have a good GRE score when you apply.

me: *at this point, I'm just looking for an exit strategy*

 

 

for full disclosure, my GRE was 153V 168Q and 4.5AW. (too bad I'm an illiterate fool who don't know words that are never used in real life)

 

Wow....just...wow lol gotta love the parents!

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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

People who don't understand what it means for a department to have 200+ applications for 20 spots: "I'm sure you'll get in to ALL of the schools you apply to."

 

Me: Blank Stare

THIS.

 

 

The other I hear that specifically relates to my field of study is:

 

Person: "You are studying politics? I though you just said you didn't want to be a politician?

Me:..

 

Person: Oh that field... *segues into criticing big government as a socialist nanny state or whines about them big mean conservative biggots.*

Me: (Well aren't you some god***n expert...when will stop talking?)

Edited by sylark
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Friends from undergrad: "So why aren't you applying to Oxford and other UK schools?"

Me: "Because I would rather stay in Canada, where the top researchers in my field are located and where I'm more likely to receive generous funding."

Friends from undergrad: "But it's OXFORD."

 

Friends from high school: "So are you finished school yet?"

Me: "Well, I applied to some PhD programs, so potentially not for another 4-5 years."

Friends from high school: "Can you even get a job with that? Did you know that you don't need to go to university to get a job?  I have a job!"

 

Parents (every time the topic comes up): "Okay, just so we're clear.  What exactly is a PhD?"

LMAO YES. If I had a dollar for every time my dad has asked, "So, wait... do you get a masters? Oh, a PhD? Don't you need a masters first?"

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I'm for the most part hiding that I'm applying until I have some good news to share.

 

I really should have kept it a secret from everyone but my spouse, so that at least there will be less embarrassment if I don't get in anywhere.   But  whenever someone directly asks me what I'm planning on doing next year, I can't help sharing my tentative plans.  Fortunately my in-laws have yet to show any curiosity about my hopes and dreams, so it'll be a shocker for them if their son ends up moving across the country with me next year.

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I have been very public about my application process. I have worked at the same university for 7 years and nearly everyone knows that this is my application cycle. No pressure though. Ha ha.

 

I did find it very helpful because I had a number of faculty members to review components of my application. Let's just hope it works out!

 

Good luck all! 

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My family is completely clueless about grad school. They were like: Why don't you apply to MIT if it's the best in the country?

me: Because I'm not a genius

they: Oh, come on, who would want to live in Boston? I am sure if you applied, you'd get in... It would just suck to live in MA

me: yeah dad... exactly... I'd totally turn down an MIT offer just because it is in Boston...

 

I mean, I've never been to Boston, but come on, I don't understand why it would be a bad place to live (except for the $$$$$).

 

Anyways, my family thinks that get into a #1 grad school is super easy, because in the end of the day, who wants to go for 5 more years of school, right? lol  <_<

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My family is completely clueless about grad school. They were like: Why don't you apply to MIT if it's the best in the country?

me: Because I'm not a genius

they: Oh, come on, who would want to live in Boston? I am sure if you applied, you'd get in... It would just suck to live in MA

me: yeah dad... exactly... I'd totally turn down an MIT offer just because it is in Boston...

I mean, I've never been to Boston, but come on, I don't understand why it would be a bad place to live (except for the $$$$$).

Anyways, my family thinks that get into a #1 grad school is super easy, because in the end of the day, who wants to go for 5 more years of school, right? lol <_<

People say the same when I tell them I didn't get interviews at top schools. "But you're awesome! You're super involved and smart!"

Clueless people.

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Okay, so yesterday I had the following conversation:

 

Me: It's gonna be pretty awesome being able to use the "Dr." prefix after I earn my phD.

Girl in class: Yeah, me too. I am going to law school to get my J.D.

(Good luck with that.)

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Okay, I wasn't going to post here but I've just gotten some gems from my fiance's dad.

 

"So isn't grad school going to be really expensive?" After I've told him at least a zillion times that most programs only accept PhD students they can fund, and in any case I won't be going unless I'm offered funding. 

 

"I hope you get into a school in California! Pittsburgh is depressing!" Never mind that I'd actually be really excited to get into Pitt. 

 

"If you don't get in, maybe you could document all the dinosaur stuff embedded in all the limestone used in nyc buildings." My chosen area of study is archaeology. He's made the archaeology/paleontology mistake several other times, but refuses to believe me that archaeology has nothing to do with dinosaurs. His response is "You don't like dinosaurs?"

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This used to happen at my undergrad quite frequently. People would wander in off the streets with paintings they'd found in Grandma's attic and were convinced were priceless Old Masters, looking for a professor to give them an appraisal. They would promptly be shown the door. Go pay an appraiser to look at your great-uncle's crazy doodles! We're not Antiques Roadshow, people!!!

 

I'm an undergrad in anthropology and art history, and I recently had one of the dining hall workers at my school ask if I could appraise a painting that her son wanted to throw away but that she thought was valuable. I literally have zero idea how to appraise a painting. None. I can tell you all kinds of things about the symbolism in Northern Renaissance painting, and I can even help you "get" modern art, but I cannot tell you how much some random thing you found in your attic is worth. Well, that's not true. I can tell you that it's probably not worth anything, and there's a really good chance that I'm right. 

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It's really difficult to explain why I want to get a PhD and three times harder to explain why I want to move to another country for 5 years "just to study" (I've heard that A LOT). I try not to talk about it, specially because I'm afraid not to get accepted anywhere, but people are already planning my farewell party.

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"You're so precious! I'm sure you'll get in!"

What adult wants to be called precious? Seriously? I know I'm short but I'm not a child.

 

LOL! Yes. I mean, I'll take a compliment any way I can get it, but hearing this just makes me want to give them the Professor McGonagall stare...

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It's really difficult to explain why I want to get a PhD and three times harder to explain why I want to move to another country for 5 years "just to study" (I've heard that A LOT). I try not to talk about it, specially because I'm afraid not to get accepted anywhere, but people are already planning my farewell party.

 

I am interested in doing archaeology in South America, and people don't understand that either. They either think I'm doing it for a vacation, or they are confused as to why I'd want to go to "a third world country." Also I frequently get people who are surprised that my fiance would "let" me go to another country alone. o.0

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I am interested in doing archaeology in South America, and people don't understand that either. They either think I'm doing it for a vacation, or they are confused as to why I'd want to go to "a third world country." Also I frequently get people who are surprised that my fiance would "let" me go to another country alone. o.0

I totally feel you on this. I think I posted this a few pages back, but I'm studying Meso arch (C. Mexico) and people always say, "Why do you want to go to Mexico? Isn't it dangerous?" or "Why not do something in America/Biblical Arch?" (Cuz all that is supposed to be more interesting/relevant to mainstream America.)

Also, whenever I mention anything about potentially having to travel for a summer, my family's eyes gloss over and the room falls silent. Everyone thinks it's awesome I may get a PhD someday, but beyond that fact, they don't get it. I probably won't bring it up again til I decide where I'm going.

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I totally feel you on this. I think I posted this a few pages back, but I'm studying Meso arch (C. Mexico) and people always say, "Why do you want to go to Mexico? Isn't it dangerous?" or "Why not do something in America/Biblical Arch?" (Cuz all that is supposed to be more interesting/relevant to mainstream America.)

Also, whenever I mention anything about potentially having to travel for a summer, my family's eyes gloss over and the room falls silent. Everyone thinks it's awesome I may get a PhD someday, but beyond that fact, they don't get it. I probably won't bring it up again til I decide where I'm going.

 

Yes, I know what you mean! I constantly get the "Why don't you go into Egyptian stuff?" Ugh.

 

People don't like my traveling either. My grandmother keeps reminding me that I need to stop mooching off my parents (yes, I know), and she wants to know how I plan on getting married if I'm going to be traveling so much (never mind that my fiance is totally supportive of that). She seems to think the traveling is just something I do for fun, and that I need to settle down and find a nice, stationary job. I always hear people asking "So when are you going to be done with all this traveling around the world and going on digs?" Um, when I retire? That's kind of why I wanted to get into this career in the first place: to travel around and go on digs!

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That's kind of why I wanted to get into this career in the first place: to travel around and go on digs!

Yeah exactly! My situation is a little different, as I have a kid, so I can understand the concern in that sense. However by the time I'm done with grad school she'll be almost a teenager and old enough to come with me when I have to travel. That could be interesting!

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Yeah exactly! My situation is a little different, as I have a kid, so I can understand the concern in that sense. However by the time I'm done with grad school she'll be almost a teenager and old enough to come with me when I have to travel. That could be interesting!

I always thought it'd be exciting to travel as a kid. If I ever have kids I want to bring them with me when I go on digs (as long as their school schedules allow it).

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