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What Do You Imagine Grad School Will Be Like?


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Rems, you are making my horrible day of agonizing over my personal history statement just that much better.

Yah! Good luck with your personal history statement! :)

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I am going to be a college professor. I am going to write smart things about death in literature.

P.S. I am super happy that Legally Blonde pops up on this forum on a weekly basis. Thank you for that.

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Ugh! That's almost as bad as this frequently used hook: "Have you ever thought about the significance of [essay topic]?" It doesn't matter what the topic is; at least one student will always ask if I've ever thought about said topic in the first line of his/her paper.

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Ugh! That's almost as bad as this frequently used hook: "Have you ever thought about the significance of [essay topic]?" It doesn't matter what the topic is; at least one student will always ask if I've ever thought about said topic in the first line of his/her paper.

"________ is becoming more and more common in society in this day and age and era." [Only 10% chance thing is actually becoming more common]

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"________ is becoming more and more common in society in this day and age and era." [Only 10% chance thing is actually becoming more common]

Um. I started my SOP with "It is common knowledge that, since the beginning of time, jobs for academics in the humanities have been getting more and more common." Do you think that will be a problem?

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For those who haven't seen it, here's a terrifying blog: http://100rsns.blogspot.ca/

Yes. This blog is depressing... but at the same time it makes me want it more. It's the intellectual equivalent of climbing Mount Everest. Lots of people do it, but lots of people also die trying. That's what makes it so tempting/frightening/exciting.

But really, the prospect of being able to study for a living at a place that's challenging and rewarding, of not having to work some crappy job to put myself through a program at a school that isn't right for me, but that was the only option because of financial hardship... yeah, I'd pretty much give anything for that.

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I think the blog states true facts, but in a very pessimistic way, and from a perspective of bitterness and fatalism. I read through the whole thing the other day, and personally assured myself that nothing they said would deter me from my course.

I agree completely. This blog sent me into a terrorized tailspin for several days, but I righted myself. And while that blog is brutally honest about many very real problems with graduate study, the strains of misogyny, racism, and nostalgia for the ~golden days~ of education when cohorts consisted of ten wealthy, white young men who could read Latin and Greek in both the blog and its comments rub me the wrong way.

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That (100 reasons) blog is mostly repetitive and pretty bad. It definitely normalizes things like "adulthood." "Ooo your friends are buying cars and houses and getting married with kids and you're reading books in graduate school!" Oooo, yeah who gives a ****?

It also acts as if hierarchies, low pay, competition, humiliation, idiot bosses, lack of job openings, and lack of appreciation are specific to academic life.

I have worked in different sectors, from retail to industry (which was my career for a while), and I prefer academic life to those two jobs.

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I agree, it always seems like people discuss academia as if it's the only career track that has any tough competition, or long training period, or economic trade-offs associated with it. Everything worth doing is hard. Bitter grad student bloggers need to stop whining about it as if they invented job-stress.

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If I can be frank, grad school is hard and frustrating. Oh, and you're totally poor for, like, ever. BUT, I get really tired of people saying stuff like this over and over again. I think a lot of these types of complaints about graduate school come from people bitter about graduate school. I have lot of intelligent, successful friends out there that when I mention my Ph.D.'s apps seem to get weird, and their response typically falls along the lines of, "I could have gone to grad school, but I decided I wanted to make money." And then they laugh harder than what's appropriate. I'm not a psychology major, but I'm going to analysis these people: I think a lot of people want to go to grad school and are drawn to the allure of the glamour of the so-called "life of the mind" but don't go for varying reasons. Then, they sit at their desk jobs and say, "I could have gone to grad school -- I'm smart and, gosh darn it, people like me!" And then they decide not to go anyway, again. So when they run into people like us (neurotic grad students), they are suddenly reminded that they could have gone and didn't and they get kinda snarky about it. Ever ask someone why they didn't apply? You might as well punch their dog. It's annoying.

Yes, I'm applying for graduate school. Yes, I know how little money I'll make. Yes, I know that I'll probably get a divorce. Yes, I know I'll work 120 hrs+ a week for little pay off. Yes, I realize that my only job is on par with a grading monkey. Yes, I know that the "life of the mind" doesn't actually exist. Yes, I know grad school isn't the place for validation. Yes, I know that I have a <1% chance of being the next Derrida. Yes, (I'll say it again), I know there's no money in it. YES YES YES to all of this.

People of the grad cafe: Do not be deterred, my friends. You'll end up regretting your life no matter path you choose -- there's no "right" answer. So pick one, and talk it out with your therapist later.

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Yes, I'm applying for graduate school. Yes, I know how little money I'll make. Yes, I know that I'll probably get a divorce. Yes, I know I'll work 120 hrs+ a week for little pay off. Yes, I realize that my only job is on par with a grading monkey. Yes, I know that the "life of the mind" doesn't actually exist. Yes, I know grad school isn't the place for validation. Yes, I know that I have a <1% chance of being the next Derrida. Yes, (I'll say it again), I know there's no money in it. YES YES YES to all of this.

People of the grad cafe: Do not be deterred, my friends. You'll end up regretting your life no matter path you choose -- there's no "right" answer. So pick one, and talk it out with your therapist later.

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