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charliebear

Regrets?

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maybe not regret... but i still dont know good schools for CS that offer fund for MS.

With a pretty low cg and a pretty high gre score... i dreamt of getting myself into vtech... not happening i guess. still didnt hear from them :(

colostate offered admission without fund...similar to rejection.

alabamabirmingham showed no response up to now. maybe that is what happens when you try ms in us :(

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I would have applied to more schools, especially more "safety" (if there is such a thing in graduate applications) and MS programs in my field. Finances were tight after sending off GRE scores and application fees, but hindsight is 20/20.

 

If I could go back even earlier, I wish I sought counseling back in sophomore year, so that the mental breakdown in my junior and senior years wouldn't have happened and tanked my GPA

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^^^ This. But I also wish I would have started at University instead of the community college. I graduated cum laude, and I would have been magna if my lower div coursework had counted.

 

Speaking of Magna, at my uni it was 3.84 and up. I missed it by a cat's whisker. Hence I graduated cum laude. Talk about frustrating! 

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i wish i had your problems.

 

And I wish I had yours! 3 acceptances! Congrats. I'm in cryptic limbo-land...  :lol:  

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I really wish I had taken the time to more thoroughly consider what I want to study, how I want to study it, and which programs would best enable me to carry out my investigations while obtaining the training I need to make it in my field. The more I consider the two schools I have gotten into, the more I realize that neither is exactly a good match for my interests and I become increasingly disenchanted with both. A part of me wants to go through a new application season just to take the time to more clearly figure out what I want to do with my life and apply to the best places for me. 

 

there's nothing wrong with that! I started the application process when my first post-grad job ended, realized I didn't have a specific enough focus, and waited until now (3 years later) to try again -- I have a much clearer idea of what I want to do, and it's made the process much easier. best of luck!

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And I wish I had yours! 3 acceptances! Congrats. I'm in cryptic limbo-land...  :lol:  

 

hah! well, i committed this morning, so perhaps letting people off the waitlist and removing myself from consideration at the rest of my schools will set off some big domino effect that gives you some good news today!

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there's nothing wrong with that! I started the application process when my first post-grad job ended, realized I didn't have a specific enough focus, and waited until now (3 years later) to try again -- I have a much clearer idea of what I want to do, and it's made the process much easier. best of luck!

 

Thanks abeilles. I've pretty much decided that I will decline both offers that I have received and wait to see what happens with my waitlist school. Meanwhile I have already secured an internship that is set to begin in the fall. I'm actually thinking that taking a year off may be the best thing for me. Getting away from the classroom and academia for the first time in 18 years may do me some good. 

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Thanks abeilles. I've pretty much decided that I will decline both offers that I have received and wait to see what happens with my waitlist school. Meanwhile I have already secured an internship that is set to begin in the fall. I'm actually thinking that taking a year off may be the best thing for me. Getting away from the classroom and academia for the first time in 18 years may do me some good. 

 

Good for you! Best of luck :)

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I'm glad I applied broadly because by chance, I was accepted into a really great program and I would have wondered if I could have gotten in other places. The part I regret is that 13 applications are hard on the wallet and holy hell 11 rejections is hard are the ego.

Edited by LMac

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It's funny, as I've been reading through this thread I've been thinking about all the doubts that I've had over the last couple months.

 

Could my previous GPA be better? Of course! But there's no regret there as I've been out of school for over four years (nine years since undergrad). Nothing I can do about that now so I can make up for it in other ways.

Could my GRE scores be better? Of course! I study and prepped probably more for than ever in my life, save maybe my comp exams during my Master's program. I know I'm awful at multiple choice tests but I can't complain about my writing score of 5.5.

Could I have applied to more schools? Of course! But I did apply to the programs which best match the specialty I've been in for the last four years professionally, have faculty that I think I'll work well with, and are in areas I think I could be happy living in for the next few years. The population I specialize in is pretty specific, too, so it isn't like there are tons of options.

Could I have published more? Actually, probably not. There are good but limited research opportunities for me at the moment, but I've done enough to be on first-name bases with a lot of leaders in my specialty.

 

So here I sit, mid-March, with financial plans if I do get accepted and job stability if I don't. One rejection, one limbo, and interviewing at my first choice next week. I've strategized out the interview day as much as possible, all I need to decide at this point is if I should go with the charcoal or beige suits.

 

I've gotten so frustrated with regrets over past failures despite what others have said is adequate (or even excessive) planning and preparation. I've been trying to grasp the concept of doing everything "right" and still failing, I think for the first time I actually get that, actually get that in my heart, so if anything if I fail to be accepted this year I have a hell of a lot of work done for next year.

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I would have not applied to certain programs and applied to some that I did not.

 

I kind of went into the process not knowing what I was doing, and I didn't dedicate enough time to it. I was working full time and going to school full time, and I pushed the applications off. I would have actually studied for the GRE. I did excellent on verbal and writing, but only about average on quant - and everything on there, or just about everything on there, I could have easily answered when I was in high school.

 

Hurricane Sandy came along and cause me to miss my original GRE date. I rescheduled it, but way later. I missed the deadlines for many of the schools to which I wanted to apply: Columbia, NYU, Yale, Northwestern, UT Austin, etc. There were two schools I really wanted to apply to who's deadline hadn't passed, and I applied to them. I also applied to a whole bunch of other schools without really looking into what they were like, their programs.

 

Had I actually read up on them, I would have known that I would be rejected from the ones I did not get into; I was a terrible fit! I could have saved, perhaps, $1,000.

 

If I could go back even further, I would have emailed POIs at each school. I didn't do it, and didn't think I should - I thought it would be poor form, seen as lobbying. It was only here on Grad Cafe that I learned that it was an acceptable, even good, thing to do.

 

I would have tailored my statement of purpose to each school.

 

I feel like I've learned so much about the whole process that I would be able to get accepted at a number of the places that I considered my "dream schools."

 

As it turned out, though, I went to a recruitment fair at one of the two schools I actually liked - the ones I didn't apply to simply because their deadline was easy - and was hooked. It's a great department, and I'm glad that things pushed me to that school. Still, I do wish I could have found out if I would have gotten in to the "top" schools.

 

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I made a stupid mistake and neglected to send thank you notes to everyone I interviewed with.  At this point, I wish there was a way to rectify this, but alas, we'll have to wait and see.  I wish I would have practiced interviewing more (I'm absolutely terrible during interviews due to overwhelming social anxiety and overall awkwardness).  Other than that, I don't have many regrets, but I've learned from my mistakes and I'm ready to take on this process next year!

Edited by Biohopeful

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I wish I had stuck to my guns and spent last summer studying for the GRE and working on grad school apps, instead of giving in to a needy ex. I would have felt more confident going into the GRE and wouldn't have gone quite as crazy in my fall semester, what with studying and taking the GRE, applying to grad schools, completing coursework, working at several jobs, volunteering, AND working on my undergrad thesis. It all worked out fine, though, as I got into a great program! 

 

I guess I learned to procrastinate less and prioritize better, and to protect my dreams and goals like they're the One Ring. My precioussssss PhD dreams.... ;)

Edited by Linelei

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Lots of regrets for both my MS and PhD app cycles. One, I would have actually studied for the GREs rather than walk in and take the test while thinking 'gee bet this is just review'. Two, while applying I'd apply low as I can, none of this reach school business, just a waste of stamps and app fees. Lastly, I'd look very closely at the school's focus (more of X vs more of Y) and I wouldn't dare apply to a Y school, only stuff that directly matches my background of X. Oh, and I wish I never listened to an old PI of taking that year off. Forget that, should have made a bit of time junior year and applied.

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I have a new biggest regret... and am just sick about it.

 

After poring over the requirements for the application materials thoroughly before submitting my application, I just found something that may be a requirement that I did not fulfill. After sending an email regarding applications a minute ago, I received back an email that had a host of FAQs, one of which stated that if we had transfered credits from a smaller school to our baccalaureate institution, then we needed to have transcripts sent from the previous school as well. I did not see this anywhere on the application and did not even think of including my long-past time at junior college on the app. On the online app, for 'Institutions' it first had a section for the BA institution, then a Graduate Institution, then two 'Other Institution's. Following right after 'Grad Inst.', I thought these were for other institutions of higher learning... I never even thought about jr. college from 10 years ago. OMG...

 

This was a tremendous oversight on my part and I am extremely fearful it may jeopardize the entire process that I put so much hard work into. Discovering this now - at the point of decisions probably having been already made - is gut-wrenching. Fortunately, decisions haven't been mailed yet, so I just sent an email to the programs I applied to alerting them to the fact that I just discovered this, asking if there's anyway I can rectify it.  But sheesh, it's cutting it close. AUUUGH...  :angry:

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I have sooo many regrets. I went into this a bit flippantly. I chose schools based on rank and location. I tried to get a range of ranks instead of a range of programs that fit me. I also didn't write a personalized SoP for each school. Once I found this site I pretty much obsessed over it, so much so that it affected my work. I hated my job, and that was one of the main motivations for the obsession. I'm happy to have gotten the interviews that I did, but I definitely could have done better (awkward and socially anxious). At this point based on the history of my schools, I think I am wait listed at most, if not rejected. I just really want another acceptance to have a choice, and the fact that the ones I'm waiting on, I wouldn't mind going to at all.

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I think I regret being so confident. I am a McNair scholar, & I clearly thought that title would have a bigger impact on my applications than it actually did. I have average GPA & GRE scores, which would probably be considered quite low compared to many of you guys, & only applied to Ph.D. programs. I applied to ten schools, nine of which were highly competitive big name schools, known for their excellence & prestige. I also think that since I was in McNair & didn't have to pay application fees, I shot even higher than I normally would have since I didn't have the consequence of paying like $500+ in fees for schools I likely had no chance getting into. Overall, probably a good experience to remind me of my place & that I have to fight REALLY REALLY hard for the things I want. & a good lesson in fate, cuz naturally I got accepted with full funding, & ended up falling completely in love with, the only "normal" school I applied to & the school that was originally very last on my list. So low on my list, in fact, that I almost didn't complete the application!

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I regret not starting this process three or four years ago. (I graduated in 2008.)

 

Also I regret not taking more science and math courses as an undergrad as well as not minoring in Spanish. I took many literature and art history classes out of true love and enthusiasm, but it would've been wiser to pick more practical electives since I knew I might choose a different path.

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I regret being so worried about my mediocre GRE scores and being so vocal about it. Many of my friends with better gpa's and better GRE scores ended up faring worse than me in this process, and now I just feel bad for telling them not to worry.

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I also somewhat regret applying to my undergrad institution. As much as I love it there, before I submitted my application my gut told me that I should venture to new territory and my it still tells me the same thing today. I didn't listen to myself early on, and now I must 'break-up' with my current PI after playing with the fantasy of me staying. Life would be so much easier if I could just transplant him from my current institution to another university of my choosing. 

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