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Not sure about re-applying?


CP3
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I didn't get accepted to a PhD program last year. I didn't visit this site for several months. It was too hard to see other people complaining about which school to go to, when I was sitting here getting one rejection after another.

 

My gut and instincts tell me to try again. Get a better GRE, write a better SOP, improve my music portfolio, dig deeper in researching schools. My former professor encouraged me to try again. 

 

But reason/logic tells me that maybe it's too late and too much to undertake again.

 

The money, the time spent. I don't know, it's exciting to think about trying again, but frightening.

 

Last fall I almost got fired a couple of times because I was spending too much time and energy on my applications, and ignoring my work responsibilities. I just started a new job this week, which has a high level of responsibility and the pay isn't too shabby (crappy for someone with a Masters Degree).

 

I don't want the process to overtake my life like it did last time. It put a lot of stress on my wife, and my health and job performance suffered.

 

Anyone else feel the same way? I posted this in the music section because I feel like our field has a much different process from other fields. Music is SOOOOO subjective. 

 

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated :)

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Hi there,

 

Just chiming in with a word of encouragement -- Things have a way of working themselves out.  You sound like someone with a lot of courage and dedication, and those are qualities that lead to good thing!  It'll all be OK, no matter what you choose to do.

 

Good luck! :) 

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And remember that this time is way different from last time. Essentially you are almost there. The majority of the work is already done. Now you just need to edit your work and research programs more carefully. You also have plenty of time (6-7 months). It sounds like you are doing the right thing: starting now. If you spread it out I bet the stress won't be so bad this time. Also remember to relieve some stress. You have plenty of time. Work slowly and take a few days off from your applications.

 

On this forum you see so many people who struck out the first time, and then got into an excellent program the following year. Go for it! 

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I appreciate the words of encouragement from both of you. One of the most difficult things that I am encountering is the prospect of going to school for another 3-5 years, with little income during that time period. I recently took a job outside of my college education that pays decently and has the strong opportunity for advancement.

 

I love my art-form, and I couldn't imagine living without it, but I'm starting to think that maybe it would be better to make a living having a mundane, well-paying job while working on my music as opposed to earning another degree and struggling for another several years. Jobs are dwindling in the arts in academia. In the near future, tenure will be a thing of the past. 

 

In short, I am worried that IF I get into a PhD program, after I finish, there will be no job for me. If you are going to Harvard, Yale etc., you will find a job. But I am not capable of getting into those type of programs. Therefore, my chances at landing a "kick-ass" job at a University will be limited, to say the least. 

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I definitly would recommend to apply again. Otherwise you may wonder all your life about how it would have been if you went to Grad School.If it doesnt work out as you expected one more time, it may not have been supposed to happen. But then you will know for sure.

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I definitly would recommend to apply again. Otherwise you may wonder all your life about how it would have been if you went to Grad School.If it doesnt work out as you expected one more time, it may not have been supposed to happen. But then you will know for sure.

I'm 80% certain that I will apply again. If anything, I am re-applying for piece of mind. Like you said, if I don't get in, it wasn't meant to be. It won't devastate me this time. Really, it's a win win situation. If I get in, great! If not, I have other options in life. 

 

Thanks for the encouragement!  :)

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OK, I dropped in late but wanted to give my two cents.

 

There are two issues here.

 

1) Do you want to go to grad school?

2) Do you want to go to grad school?

 

If the answer is yes to the first question, then you are thinking of applying again. If the answer is yes to the second question, you will apply again.

 

I always say I am a "second-chancer". I do better in my second opportunity of everything. I've applied only once to grad schools in the US but it was not the first time I had applied... So, decide whether or not you want to go and go for it!!! :) 

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OK, I dropped in late but wanted to give my two cents.

 

There are two issues here.

 

1) Do you want to go to grad school?

2) Do you want to go to grad school?

 

If the answer is yes to the first question, then you are thinking of applying again. If the answer is yes to the second question, you will apply again.

 

I always say I am a "second-chancer". I do better in my second opportunity of everything. I've applied only once to grad schools in the US but it was not the first time I had applied... So, decide whether or not you want to go and go for it!!! :)

Great comment! Thanks!    

 

By the way, the Einstein quote is my favorite quote of all time. I actually have a poster of him with the quote underneath his picture! Thanks for the good vibes!  :)

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For what it's worth, I was rejected across the board my first go around, then accepted to some pretty great places my second time. After my first year, I can definitely say it was an excellent decision to reapply. :)

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For what it's worth, I was rejected across the board my first go around, then accepted to some pretty great places my second time. After my first year, I can definitely say it was an excellent decision to reapply. :)

 

WHEEE!!! :D

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For what it's worth, I was rejected across the board my first go around, then accepted to some pretty great places my second time. After my first year, I can definitely say it was an excellent decision to reapply. :)

I feel confident that I will get accepted the second go-around. I am working on my portfolio right now. Finding time to do the rest (GRE, SOPs, CV etc) will be a challenge. 

 

I will know by the end of summer if re-applying is in the playing cards for me. For now, I will work towards the goal of trying again.

 

Congrats to you for getting in the second time!!!! It gives us second timers hope :)

 

 

Out of curiosity, what do you feel kept you out the first time and got you in the second time?  Any tips???

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Out of curiosity, what do you feel kept you out the first time and got you in the second time?  Any tips???

 

what likely kept me out

  • an unfocused statement of purpose that more emphasized my well-roundedness than my scholarly interests and goals.
  • applying to mostly bad-fit schools.

The only things I changed on the second go-around were my SoPs and the schools I applied to. I got in contact with everyone at every school, but I don't think it helped me just for the sake of the contact - it was more helpful for me to guage if I'd be a good fit with a school. After all, I barely exchanged more than one email in each case.

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what likely kept me out

  • an unfocused statement of purpose that more emphasized my well-roundedness than my scholarly interests and goals.
  • applying to mostly bad-fit schools.

The only things I changed on the second go-around were my SoPs and the schools I applied to. I got in contact with everyone at every school, but I don't think it helped me just for the sake of the contact - it was more helpful for me to guage if I'd be a good fit with a school. After all, I barely exchanged more than one email in each case.

 

In hindsight, my purpose statement was horrific when I applied for master's programs. I'm shocked I actually got in somewhere with how badly I botched pretty much most parts of the application process. I still don't feel like I really have a great idea of what to claim I specifically want to do (heading into second year of a theory master's now), but I at least know enough to claim that I know what I'm doing in the SoPs. 

 

Almost time to apply to theory PhD programs -- eek. Brace yourselves, fall application season is coming. 

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In hindsight, my purpose statement was horrific when I applied for master's programs. I'm shocked I actually got in somewhere with how badly I botched pretty much most parts of the application process. I still don't feel like I really have a great idea of what to claim I specifically want to do (heading into second year of a theory master's now), but I at least know enough to claim that I know what I'm doing in the SoPs. 

 

Almost time to apply to theory PhD programs -- eek. Brace yourselves, fall application season is coming. 

Yep, the season is just around the corner. I'm considering waiting another year to apply to PhD programs in composition. I'm sending out pieces to competitions, calls for scores, etc. 

 

I have 3 new pieces I'm composing (the equivalent, I guess, to 3 research papers for those of you history/theory peeps). I'm really excited about these new compositions, but I think it may take too long to finish these projects in time to apply this upcoming Fall. 

 

We shall see. I know NOW how to write a better SOP, and I'm not too worried about the GRE. A better score from last time should be good enough. When it comes to my major, it seems to be more about what I am writing and where I am going with it.

 

Good luck to those of you preparing applications!!!

 

Word of advice to new applicants----START NOW!!!!!

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  • 2 months later...

I went 0-for-everywhere last year. Not even close, actually. Life happened in the meantime, and it looks like this won't be happening for me anytime soon(in the next 15-20 years, anyway). I'm using it for motivation, but it's more of a comicbook/Bond villain sort of motivation than a positive, constructive type. I'll have to go the Charles Ives route, building my fortune elsewhere until I can build my fortress on top of Mt. Evere… but I've said too much already.

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I went 0-for-everywhere last year. Not even close, actually. Life happened in the meantime, and it looks like this won't be happening for me anytime soon(in the next 15-20 years, anyway). I'm using it for motivation, but it's more of a comicbook/Bond villain sort of motivation than a positive, constructive type. I'll have to go the Charles Ives route, building my fortune elsewhere until I can build my fortress on top of Mt. Evere… but I've said too much already.

Great input. A bit perplexing, but great! I would love to take the Ives route, but I'm not sure if any of us have the odd, mental fortitude to write music while earning a substantial income in a completely unrelated field. I'm not an expert, but I'm pretty sure that if Ives were 40 years old right now, he would be enjoying a tenure position at Harvard doing what he damn well pleased! Good luck VIM! 

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