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anyone else in the "hanging on by a thread" club?

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frandux, don't lose sight of your goal, keep fighting until you finally reach your goal! I understand your struggles because I'm in a similar boat, but I know that over time, we can accomplish what it is we want to accomplish.

Frederick Douglas once said, "If there is no struggle, there is no progress." And from a psychological perspective (it was my concentration in undergrad), we tend to appreciate things more when we have to work harder to acquire/obtain it.

I think there's room for much improvement, you can improve your GPA in your upper-division level courses, you can expand your level of experience by taking more upper-division courses at a local university (I've been looking at this myself, most universities have an "open university" opportunity; of course, the cost per unit is not "cheap"), you can obtain tutoring/research/internship (or if you already have this, you can add more experience).

I'll be brutally honest, you shouldn't give up. The second you decide to give up, you've lost confidence in yourself. Just because things aren't going right or according to plan, doesn't mean you have to give up your resolve to accomplish your goals/dreams. As said in Finding Nemo, keep swimming!

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Hi frankdux,

Just wanted to say I'm sorry to hear. Every time you posted that the waiting should be over, I was hoping it would end well for you. I'm still clinging to one waitlist myself (out of many rejections).

This is my second time applying to grad school (the first time was 10 years ago). In 1999, I was successful at getting in by way of the following:

1. Finding a professor at the program whose work I liked and reading three of his articles and one of his books.

2. Sending him a letter by mail very early in the process (summer before). This started a correspondence by mail and later by e-mail about his work, my interests, and how they might work together. It was so early in the process that there was very little "pressure" on this interaction. (There are also so many people in academics who predate the e-mail age, that letters can be appreciated.)

3. Making sure my recommenders had copies of my writing sample and other work so that they could reference it in their application.

4. Visiting the department, again, very early in the process (I think it may have even been in the summer).

5. After submitting my application, keeping in occasional phone contact with the department secretary to ensure that my application was complete.

Likewise, my partner was admitted to a grad school after being placed on their waitlist the previous year. In his admissions essay, he made a little funny about being on their waitlist (something about "I look forward to waiting to hear from you again"). He got in that year with funding.

Keep the faith and best of luck to you--

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