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@clinamen ahhh I didn’t know there were current UW students on the forum! So nice to know you’re here! I did see that the grad staff circulated your info and I was going to email you tonight! I’ll pm you in a few! 

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Yup, all my remaining visits have now been canceled. Maybe it's a sign lol. I really wonder how this will impact decisions (including my own!) and waitlist movement... 

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Welp, my UNM visit just got canceled. Anyone from New Mexico know anything about the Albuquerque area? It's going to be difficult to compare these offers when I get to see Duquesne first-hand, but not UNM. Talk about poor timing. I'm struggling to remain optimistic in light of all this madness.

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28 minutes ago, SomethingWicked said:

Anyone from New Mexico know anything about the Albuquerque area? 

I lived in Albuquerque for a few years before moving to my program this past fall. I don't know many specifics about UNM English, but can answer any questions about ABQ or NM!

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UVa is also shutting down the campus for the foreseeable future with a shift to online classes (at least April 5th). The visits have already happened but this is just to warn that I assume notifications will slow down a bit over the next few days. In fact, I'd assume that the cycle is going to constrict a bit this time around, since the loss of visits might mean people take longer (or hey, shorter!) to make a decision.

That said, again, if anyone has any questions about UVa, feel free to PM.

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Posted (edited)

Went to an absolutely lovely visiting weekend at WashU in St. Louis a few weeks ago and was so looking forward to my Rutgers visit... Like most others this late in the game, the Rutgers open house has been cancelled. I'm crushed because after deciding UC Davis wasn't for me, I'm really deciding between WashU and Rutgers... I was really thinking Rutgers was the program for me, and wanted the visit as an opportunity to confirm that... to feel how it feels to be on campus, and to really begin picturing myself there. Now I feel robbed of that opportunity, and the decision feels infinitely harder. How on earth am I supposed to give both programs equal consideration when one school was able to roll out the proverbial red carpet for me and the other school is now scrambling to set up skype interviews?

At the risk of sounding whiny and/or ungrateful, it just feels so unfair! I'm of course so thankful that I'm currently safe and healthy, and so are my loved ones, but... We've worked so hard to get to the point when we can celebrate our acceptances at these visiting days, and now because of all of this chaos we don't even get to enjoy it! I know I'm probably preaching to the choir... :(  

Edited by VincentH
fixed a (rage-induced) typo

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Visit at UCSB was cancelled. Any current students on the form? I asked about contact information for fellow admits, but I was informed that "they don't give out information for applicants prior to admission." Which was kind of confusing because we were all admitted already lol. So if any fellow admits or current students are on here I'd love to talk!

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USC’s visit is officially canceled. I really don’t know how I’ll make a decision now :( 

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Just got the ol' cancellation email from Penn State, but it sounds like they're going to try putting together a virtual campus visit for the same days that had originally been scheduled. Any newly-minted veterans of a virtual campus visit, I'd be curious to hear what your experience was like. (Oh, and if there are any current or former Penn State students 'round these parts, I'd so appreciate any info you can share on the program, the campus, and the surrounding area.)

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4 hours ago, politics 'n prose said:

Just got the ol' cancellation email from Penn State, but it sounds like they're going to try putting together a virtual campus visit for the same days that had originally been scheduled. Any newly-minted veterans of a virtual campus visit, I'd be curious to hear what your experience was like. (Oh, and if there are any current or former Penn State students 'round these parts, I'd so appreciate any info you can share on the program, the campus, and the surrounding area.)

Hey, I attended a virtual visit with UW. Happy to chat about that, feel free to PM me!

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For those of you who attended a different institution for your MA, did you actually tour the campus, and did that factor into your decision to enroll? With this coronavirus chaos, all my prospective campus visits have been cancelled--though I've been offered the chance to do a "virtualized" session to chat with current students and faculty.

I'm just struggling to wrap my head around if forgoing actual campus visits and just enrolling by the 15th without seeing the place I'll be living in these next 2 years is the smartest move I can make. I mean, campus environments can definitely be conducive or not conducive to succeeding in a program, right...

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2 hours ago, ccab4670 said:

For those of you who attended a different institution for your MA, did you actually tour the campus, and did that factor into your decision to enroll? With this coronavirus chaos, all my prospective campus visits have been cancelled--though I've been offered the chance to do a "virtualized" session to chat with current students and faculty.

I'm just struggling to wrap my head around if forgoing actual campus visits and just enrolling by the 15th without seeing the place I'll be living in these next 2 years is the smartest move I can make. I mean, campus environments can definitely be conducive or not conducive to succeeding in a program, right...

I did not visit the school where I'm getting an MA (BC), as I was living in a pretty distant country until the summer before I started graduate school. I would have liked to visit, I suppose, but for me funding was ultimately the most important factor. Not visiting worked out for me! What I did find very helpful was stopping in Boston for a few days on my way back to/through the US. Looking at apartments in person was definitely easier, although I also know many people who found them from afar. By the way, if you (or anyone) has any questions about BC, send me a DM! Happy to help with anything I can :)

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Just got the info email for a virtual Berkeley visit that is ... a couple hours, 12-2 PM EDT Monday on Zoom. And a virtual icebreaker (not clear if only a few people responded or if the admitted cohort is small) with the instruction to just start emailing each other if we want to.

.... Alrighty then.

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Thanks, @tinymica--I think I'll take you up on that once I can get some cogent thoughts down!

3 hours ago, ccab4670 said:

For those of you who attended a different institution for your MA, did you actually tour the campus, and did that factor into your decision to enroll? With this coronavirus chaos, all my prospective campus visits have been cancelled--though I've been offered the chance to do a "virtualized" session to chat with current students and faculty.

I'm just struggling to wrap my head around if forgoing actual campus visits and just enrolling by the 15th without seeing the place I'll be living in these next 2 years is the smartest move I can make. I mean, campus environments can definitely be conducive or not conducive to succeeding in a program, right...

I didn't have a chance to visit the school where I ultimately enrolled for my MFA because I was literally accepted off the waitlist on April 14 and had a day to decide, and it turned out perfectly fine. (That said, I was accepted to the school whose program itself was my top choice of places I'd been accepted/waitlisted, which certainly made the decision easier.) You can get a decent enough sense of what a place is like through some online sleuthing (lots of cities and towns--not to mention colleges and universities--have pretty active subreddits that can be a good source of intel (and occasional horror)), and if you also have the benefit of speaking to current students and faculty, that's certainly a bonus.

To your larger question, though, location is definitely a contributing factor to how successful you'll be in your program. If you have particular concerns about the place(s) where you've been accepted--that is, both the physical locale and the overall campus climate--I'd write them down and be sure to ask specific questions when your virtual visit rolls around to glean as much information as you can. Good luck! 

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43 minutes ago, meghan_sparkle said:

Just got the info email for a virtual Berkeley visit that is ... a couple hours, 12-2 PM EDT Monday on Zoom. And a virtual icebreaker (not clear if only a few people responded or if the admitted cohort is small) with the instruction to just start emailing each other if we want to.

.... Alrighty then.

Sigh, only 2 hours?? 

I just got info from Rutgers for the first day, and it's a series of phone calls. While I'm certainly interested in having these conversations and asking questions it feels like much of the work is placed on applicants to prep for these 'virtual meetings'. (Like I don't already have enough scheduled phone calls at this point lol). It's totally different if one is meeting with a group instead of always one-on-one. 

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2 minutes ago, Narrative Nancy said:

Sigh, only 2 hours?? 

I just got info from Rutgers for the first day, and it's a series of phone calls. While I'm certainly interested in having these conversations and asking questions it feels like much of the work is placed on applicants to prep for these 'virtual meetings'. (Like I don't already have enough scheduled phone calls at this point lol). It's totally different if one is meeting with a group instead of always one-on-one. 

Yeah, it's a little disappointing if I'm honest—and of the remaining schools I'm considering that I couldn't visit, Berkeley has been on the more-proactive-than-not side of the spectrum, so it doesn't seem to bode well for the rest of the others.

And I was just saying the same to someone else too re: how much work this is placing on applicants! Totally agree with you. The time needed to reach out and email various people, or respond to multiple emails if it's the DGS, admin, faculty and/or students getting in touch, set up the calls, prepare all the questions and then have the call/Skype meeting ... whereas with a visit, everything is coordinated for you, provided you indicate some names of faculty who you'd like to speak to, and it's the faculty that lead the meetings, no pressure to prep. Now it seems the only other option is either mammoth coordination or an information dump; Columbia for ex sent out an FAQ doc of commonly asked questions about the program and a list of course offerings for the next couple years—soooo yet another item on my to-do list is going through course offerings for fall 2020/spring 2021 at like 5 different programs and comparing. In addition to reading through the entirety of the Princeton graduate handbook and continuing to pray that Harvard does not keep ghosting me lol. 

I realize this is like the least of the world's problems, but it's just a lot esp for people who already work full-time. (You graduating seniors too—I can't even imagine.) I work from home and always have, thank god, but still. Spending pretty much every day now on my parents' couch (my flight back to the UK isn't til the 29th, no changes possible and not refundable) staring at a computer screen, either for work, for emails to professors/students, or scrolling through the madness on Twitter/the news. 

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10 minutes ago, meghan_sparkle said:

Yeah, it's a little disappointing if I'm honest—and of the remaining schools I'm considering that I couldn't visit, Berkeley has been on the more-proactive-than-not side of the spectrum, so it doesn't seem to bode well for the rest of the others.

And I was just saying the same to someone else too re: how much work this is placing on applicants! Totally agree with you. The time needed to reach out and email various people, or respond to multiple emails if it's the DGS, admin, faculty and/or students getting in touch, set up the calls, prepare all the questions and then have the call/Skype meeting ... whereas with a visit, everything is coordinated for you, provided you indicate some names of faculty who you'd like to speak to, and it's the faculty that lead the meetings, no pressure to prep. Now it seems the only other option is either mammoth coordination or an information dump; Columbia for ex sent out an FAQ doc of commonly asked questions about the program and a list of course offerings for the next couple years—soooo yet another item on my to-do list is going through course offerings for fall 2020/spring 2021 at like 5 different programs and comparing. In addition to reading through the entirety of the Princeton graduate handbook and continuing to pray that Harvard does not keep ghosting me lol. 

I realize this is like the least of the world's problems, but it's just a lot esp for people who already work full-time. (You graduating seniors too—I can't even imagine.) I work from home and always have, thank god, but still. Spending pretty much every day now on my parents' couch (my flight back to the UK isn't til the 29th, no changes possible and not refundable) staring at a computer screen, either for work, for emails to professors/students, or scrolling through the madness on Twitter/the news. 

Yes, I signed up to be wined and dined haha. It really is difficult balancing all of this with writing my MA thesis, news that my campus is closed for the entire semester and more and more confirmed coronavirus cases in my home country. Ugh. My email inbox is busy enough with 3 programs, I can't imagine yours! Who knows, maybe Harvard ghosting you is their way of being considerate. 

Hopefully things fall into place one way or another.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/12/2020 at 11:20 PM, politics 'n prose said:

Just got the ol' cancellation email from Penn State, but it sounds like they're going to try putting together a virtual campus visit for the same days that had originally been scheduled. Any newly-minted veterans of a virtual campus visit, I'd be curious to hear what your experience was like. (Oh, and if there are any current or former Penn State students 'round these parts, I'd so appreciate any info you can share on the program, the campus, and the surrounding area.)

Hey, weirdly, I didn't get to go visit OSU, but I visited Penn State for Lit. I can't speak to your particular program but I loved mine. The grad students seem sane, are happy, and they all had the support they needed from the faculty. The campus is big, and very well equipped, (doesn't seem to be struggling financially lol) so downtown and the city in general seems to be built around the needs of the school. There are buses that run all though campus and around town so you'd be fine without a car. Housing options are decent and fairly priced too so I don't think you'd struggle with your stipend. Since it's a small college town/city, I don't know how that would change things for you. Overall, I kid you not, if your research interests are a great match,  you can get used to the small city vibe and live there. Please let me know about OSU if you've visited. Thanks!

Edited by WanYesOnly

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Thank you so. much. for the info on Penn State, @WanYesOnly! I grew up in small-town Pennsylvania, so I'm not too turned off by State College location-wise (it's not necessarily ideal, but I can probably make it work),  and the rest of what you're saying sounds quite promising to me. (I'm currently leaning heavily toward Penn State for a variety of idiosyncratic reasons, and if my talks with faculty/students go well during the virtual campus visit, I think that'll be the thing that finally tips the scales in its favor.)

As for Ohio State: I did my MFA there as well, so I'm very familiar with Columbus, and it's a great city. I've been told it's not a "city" in most meaningful senses of the word by folks from NYC, Denver, Boston, etc.--rather, that it's a college campus they had to build a town around--but I respectfully disagree. Yes, it's a small city, but it has a lot of cool and distinct neighborhoods, great food, great indie bookstores (a great literary community in general, really)--you'll never want for anything to do outside of class. Rents are climbing and areas are gentrifying, but the overall cost of living is still reasonably low. That said, public transportation is...dodgy; there's a city-wide bus system, but it doesn't hit every part of the city (and there are some problematic attitudes re: race and class that seem to inform which places get bus service and which ones don't). Most parts of Columbus are bikeable, a decent number are walkable, but a lot of people (too many people, really, for a city of its size) have cars and do a lot of driving. I had a car when I lived in Columbus, but I hated having to drive anywhere from Old North (a bit north of campus) to German Village (a fair deal south of campus)--so, basically the entire "city" proper--because there were just too many people on the road.

The university itself has a lot of fantastic resources--a top-notch library, extensive collections and archives on just about everything under the sun--and the English faculty and grad students are smart, passionate, and refreshingly down-to-earth and unpretentious (as a whole). Interdisciplinary study is very much encouraged, so you'd definitely have a chance to broaden your research horizons. Ohio as a state is becoming more and more conservative, though--and Columbus as a city is not without its issues, particularly regarding policing, though overall I'd call it a pretty liberal place--so while the university is absolutely a crown jewel of the state and very well-funded, it's important to note that the political winds are trending in a more, uh, rightwardly direction, if that's something that would factor into your decision.

Hope this helps--feel free to shoot me a PM with any other questions!

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, ccab4670 said:

For those of you who attended a different institution for your MA, did you actually tour the campus, and did that factor into your decision to enroll? With this coronavirus chaos, all my prospective campus visits have been cancelled--though I've been offered the chance to do a "virtualized" session to chat with current students and faculty.

I'm just struggling to wrap my head around if forgoing actual campus visits and just enrolling by the 15th without seeing the place I'll be living in these next 2 years is the smartest move I can make. I mean, campus environments can definitely be conducive or not conducive to succeeding in a program, right...

I enrolled in the same joint MA at Brandeis (Eng & WGS; graduated last February) without ever visiting beforehand, so definitely PM me if you want to chat! 

Edited by madandmoonly

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Thank you too @politics 'n prose I'm an international student and I don't know much about Ohio or Columbus so this really helps, especially the bit about the city itself. It seems that in general, both OSU and PSU are great department-wise and their students seem glad to be there. Unfortunately, since I'm not American and I'm unfamiliar with the politics and social life in State College, I don't have much info to give you in turn here. This is going to be hard but I'm also leaning towards Penn. I'll reach out with more questions as I think of them :)

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2 hours ago, Narrative Nancy said:

Who knows, maybe Harvard ghosting you is their way of being considerate. 

Maybe I manifested some kind of witchy energy because Harvard's DGS called me out of the blue just now. 👀 Shook. I am shook.

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21 hours ago, WanYesOnly said:

Thank you too @politics 'n prose I'm an international student and I don't know much about Ohio or Columbus so this really helps, especially the bit about the city itself. It seems that in general, both OSU and PSU are great department-wise and their students seem glad to be there. Unfortunately, since I'm not American and I'm unfamiliar with the politics and social life in State College, I don't have much info to give you in turn here. This is going to be hard but I'm also leaning towards Penn. I'll reach out with more questions as I think of them :)

I went to undergrad at a small school in PA and I got my MA also from Ohio. As an international student, I would say that my life in Ohio has been much easier because the flights out of Columbus are generally cheaper. State College has a very small airport so flights are also often more expensive. However, you can also easily take the bus to Philly or NY to fly out of the country. If you have any more questions, feel free to reach out to me. 

Also, the whole corona fiasco happened while I was on a plane to LA to visit UCI, and as soon as the wheels touched the ground, I got more than a dozen emails saying that every single visit has been cancelled, including UCI. However, UCI still go head with the event because 4 admitted students were already in the area. It was such a strange feeling to arrive to a deserted campus on a rainy day, with only robots running around, felt like I was in one of Philip K. Dick's novels. 

My own school in Ohio just told me that I should not return to campus. The funny thing is that because I have discussed with other schools about multiple visits, they have been more than generous to fly me to and from other schools. But as schools were cancelling one after another, I am now going to get stuck in LA for several days before I could board a flight back to Columbus.

I still have two months left of school but by now, I think I'm finished 🤣🤣🤣

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