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Pursuing a different path for now. Will this hurt me in the long run?


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Good day, everyone.

Apologies for the long story, but your feedback is truly appreciated. I guess I'll start with who I am.

I'm Charlotte (Charlie), African, born and raised in London. I went to NYU for my master's in interdisciplinary humanities. I graduated with a 3.9 GPA and I want to go for a PhD in English Literature.

I hope this doesn't offend anyone, but NYU is a very pretentious school. The professors never email you back and don't care if they miss a significant deadline. During office hours, they will slam the door in your face. For classes, they don't respond to emails, but insist that you email them instead of stop by. I had to beg two of my professors for solid recommendation letters, and they didn't even submit them on time. Everyone there thinks they are god's gift to the Earth, and it was quite difficult for me, being an exchange student with no friends or family in the lonely city of New York.

When I graduated from that disaster of a school, I took the GRE. My scores sucked, but I am planning on retaking the exam and overcoming my test anxiety. (I blacked out before and during the exam. Nose bleeds, panic attacks, etc. I am seeking help as I know my anxiety stems from a bigger problem). I sucked it up and applied to six programs anyway.

The results: I was rejected from all my PhD programs. To make matters worse, I lost my fiance, the love of my life and my future husband, and I buried my grandmother, the one who raised me and the only person I had by my side. I was also diagnosed with diabetes, and I went through severe depression. I'm still recovering from my alcoholism, my nicotine fits, and my intense mood swings.

I am trying to put 2015 behind me. I plan to reapply for the English PhD someday, but for now, I want to receive my New York teaching license. I would actually like to teach secondary ed for a little while.

But here's the thing: I have a master's from a good school. I didn't double major in Secondary Ed when I was in college, so I have to seek higher ed to get my New York teaching license. I can either go for a post-bacc program, an Ed.M (Master's in Education), or a Master of Arts in Teaching. I only plan to go to local universities, not top-ten schools.

While I know it won't assist my application in the future, will getting a second master's degree from a lesser-known school take me out of the running? I want to teach for now, but someday, if I ever forget this past year and the bad taste it left in my mouth, I might want to reapply to the PhD programs.

Any guidance will be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much. :)

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No, getting a second master's from a less-prestigious university won't eliminate you from consideration at PhD programs. Many people get their first (and only) master's from less-prestigious universities and go to top PhD programs; where you get your master's from doesn't matter as much as what you do there.

However, taking several years away from literary scholarship to teach may impact your ability to get into PhD programs. Someone in English or a humanities field could probably speak to that better than me.

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