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Advice for others


Brooke2016

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What advice would you give to undergrads or even Master's students?

 

Mine would be this: Don't take your GPA for granted. I graduated undergrad with a 3.65 because I never felt the need to get a Master's degree. When I went on for my Master's, I was happy with a 3.75 thinking that I was done with school. Now, applying for a Ph.D. program, I am regretting both decisions.

 

What's your advice? 

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@Brooke2016Same here, but I think it's more of a provisional thinking problem. Most of us didn't have the thought of applying to graduate schools when we were younger, but I guess few would think like this since there're so many factors and temptations working here. Now when I'm applying, I find myself competing among guys with much better GPAs, and when I was writing PS and SOPs, I kept wondering what my advantages over them were. Then I told myself what I had been telling myself since the fourth year of undergrad, "you can only seem to be effortless when you are sparing no effort". Yeah, I guess I'll try like hell in the following years.

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Agreed.

I went back to school as an "older student" after I had already worked in accounting for 10 years.

When I moved to the US I decided to go back to school and get an undergraduate degree at an American university. My reasons for going back to school were much different than those of an 18-year old. I wanted to re-invent myself so to speak and find out how good I really can be.

I didn't expect to graduate with a 4.0 - not until my senior year, then I really wanted to finish with a 4.0 and I did. Since I enjoyed being a student so much I went on with my Masters and graduated with a 4.0. Now I am trying to get into a PhD program and I guess we will see if my GPA will really help me.

My point is that it;s all about effort and commitment. I do not consider myself extraordinarily brilliant, I just know I worked VERY VERY hard and made school my top priority. So yes it's possible to graduate with a perfect GPA but you will have to work harder than all other students.

Is it worth it? Only if you plan to stay in academia like others here have said. Your employer won't care if you graduated with a 3.6 or a 4.0.

You also have to be willing to sacrifice a lot of your "leisure time"  when your friends go hang out somewhere fun on the weekend you will have to read, write, study ... etc. It's a lot of work. My son will start college this fall (undergraduate) and although I would advise him to try hard to make the best possible grade I would probably not recommend aiming at graduating with a 4.0. You really have to sell your soul to your school if you want a 4.0 undergraduate.

For me personally it was worth it because I love being a student. I have branded myself as a "learner for life." and that's exactly why I want my PhD now so I can continue learning about things that interest me and share my knowledge with others. I am really excited about this and hope at least one school will take me. :)

And for the posters above me: It's not all about GPA. I bet you have a really good GMAT or GRE score. Much better than mine. That was a test I could never master for some reason. ha ha

Edited by DrNutty
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14 hours ago, GeorgeC07 said:

@Brooke2016Same here, but I think it's more of a provisional thinking problem. Most of us didn't have the thought of applying to graduate schools when we were younger, but I guess few would think like this since there're so many factors and temptations working here. Now when I'm applying, I find myself competing among guys with much better GPAs, and when I was writing PS and SOPs, I kept wondering what my advantages over them were. Then I told myself what I had been telling myself since the fourth year of undergrad, "you can only seem to be effortless when you are sparing no effort". Yeah, I guess I'll try like hell in the following years.

@GeorgeC07 oh goodness look your program is "nuclear engineering." That by itself screams "brilliant." I could have never made good grades in your field. I was an "International Studies" major and then I got my MBA. Perfect GPA's are probably extremely rare in your field, so don't worry. You are fine. You already got accepted by one school so congratulations!

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@DrNuttyActually there're a few students with perfect GPAs. They even got top marks in exams that failed one third of all the students. But I'm way past the worrying-about-gpa stage, along with worrying about SOP, LOR and many other things. At this point I just let things slide. I've got tons of waiting ahead after all.

Keep up with the good work and good luck.

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