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Do you have a Plan B?


coffeeandtoast

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Hmm.

I've actually been thinking about putting together some short films. I have a thing for hallways and modern- butoh like dance.

There are some really wonderful plan Bs in this post. Honestly, they sound more exciting to me than some of the programs you are applying to.

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WWOOF sounds really interesting - and a good way to improve language skills to boot. I'd love to do something like that, especially since I've recently come to the conclusion that I'm not that crazy about traveling. I mean, I like going places, but then I don't like just looking at things and moving on to the next thing on the list. It would be great to actually stay somewhere for a while and interact with the local people. I'm assuming you have to pay for your own transportation there, correct? Well, it sounds like an interesting thing to do over a summer break or something. Too bad I've already made plans for this coming summer.

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Pending my across-the-board rejections, I want to move to Hong Kong and get a gig teaching English.

Or, I might WWOOF it - anyone else done this? World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. You get free food and a roof over your head for six hours of farm labor a day - awesome way to see an unfamiliar place.

I lived - for free - on a farm in Pudong, outside Shanghai for about two weeks in July. I'll never forget it.

I did this in New Zealand on three separate organic farms (one was actually an organic vineyard producing vegan wine!). It was an amazing experience, and I highly recommend it!

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VISTA is part of the AmeriCorps program. You serve for a year at a time and typically work 40+ hours a week for a community organization. You get paid something like $800/month so you're at the poverty line and are eligible for food stamps. However, they pay for your health care, childcare, some relocation costs and at the end of your year of service you get a $5350 educational award that you can put toward existing student loans or apply to future schools. Apparently it's really hard work and incredibly time consuming but looks excellent on a resume. As I mentioned before, I'm considering AmeriCorps. If you can live with your parents for free (not sure how old you are), you can easily put ~$10K in stipend money plus $5350 toward your student loans in a year. You can only serve with them twice, but if you do it a second year that's another $15K or so toward loans. I think it only applies to certain federal loans, but that's a pretty big dent in undergrad debt if you have any.

It's typically not hands-on jobs like tutoring kids or working soup kitchens. It's behind the scene service like creating/planning a new after-school program, working on data entry stuff, etc. I have a bunch of friends who did it and they love it. I've applied for about 5 AmeriCorps programs and the application process is very easy and straightforward. I had interviews scheduled in days which was nice instant gratification considering how long we've all waited for grad school decisions!

More info here:

http://www.americorp...hoose/vista.asp

Edit: Wait, are you located in the UK? You can't do VISTA/AmeriCorps unless you're a US citizen or permanent resident. Not sure if the UK has an equivalent.

I concur...AmeriCorps/VISTA is great. I actually did it for two years and got so much out of my first one, but the second one I did a few years later was not nearly as engaging. I used the end of service award money for my first masters degree and it was nice.

I suppose I love volunteering in some twisted way as I'm finishing up a three year contact with Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) here in Thailand working with refugees from Burma. It is a great organization and a fantastic plan B! (you do, however, need some professional skills and experience that meet their needs.) Check them out! http://www.cuso.org/?setlang=/

They are out of Canada but now recruiting US citizens.

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I'm $80,000 dollars in debt from my master's so I feel trapped. I'd love to travel etc. but how do I pay loans each month when I'm overseas? I break even each month with my paychecks so it's impossible to save unless I get another job or one that pays higher--not likely to happen now. I think everyone has great ideas like traveling, moving to a new city, WWoof etc. but I'm stuck with these loans. I have a usless MA and BA, can't afford getting another agree and was unemployeed for a year. I guess I have to just keep temping and job searching like I have been...fruitless.

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I'm $80,000 dollars in debt from my master's so I feel trapped. I'd love to travel etc. but how do I pay loans each month when I'm overseas? I break even each month with my paychecks so it's impossible to save unless I get another job or one that pays higher--not likely to happen now. I think everyone has great ideas like traveling, moving to a new city, WWoof etc. but I'm stuck with these loans. I have a usless MA and BA, can't afford getting another agree and was unemployeed for a year. I guess I have to just keep temping and job searching like I have been...fruitless.

fly away

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I'm $80,000 dollars in debt from my master's so I feel trapped. I'd love to travel etc. but how do I pay loans each month when I'm overseas? I break even each month with my paychecks so it's impossible to save unless I get another job or one that pays higher--not likely to happen now. I think everyone has great ideas like traveling, moving to a new city, WWoof etc. but I'm stuck with these loans. I have a usless MA and BA, can't afford getting another agree and was unemployeed for a year. I guess I have to just keep temping and job searching like I have been...fruitless.

You have an MA and you're temping?

This is my worst nightmare, one that will probably come true.

I used to read a blog written by an actor on the TV show Mad Men (Harry Crane, for fans of the show); he started the blog after he got his masters in drama, but before he got the gig on Mad Men, and he was - wait for it - temping. It was actually kind of fascinating reading about this normal guy who got an amazing opportunity, stuff like, "Just got home from another horrible day temping at some office. Tomorrow I have an audition for some new show called Mad Men...the script is good, I wonder if it will work out..."

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I'm $80,000 dollars in debt from my master's so I feel trapped. I'd love to travel etc. but how do I pay loans each month when I'm overseas? I break even each month with my paychecks so it's impossible to save unless I get another job or one that pays higher--not likely to happen now. I think everyone has great ideas like traveling, moving to a new city, WWoof etc. but I'm stuck with these loans. I have a usless MA and BA, can't afford getting another agree and was unemployeed for a year. I guess I have to just keep temping and job searching like I have been...fruitless.

Uggghhh I'm in the exact same boat! :( I'm trying to figure out if moving to Europe would make paying off the loans a bit easier given that the Euro is against the Dollar...

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WWOOF sounds really interesting - and a good way to improve language skills to boot. I'd love to do something like that, especially since I've recently come to the conclusion that I'm not that crazy about traveling. I mean, I like going places, but then I don't like just looking at things and moving on to the next thing on the list. It would be great to actually stay somewhere for a while and interact with the local people. I'm assuming you have to pay for your own transportation there, correct? Well, it sounds like an interesting thing to do over a summer break or something. Too bad I've already made plans for this coming summer.

Exactly. Sightseeing gets a little bit old. You start to feel like you're checking things off a list just so you can say you've been to X place.

When I WWOOFed, I saw a part of Portugal that few people visit--a farming village with a church and horse-drawn carts, unlike anywhere else I'd been before. I got in shape and ate healthily (after living on bread & nutella for some weeks). AND my hosts (a husband and wife team) were incredible people. The man had been given an essentially terminal diagnosis of cancer a year or so before I arrived. But somehow he had survived it and was on the mend. He one of the most exuberant people of all time, singing along to songs by Queen as he pulled weeds and hauled rocks. I never would have imagined that just a few months prior, he had nearly died. He (at age 65 or so) had more energy and joie de vivre than me at 24.

What I'm saying is, a good WWOOFing experience stays with you the rest of your life. You take the time to actually get to know people and a place. A bad WWOOFing experience can happen as well... but at least you'll get a funny story out of it.

You do have to pay travel expenses, though many hosts are willing to come pick you up at the nearest transport hub.

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I'm $80,000 dollars in debt from my master's so I feel trapped. I'd love to travel etc. but how do I pay loans each month when I'm overseas? I break even each month with my paychecks so it's impossible to save unless I get another job or one that pays higher--not likely to happen now. I think everyone has great ideas like traveling, moving to a new city, WWoof etc. but I'm stuck with these loans. I have a usless MA and BA, can't afford getting another agree and was unemployeed for a year. I guess I have to just keep temping and job searching like I have been...fruitless.

Hmm. Teaching English at a hakwon in Korea can pay quite a bit (around $2,000/month), and your housing is typically covered by the employer. It's not an easy job, but doing this would be a great way to knock out some of your loans while having a bit of an adventure!

Also, as others have said, programs like AmeriCorps pay you in part by reducing a percentage of your student loan debt in exchange for a two-year stint. I'm pretty sure you don't have to pay off the loans while you are in AmeriCorps.

Edited by Katzenmusik
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Hahaha, love it! It's nice to hear from someone who, if only jokingly, isn't so caught up in the vicious go-around that is the humanities admissions process. Plus, as someone who's currently living and teaching in Vienna and travelling throughout Europe, I can definitely relate to the wonderfully (and often predominantly European) laissez faire attitude that you seem to take in your post. I only hope that I can sustain it throughout this ridiculous waiting period! rolleyes.gif

Enjoy your red wine -- I'm here with my Viennese coffee and pastry doing much of the same as you!

Haha, I agree with you ladies (? !) if I don't get in, I'm moving to New York or closer to the San Francisco area and finding a job...I like that comment smile.gif ---pfft I'd also be wasting my gorgeousness on academia! only I'd like to break into something in the realm of magazine editing or linguist/translating (possibly for the EU). Although I'm sure it may be a while until we achieve our ideal jobs esp. with the state of the current economy.

Edited by artemislyre
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My plan B would be to just do whatever I want. I'm really wealthy and don't need to go to school, but I wanted to pursue a graduate degree since I enjoyed learning.

Actually, I'm sure I'll get into at least one school so no need for a plan B. But plan B would either be to go back to my undergrad school or to find a job.

And does your Plan B include a Mrs. Joro? My English background from a Seven Sisters school makes me qualified to marry well and live a life of luxury (and under-qualified for almost everything else). Just in case you needed to know that. biggrin.gif

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I'll probably try to reapply again next year. If I got flat out rejections from all 9 of my schools, I was planning just to give it up and try to find some type of job similar to my interests. Now that I know I have a chance for at least two schools, I'd definitely give it a try again if none of this works out. I'd probably spend the next year getting some more research experience and retaking the GRE. Hopefully I'll get in though, so I don't even have to worry about it, but I'm already starting to look at jobs to apply to.

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Well after hours upon hours crying about not getting into any grad schools I resolved my Plan B to keep my part-time job and beg... BEG them to take me on as full time while volunteering at the microfab at my school. If I'm desperate enough, and that means really REALLY desperate, I'd move back in with my parents. Plan C, if that doesn't work because I'm soo desperate to be in school, I'll apply to be in a certificate program at Stanford and pay a butt load of fees just to attend school. But before all that logic sets in, I think once I receive all my rejections letters I'll go absolutely crazy, stay at home watch episodes of Burn Notice continuously, and eat juk food every meal of the day to make me feel better.

Also, becoming a porn start doesn't seem all that bad now, it'll help in paying off the student loans and the rent I have to pay for every month...

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I'm just wondering... is anyone's "Plan B" a "Plan A" alternative? I went through the school application process 2 years ago, got rejections and a waitlist that didn't come through. At the time, I had quit my job and came to China to improve my Chinese. Ended up liking it so much that I stayed since then.

I reapplied this time around thinking I was really ready to go back to school and the States, but now I think I'd like to stay in China and make sure I'm fluent in Chinese before I leave... logic being that might be a more marketable skill in the long-run no matter what industry I decide to enter. And while I'm still in my 20s, I'd really like to travel more... so I'm thinking if I actually get in this time, I'll try to defer.

Anyone in a similar situation...? Anyone know under what circumstances programs/schools usually grant deferrals?

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Anyone have any experience with the Peace Corps? It sounds like a good Plan B but I don't know if I can handle the two year commitment since I would like to apply again next year (if necessary). AmeriCorps might be a good alternative.

Otherwise, I'm moving to France and spending my days eating baguettes and drinking wine while I figure out how to get a perfect score on the GRE.

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And does your Plan B include a Mrs. Joro? My English background from a Seven Sisters school makes me qualified to marry well and live a life of luxury (and under-qualified for almost everything else). Just in case you needed to know that. biggrin.gif

I am single and ready to mingle, but I did receive my first acceptance today so there is no plan B. :P Although, I'll create a plan C if you're cute ;)

Edited by joro
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<br />I'm just wondering... is anyone's &quot;Plan B&quot; a &quot;Plan A&quot; alternative? I went through the school application process 2 years ago, got rejections and a waitlist that didn't come through. At the time, I had quit my job and came to China to improve my Chinese. Ended up liking it so much that I stayed since then.<br /><br />I reapplied this time around thinking I was really ready to go back to school and the States, but now I think I'd like to stay in China and make sure I'm fluent in Chinese before I leave... logic being that might be a more marketable skill in the long-run no matter what industry I decide to enter. And while I'm still in my 20s, I'd really like to travel more... so I'm thinking if I actually get in this time, I'll try to defer.<br /><br />Anyone in a similar situation...? Anyone know under what circumstances programs/schools usually grant deferrals?<br />
<br /><br /><br />

Omg, this is like looking into a mirror. Ditto to the question . . . I need to defer big time.

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My plan B is simple, really. If I'm rejected by all 6 schools to which I applied, I will simply wait until the end of March for the NSF to politely inform me that I've been awarded a GRF, in which case I'll contact all 6 schools and say, "What now, schools!? I have my own funding!" After they hear that, of course, they'll all be clamoring to admit me, and they'll begin having inter-school wars about who gets me. They'll fight it out whilst I stand on the sidelines, deigning to grace them with my presence, and waiting for the victor to come crawling over, bloodied and covered in muck, on hands and knees, kissing my feet and begging me to attend in the fall.

After all, everyone knows that a GRF makes you untouchable and golden.

If only it were that simple... :D

Edited by jaxzwolf
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Hey all! To the person who asked about the Peace Corps...I actually did it right out of undergraduate, so feel free to ask if you have any questions in particular. I actually was the +/-5th person on my team of 34 to leave (I lasted 5 months...and no, unlike the Army, it is okay to go AWOL without penalty). Anywho, I am really really excited about potentially getting accepted into a PhD Program, but alas, I have a Plan B, which is to quit my job (I have been here for 4 years (since Peace Corps), and enough is enough. I'll be moving back home to NJ and then look for jobs in the same field - but much different type. My Plan C is to move to Isreal and become a citizen and work on a kibbutz for 6 months :-) Hopefully it doesn't come to that, but that could be cool hahaha.

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Plan B??

Stay here for another year, find a job (in the process at the moment, considering I don't really believe I'm getting in this year anyway), work my ass off and save up some nest egg money (for the joyous experience of paying rent, buying junker car, and best of all, new laptop), ace the Subject GRE in April, research and find 10 schools I want to go to, rewrite SoPs, rewrite and improve writing sample (honors thesis, with the second half not in great shape due to a saving snafu back in 2001), get recommendation letters again (my poor profs), and go through the whole process again next year, only better prepared.

I will hear of NO REJECTIONS NEXT YEAR.

I'm going to grad school, and that's that.

:rolleyes:

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Anyone have any experience with the Peace Corps? It sounds like a good Plan B but I don't know if I can handle the two year commitment since I would like to apply again next year (if necessary). AmeriCorps might be a good alternative.

Otherwise, I'm moving to France and spending my days eating baguettes and drinking wine while I figure out how to get a perfect score on the GRE.

The Peace Corps application takes about 9 months from start to finish. There's no way you'd leave this summer; you'd be looking at 3 years total with application + 2 year commitment. AmeriCorps is much more flexible and you can apply just a few months in advance. Of course, baguettes and wine are the best of all of those options :). Hopefully you don't need any of these plan B's!

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The Peace Corps application takes about 9 months from start to finish. There's no way you'd leave this summer; you'd be looking at 3 years total with application + 2 year commitment. AmeriCorps is much more flexible and you can apply just a few months in advance. Of course, baguettes and wine are the best of all of those options :). Hopefully you don't need any of these plan B's!

Thanks for the info! Doesn't seem like the Peace Corps is getting much love...I guess I better just hope I get accepted somewhere. Good luck all!

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