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LolJustAdmitMe

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On 12/27/2017 at 10:36 AM, LolJustAdmitMe said:

This whole post is unbelievably relateable. I have so many friends and family members who treat me as if I’m Einstein and owe’d a spot in PhD programs. It’s like they don’t get how BIG and competitive PhD programs have become. My grandma swears it’s a simple as a phone call to get in haha! Bless her soul. It’s not just good grades and experience that get you in anymore. It’s so much more and you’re facing so many wonderful candidates that it’s hard to really believe it’ll work out, especially when you know what you’re up against. It would be 100% fabulous if people knew how to be supportive, yet realistic and that’s why I made this thread. A lot of our family and friends just don’t get it. Some of them are tired of hearing our worries that they equate to just being ‘anxious’, when in reality most of us KNOW the reality of this process. Great post! 

So relatable. My mom is telling everyone I'm going for my PhD in the fall, and it's like... I haven't even finished all of my applications yet. And, even if I do get acceptances, I'm not sure this is the path I want to take. It's very frustrating because I feel like she thinks my getting in to a PhD program is a given (I'm finishing my masters in May).

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5 hours ago, TwirlingBlades said:

So relatable. My mom is telling everyone I'm going for my PhD in the fall, and it's like... I haven't even finished all of my applications yet. And, even if I do get acceptances, I'm not sure this is the path I want to take. It's very frustrating because I feel like she thinks my getting in to a PhD program is a given (I'm finishing my masters in May).

I feel this 100%, This is my second time applying, as my first time was unsuccessful. The first time I made this mistake of letting a bunch of people know what my intentions and plans were, mostly because I was so confident that I was going to get in...somewhere! When those rejections started to roll in, all the questions were unbearable. I had to deal with my own disappointment and the disappointment of others, it was a lot to manage.  If at all possible have a frank conversation with your mom, that you prefer to keep this part of your life on the low/private for now until you know what the outcomes will be, hopefully she respects that. Best of luck to you!

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7 hours ago, TwirlingBlades said:

So relatable. My mom is telling everyone I'm going for my PhD in the fall, and it's like... I haven't even finished all of my applications yet. And, even if I do get acceptances, I'm not sure this is the path I want to take. It's very frustrating because I feel like she thinks my getting in to a PhD program is a given (I'm finishing my masters in May).

Ooof, I would sit down with her and kindly ask her not to tell everyone. I could see that being a lot of pain down the line if for some reason, you weren't admitted anywhere. 

I've barely told anyone. But, people are starting to find out because we have to explain why we aren't making future plans for things in our city later in the year. Up until a few weeks ago, the only people who knew were my husband, my best friend, my parents, and his parents. My husband's friends know now, and it makes me pretty uncomfortable because I'm concerned about not being accepted anywhere. My husband has a very judgmental friend who has made very flippant comments about my line of work and how his wife is better than me. Which is laughable.

I don't take those comments to heart, but I would still rather not have to deal with his lack of etiquette. 

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Thank you for starting this thread. It's nice to have a place to share thoughts with others who can actually understand what we are going through.

This is my first time applying for PhD programs, and I am currently in the waiting period. There are some days where I feel confident in my application and background, but other days where I feel like I have no chance at all. 

I think my greatest worry is that I won't get in anywhere. I applied to ten schools, but wonder if I should have applied to more because most of them are extremely selective. I have a less than stellar undergraduate GPA in my field, which I imagine is a red flag for many schools. I completed a Master's with high marks, worked and conducted research in the field, and am currently a teacher in it, but I don't know if that is enough. If I don't get into any of the schools I honestly don't know what I will do. Getting a PhD has been my dream for over 5 years and I do not have a plan B. I also can't imagine having to tell my letter writers that I did not get in to any of the schools they recommended me for.

My next greatest worry is that I will get in somewhere, but it will not be an ideal location for my boyfriend to find a job. We have been dating for years and currently live together. I don't want to move without him, but also will not turn down the opportunity to get my PhD so I can stay with him. He also wants to stay on the west coast, but I only applied to two west coast schools, both of which are very competitive. We generally just avoid talking about the possibility of me only getting in to east coast or midwest schools, but I feel like it is quite likely. I hate thinking that I will have to choose between my relationship and a PhD.

Overall, the waiting period is extremely nerve-wracking. I try to occupy my time with other things but can't help checking my email multiple times a day. I struggle with maintaining hope but also realism for the outcome. Reading through these posts and simply knowing that others feel the same way helps a lot, so thank you.

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32 minutes ago, cabbysaurus said:

This is my first time applying for PhD programs, and I am currently in the waiting period. There are some days where I feel confident in my application and background, but other days where I feel like I have no chance at all.

I tend to vacillate between those two feelings as well... 

33 minutes ago, cabbysaurus said:

I think my greatest worry is that I won't get in anywhere. I applied to ten schools, but wonder if I should have applied to more because most of them are extremely selective. I have a less than stellar undergraduate GPA in my field, which I imagine is a red flag for many schools. I completed a Master's with high marks, worked and conducted research in the field, and am currently a teacher in it, but I don't know if that is enough. If I don't get into any of the schools I honestly don't know what I will do. Getting a PhD has been my dream for over 5 years and I do not have a plan B. I also can't imagine having to tell my letter writers that I did not get in to any of the schools they recommended me for.

Yeah, I also do not have an explicit backup plan. I worry that I may have focused on schools that are too highly rated, especially since the field I'm interested in is supremely competitive right now. I'm in a similar boat where my undergraduate GPA is not great, and my GRE could stand to be a bit higher, yet I have strong LORs and what I believe to be a demonstrated enthusiasm and aptitude for research in the field which I hope makes up for any deficiencies in my application.

40 minutes ago, cabbysaurus said:

Overall, the waiting period is extremely nerve-wracking. I try to occupy my time with other things but can't help checking my email multiple times a day. I struggle with maintaining hope but also realism for the outcome. Reading through these posts and simply knowing that others feel the same way helps a lot, so thank you.

I keep telling myself not to worry, but that is difficult at times. I want to be nonchalant about the process, but that sentiment hasn't made that feeling any easier to achieve.

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5 hours ago, cabbysaurus said:

Thank you for starting this thread. It's nice to have a place to share thoughts with others who can actually understand what we are going through.

This is my first time applying for PhD programs, and I am currently in the waiting period. There are some days where I feel confident in my application and background, but other days where I feel like I have no chance at all. 

I think my greatest worry is that I won't get in anywhere. I applied to ten schools, but wonder if I should have applied to more because most of them are extremely selective. I have a less than stellar undergraduate GPA in my field, which I imagine is a red flag for many schools. I completed a Master's with high marks, worked and conducted research in the field, and am currently a teacher in it, but I don't know if that is enough. If I don't get into any of the schools I honestly don't know what I will do. Getting a PhD has been my dream for over 5 years and I do not have a plan B. I also can't imagine having to tell my letter writers that I did not get in to any of the schools they recommended me for.

My next greatest worry is that I will get in somewhere, but it will not be an ideal location for my boyfriend to find a job. We have been dating for years and currently live together. I don't want to move without him, but also will not turn down the opportunity to get my PhD so I can stay with him. He also wants to stay on the west coast, but I only applied to two west coast schools, both of which are very competitive. We generally just avoid talking about the possibility of me only getting in to east coast or midwest schools, but I feel like it is quite likely. I hate thinking that I will have to choose between my relationship and a PhD.

Overall, the waiting period is extremely nerve-wracking. I try to occupy my time with other things but can't help checking my email multiple times a day. I struggle with maintaining hope but also realism for the outcome. Reading through these posts and simply knowing that others feel the same way helps a lot, so thank you.

I am going through all of these same things. I don't have a Master's, but I have a good undergraduate GPA and research experience, but I have not received any interview invites yet and it is so nerve-wracking. I also have a boyfriend who I have been dating for 4.5 years and we currently live together, so it would be so weird if he could not move with me to grad school. He has specific states he refuses to move to, but not necessarily a region. I'm east coast, but I only applied to 2 east coast schools. The rest are Midwest or the south. I try not to check my email all the time but it's really hard not to expect something every day.

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I"m new to gradcafe and soooooo glad a work colleague turned me onto it.  I'm 43, and applying to only one program for my fifth degree and second PhD (in a somewhat related, but different, field).

I am trying to decide if I want to go back to school full time and quit my well-paying job, or look for other jobs out there, or stay in my same position.  My current job is kind of in the field I want to be in, but not directly.  My husband is an ABD PhD student working on his dissertation, so our income will go WAY down if I get in and decide to go.  I've told my boss I applied, and he thinks it's a great decision and move for me, so I have his support and the support of my family.

Any other older students out there waiting? 

I'm trying to move on and not think about it, but I check the website and my email constantly.  We have an exchange student, so I'm trying to busy myself with her activities to pass time.  This is the first time that I've not been been a full-time student while working a full-time job in the past 3 years, so I have all this extra time on my hands.

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After milling around the Gradcafe results and recieving a rejection from a school I thought I forsure had a chance w/ today, I think I’m officially out of the running for a PhD this round...already. This hurts really bad. Like it physically hursts. I don’t want to tell my family or friends bc I’m so embarrassed and they really just don’t get how it feels to be rejected time and time over again. Being this is my second round of investing so much time, energy, money and emotion, I think I’m just gonna call it quits. Good luck to everyone still in the running! I hope you guys kill your interviews and all of your wildest dreams come true! Lol

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9 minutes ago, LolJustAdmitMe said:

After milling around the Gradcafe results and recieving a rejection from a school I thought I forsure had a chance w/ today, I think I’m officially out of the running for a PhD this round...already. This hurts really bad. Like it physically hursts. I don’t want to tell my family or friends bc I’m so embarrassed and they really just don’t get how it feels to be rejected time and time over again. Being this is my second round of investing so much time, energy, money and emotion, I think I’m just gonna call it quits. Good luck to everyone still in the running! I hope you guys kill your interviews and all of your wildest dreams come true! Lol

I'm very sorry to hear that. I know it must be frustrating and demoralizing. I wish you the best with whatever your future endeavors entail!

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40 minutes ago, LolJustAdmitMe said:

After milling around the Gradcafe results and recieving a rejection from a school I thought I forsure had a chance w/ today, I think I’m officially out of the running for a PhD this round...already. This hurts really bad. Like it physically hursts. I don’t want to tell my family or friends bc I’m so embarrassed and they really just don’t get how it feels to be rejected time and time over again. Being this is my second round of investing so much time, energy, money and emotion, I think I’m just gonna call it quits. Good luck to everyone still in the running! I hope you guys kill your interviews and all of your wildest dreams come true! Lol

This must be extremely difficult/frustrating, and I hate that you are encountering these emotions simultaneously.  Sometimes we enter seasons in life that we just don't understand, when all is said and done, I hope you receive some clarity in all of this. I wish you the best, and please don't call it quits forever. You have a lot to offer the field. Take some time, take care of you, get clarity, and if it feels right, get back in the game. Thanks for all you have attributed to the grad cafe community!

Edited by cashewmilk

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I feel so antsy right now. I think I really need school to come back so I can have things to do all day. I'm just praying for good results, but I'll just have to wait and see what happens. One of my recommenders told me I have a strong application, but it's hard to know what will happen. And the fact that they said that would make it even worse if I didn't get in anywhere. It's even harder being a CS major because most of them want to go into software engineering. Those jobs are typically laid out in the fall, so they all know what they're doing. Obviously, I want to get into grad school for so many reasons, but if I get in, it will be SO NICE to be able to give people a definitive answer when they ask what I'm doing next year.

Also, I want to do the fun things and look for a place to live, scope out the city I could potentially live in, meet other students in my cohort, etc. Just hoping that I'll get to the stage where I get to do that! :unsure:

Edited by eighty8keys

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9 minutes ago, eighty8keys said:

I feel so antsy right now. I think I really need school to come back so I can have things to do all day. I'm just praying for good results, but I'll just have to wait and see what happens. One of my recommenders told me I have a strong application, but it's hard to know what will happen. And the fact that they said that would make it even worse if I didn't get in anywhere. It's even harder being a CS major because most of them want to go into software engineering. Those jobs are typically laid out in the fall, so they all know what they're doing. Obviously, I want to get into grad school for so many reasons, but if I get in, it will be SO NICE to be able to give people a definitive answer when they ask what I'm doing next year.

Also, I want to do the fun things and look for a place to live, scope out the city I could potentially live in, meet other students in my cohort, etc. Just hoping that I'll get to the stage where I get to do that! :unsure:

I know the feeling. I probably check the Results page at least 20-30 times a day... it's ludicrous how fretful I am. I really wish the filtered RSS feed for Results worked. I could just sit back and wait for a notification of new Results, just like I do for emails.

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6 hours ago, eighty8keys said:

I feel so antsy right now. I think I really need school to come back so I can have things to do all day. I'm just praying for good results, but I'll just have to wait and see what happens. One of my recommenders told me I have a strong application, but it's hard to know what will happen. And the fact that they said that would make it even worse if I didn't get in anywhere. It's even harder being a CS major because most of them want to go into software engineering. Those jobs are typically laid out in the fall, so they all know what they're doing. Obviously, I want to get into grad school for so many reasons, but if I get in, it will be SO NICE to be able to give people a definitive answer when they ask what I'm doing next year.

Also, I want to do the fun things and look for a place to live, scope out the city I could potentially live in, meet other students in my cohort, etc. Just hoping that I'll get to the stage where I get to do that! :unsure:

I feel exactly the same way.  I hope that someday soon I can answer where I will be attending graduate school.  I also need school to start up again,  because I am spending way to much time here.  In a couple of months, it will all be over.  One acceptance is all we need. 

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Thank you so much for starting this thread, as I know no one else in my life with these experiences and it can feel lonely to wait it out. 

I know some people in this thread are commenting about being older while applying to PhDs, but I have the opposite problem. I'm only 20, graduating in a three year program, and seeing the schools that everyone else is applying to is really intimidating. I have a fear that I'll be overlooked in favor of applicants that appear more...adult. I relate to the experience of other posters whose family and friends waive off their concerns and treat admission as inevitable. I, too, am constantly comparing myself to everyone else, trying to find in these forums the GPA/GRE scores of others, and trying to form any sort of expectation about what my grad decision will look like. I have a 3.99 GPA from a small Northeastern college, and a 163V/161Q/5.0W. But I still have fears that it's not enough. I think I applied to schools that were too high up the lists and am now regretting it. I know my professors put in a lot of work for me by writing my letters, and I really don't want to disappoint them by being rejected by all 6 of the schools that I applied to. 

Especially during winter break, especially while being snowed in (hi Northeasterners), the days don't seem to pass quickly enough. I wish you all the speediest responses to your applications! 

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1 hour ago, mccarba said:

Thank you so much for starting this thread, as I know no one else in my life with these experiences and it can feel lonely to wait it out. 

I know some people in this thread are commenting about being older while applying to PhDs, but I have the opposite problem. I'm only 20, graduating in a three year program, and seeing the schools that everyone else is applying to is really intimidating. I have a fear that I'll be overlooked in favor of applicants that appear more...adult. I relate to the experience of other posters whose family and friends waive off their concerns and treat admission as inevitable. I, too, am constantly comparing myself to everyone else, trying to find in these forums the GPA/GRE scores of others, and trying to form any sort of expectation about what my grad decision will look like. I have a 3.99 GPA from a small Northeastern college, and a 163V/161Q/5.0W. But I still have fears that it's not enough. I think I applied to schools that were too high up the lists and am now regretting it. I know my professors put in a lot of work for me by writing my letters, and I really don't want to disappoint them by being rejected by all 6 of the schools that I applied to. 

Especially during winter break, especially while being snowed in (hi Northeasterners), the days don't seem to pass quickly enough. I wish you all the speediest responses to your applications! 

I definitely get the fear that I'll be overlooked in favor of older applicants. I'm only 19 right now (and also a snowed in northeasterner, actually). I'm trying to convince myself that no one will really look at my age, but honestly I have no idea. I've also met with potential advisors at conferences and I really hope I didn't seem too young. But then again I've been on the young side of my peers for a while. Just anxious to start hearing back.

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7 hours ago, MaeN said:

I definitely get the fear that I'll be overlooked in favor of older applicants. I'm only 19 right now (and also a snowed in northeasterner, actually). I'm trying to convince myself that no one will really look at my age, but honestly I have no idea. I've also met with potential advisors at conferences and I really hope I didn't seem too young. But then again I've been on the young side of my peers for a while. Just anxious to start hearing back.

I'm in the same boat. I'm 22, finishing a masters in april, and applying for PhDs. I had a talk with one of my Recommenders and she basically said that you have to be able to spin age (or spun, since I'm assuming you already applied) to make it a positive. So age can actually be helpful if sold right. 

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On 1/4/2018 at 4:18 AM, TwirlingBlades said:

So relatable. My mom is telling everyone I'm going for my PhD in the fall, and it's like... I haven't even finished all of my applications yet. And, even if I do get acceptances, I'm not sure this is the path I want to take. It's very frustrating because I feel like she thinks my getting in to a PhD program is a given (I'm finishing my masters in May).

Same. I had to take two days off from school in order to drive across the border for an interview; I had to tell my supervisor, my boss, and a few coworkers (who are part of my Master's program) since I was going to be missing a day of class and work. I thought they would keep it on the down-low, but when I got back... everyone in the program was asking me how my interview went. It's nice to feel their support, but it causes a whole new type of pressure if I have to tell my entire cohort and professors that I was rejected.

I also made the mistake of telling my mother about my applications. Within a few weeks, everyone knew -- all my relatives, everyone at home, etc. I know she's excited, but she doesn't seem to understand that I'm not a shoe-in for anything. I asked her to stop telling people, and she agreed... and then over a Christmas dinner, a family friend asked how my program was going, and my mother jumped in with "Oh, Time is applying for PhD programs now!".

...Thanks, mom.

It's tough, because you want the support of friends and family when you're writing these applications. And, as you basically disappear from your social scene when trying to write multiple SoPs while juggling school and work, people end up finding out about your applications. But it's a double-edged sword, because TOO many people knowing causes all kinds of added stress.

Edited by timetobegin

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23 hours ago, AGingeryGinger said:

I'm in the same boat. I'm 22, finishing a masters in april, and applying for PhDs. I had a talk with one of my Recommenders and she basically said that you have to be able to spin age (or spun, since I'm assuming you already applied) to make it a positive. So age can actually be helpful if sold right. 

Same here. I turn 23 two weeks before graduation for MSc (birthday is end of April, graduation mid-May). I'm the second youngest in my cohort (the youngest and I both graduated a year early with Bachelor). It's really intimidating. 

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I'm struggling with figuring out the details of my Plan B.  I'm finishing my MEd in Counseling Psychology.  The program is APA accredited, but not designed to lead into LPC license.  My practicum site has already offered me a job if I don't get into a doc program, but I would need to take two additional classes this semester in order to meet the state's requirements for PLPC.  My Master's is unfunded, so that's extra money out of my pocket.  The two courses aren't required for me to graduate, they're known for being a lot of work, and will take me from an easy 9 credit hour semester to another 15 credit hour semester (I've already done the last two semesters with 15 credit hours and they have been tough on me mentally, physically and financially).  So if I get into a PhD program, I'm likely to regret having taken those courses (waste of money, extra stress, time away from research, losing time with friends before we move, etc.), but if I don't get into a PhD program, I will regret not having taken those courses because I'll have to frantically figure out a way to take them so I can accept the job at my prac site...

I've got it on my to-do list for next week to call the state licensing board and ask more questions about the courses, etc.  But in the mean time I'm just grumpy about feeling like I'm in a catch 22, and not trusting my applications enough that I'll get in...

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17 hours ago, topsailpsych said:

 So if I get into a PhD program, I'm likely to regret having taken those courses (waste of money, extra stress, time away from research, losing time with friends before we move, etc.), but if I don't get into a PhD program, I will regret not having taken those courses because I'll have to frantically figure out a way to take them so I can accept the job at my prac site...

3

I understand your feeling. Maybe you can talk to your advisor/mentor and ask for their advice.

People who know you well as well as working in your field may have a better solution to your current situation.

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I feel stressed... I have multiple research experiences with one of the schools I applied to (though no pubs, one in review). The head of the program also contacted me and told me they'd like me to apply to their program. I got to meet them when I was working there, and I think the conversation went over well. I want to think this means I have a good shot of getting in, but I'm just afraid I'm going to get my hopes up just to have them dashed. Also, they're still working there, but they're leaving the school soon, so I don't know what that means for my chances. 

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On 1/6/2018 at 4:22 PM, mccarba said:

Thank you so much for starting this thread, as I know no one else in my life with these experiences and it can feel lonely to wait it out. 

I know some people in this thread are commenting about being older while applying to PhDs, but I have the opposite problem. I'm only 20, graduating in a three year program, and seeing the schools that everyone else is applying to is really intimidating. I have a fear that I'll be overlooked in favor of applicants that appear more...adult. I relate to the experience of other posters whose family and friends waive off their concerns and treat admission as inevitable. I, too, am constantly comparing myself to everyone else, trying to find in these forums the GPA/GRE scores of others, and trying to form any sort of expectation about what my grad decision will look like. I have a 3.99 GPA from a small Northeastern college, and a 163V/161Q/5.0W. But I still have fears that it's not enough. I think I applied to schools that were too high up the lists and am now regretting it. I know my professors put in a lot of work for me by writing my letters, and I really don't want to disappoint them by being rejected by all 6 of the schools that I applied to. 

Especially during winter break, especially while being snowed in (hi Northeasterners), the days don't seem to pass quickly enough. I wish you all the speediest responses to your applications! 

I'm in the same boat as you. Graduated with 3.92 GPA, applied to 6 Engineering Masters programs with GRE 156V, 163Q, 4.5W. I hope things will go the right way but sometimes I lose confidence and wish I had applied to some lower ranked programs. 

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On 1/8/2018 at 3:23 PM, realllllJulia said:

I understand your feeling. Maybe you can talk to your advisor/mentor and ask for their advice.

People who know you well as well as working in your field may have a better solution to your current situation.

Thanks!  I plan to chat with some folks about the course situation, but unfortunately they're all on one last vacation before the semester starts so I'm venting while spinning my wheels until I can actually make decisions.  And I am so not good at the sit around and wait before you can make big life decisions, so it was super helpful to vent a bit.  Thanks for listening!

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Hi everybody, mind if I join you? I'm a physics/astro student... in daily life there's nobody I can talk to about this, because (like most other physics people, maybe like you too) I'm determined to be cool under pressure / tough / able to handle anything. People generally drop by my desk and say things like "Have you heard back yet?" but nothing more or less. I like chatting about this kind of stuff since I am interested in human behavior and how people deal with stress..so thanks for reading. Maybe we could chat or something and make friends if you drop me a message ^_^ You all seem like really nice people, and we are in this together, until the very end.

For physics/astro people like me, it currently feels like the calm before the storm. Gradcafe results.. there are almost none for physics yet. But if you look on the physics gre website, there are ~ 30 people online, presumably reading the forum.... it's tense! This tension is interesting in itself, regardless of the outcome. What will come next?

I think it might be useful if we all swapped 'survival tips' that eased the stress of waiting.

Something that works for me is this saying: "If you haven't given up yet and you are still trying, nobody can tell you that you have failed." Also the general idea is that it's an endurance test, and that you have to have an independent, strong and calm mind in order to succeed. 

In the day, what helps me with the waiting is doing research while listening to calm music. I recommend LOTR soundtrack, available on youtube ;) 

Other things that currently help me are: taking long sleeps (8 hours at least) at night, and doing something fun and relaxing before sleep such as watching youtube videos to distract from the waiting. I recommend David Blaine's specials (which are on youtube)...he's a magician who always thinks of unexpected and daring tricks to do. One special is called 'Beyond Magic', it's really very good and makes me forget about all of this grad school stuff temporarily!

 

 

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I broke down and bought a PS3 on sale, so I'm revisiting my love of Assassin's Creed and MLB the Show.  I've also taken to reading while listening to Dead Can Dance and then driving around with Led Zeppelin cranked up on full blast.  And, now, I am preparing for Super Bowl Week.  It's here this year, so I took the week off to participate in the local tradition of laughing at southerners when it is -20.

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