Guess I'm doing PhD at UofT...
― EDB, Monday, 26 March 2012 22:18 (1 year ago) Permalink
Great! I'm still waiting for the official letter from them. What will you be doing? (if you don't mind saying on here - no problem if you'd rather not).
― ljubljana, Monday, 26 March 2012 22:20 (1 year ago) Permalink
― EDB, Monday, 26 March 2012 22:30 (1 year ago) Permalink
Though it'll be weird returning to U of T, having left in summer 2011 as an undergrad, and returning in autumn 2012 as a doctoral student.
― EDB, Monday, 26 March 2012 23:20 (1 year ago) Permalink
how can you even think of applying for things well done man
― judith, Tuesday, 27 March 2012 01:27 (1 year ago) Permalink
so y'all! i have been avoiding this thread b/c the whole application process is so stressful I don't want to even be reminded of it - - BUT now i am in this weird thing - - - applying for phd programs, I'm on the waitlist at my top-choice school, and meanwhile accepted to a school that I'd be totally happy with going to but just not halfway as excited about. So the latter is actually a huge relief cause it means I have *a* plan, I am definitely going to school and moving on and so on. Anyway the thing is, I have til the 15th to make a decision at School That I'm Into, and School That I'm Waitlisted at has until the 15th to tell me yes or no. How much do these waitlist things move around? Are there people out there getting accepted to all the other good schools (who rejected me outright) and thus having to flip a coin and drop their slot at this one, leaving me.... in?
The inside gossip from one of my professors, who got a phone call a few weeks back from someone on the top-choice school admissions committee, is that, at that time, they had it down to six people and they were accepting three. So...if I were #6 in line I'd need THREE people to not go. Or run into mysterious "accidents" I guess. Is it worth waiting around to find out? Is it gauche to take forever to formally accept the other school? Augh!
Meanwhile though, how DO I handle things with the school I'm accepted to? One professor that I met at their open house has sent me emails periodically hyping up the school, or going "oh and I forgot this other faculty member you'd love to work with..." and I'm not sure how to respond, I mean I don't want to say "Oh, well, I'm waiting to hear from the school I'd ~RATHER~ go to" y'know? Plus it's sort of not even down to the one being a better school, just a better location/lifestyle/whatever. Blah blah blah, I am probably thinking about this too much. They're both great schools. I would just like to KNOW, dammit! Stupid waitlist business, I'd rather be rejected outright and have it settled...
Oh and congrats to everyone upthread! It's kind of heartening watching a series of "rejected" posts followed suddenly by "I'm in!"
― Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 27 March 2012 13:48 (1 year ago) Permalink
― caek, Thursday, 29 March 2012 13:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
I'd straight up contact the first school, tell them you have other offers waiting, and ask what your prospects look like (maybe that would support your position too?)
The ambivalence and back and forth of it all is the worst! You'd think you'd get a mental break once things come through but no! On that note, I might as well the opportunity to vent my psychic ambivalence:
I've more or less decided to accept the only school I got into (which was my safety school, and which I never really intended to go to), but only because they wouldn't let me defer acceptance for a year. The thing is that my last round of applications almost didn't count: because I did them a month into starting my MA I had no MA transcripts, no recommendations from MA professors, and no mention of the multiple conferences and publications I've gotten this year that. Further, I used a writing sample I now kind of regret and I didn't bother to contact professors in advance. I'm pretty certain (especially after discussing this with family and one professor) that the best thing to do is take the offer, go (it's funded so I'm at no loss), and then just reapply elsewhere this fall. Certainly I would have an incomparably better shot at getting into a top school, and I'd be totally happy staying where I am, but feel like I owe it to myself to not be complacent. My mind is made, but should I just feel like such a heel being all underhanded like that?
― EDB, Thursday, 29 March 2012 19:17 (1 year ago) Permalink
Hmmmmmmm, that's a toughie - - I'd say it also depends on your field and how transferable the first year at School A will be. It sounds like your odds of getting into Schools B, C, D, etc., will be way higher in the next cycle, but of course it'd be a gamble to not go to School A and hope you get in other places. I wonder how that kind of thing looks to the schools you're applying to, also.
― Doctor Casino, Thursday, 29 March 2012 19:23 (1 year ago) Permalink
I was in your exact position when i applied to phd programs, but the financial considerations settled it for me (the "less desirable" school just offered a much bigger stipend than i knew i'd ever get at the first choice school).
― ryan, Thursday, 29 March 2012 19:44 (1 year ago) Permalink
Wouldn't school A ask you to pay the stipend back? Maybe not, I have no idea, I just assumed that's what happens in those scenarios - but I hardly know the north american system.
― ljubljana, Friday, 30 March 2012 00:06 (1 year ago) Permalink
nah, you can take the money & run
my view on this is: look out for #1, but don't step in #2
― Euler, Friday, 30 March 2012 00:13 (1 year ago) Permalink
― Euler, Friday, 30 March 2012 13:46 (1 year ago) Permalink
no NSF, still waiting on two programs…bastards stringing me along into April.
― Nicholas Pokémon (silby), Friday, 30 March 2012 15:11 (1 year ago) Permalink
good article xp
― caek, Friday, 30 March 2012 17:17 (1 year ago) Permalink
yeah, that's a really good article
― NoTimeBeforeTime, Friday, 30 March 2012 17:42 (1 year ago) Permalink
OK, rejected from all 4 of my US schools but accepted in Canada; pretty sure GRE quant score scuppered me in the US - but it would be nice to know what else factored in and how I did overall in the crazy competition... but I will never know... will I? If I've met a prof and then got rejected, any chance they'd provide feedback if I ask for it? I'd only do this with one school.
Luckily U of T was my favourite dept when I did a round of visits last year. I'm going for it! Aaaaaaa
― ljubljana, Saturday, 31 March 2012 18:24 (1 year ago) Permalink
Honestly - I've seen some admission committee back-of-the-house stuff and beyond a certain point it is basically luck of the draw/arbitrary insofar as you just do not know the mix of personalities on the committee and how the discussion unfolds. It can be as dopey as "I like the look of this person," answered with "Oh, you always like people with (such and such background/experience), we took two of them last year, it's my turn to pick something" or whatever.
― Doctor Casino, Saturday, 31 March 2012 18:43 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah. I should let it lie - I'll find out soon enough what I'm good at/not good at...
― ljubljana, Saturday, 31 March 2012 20:06 (1 year ago) Permalink
I wrote to the author of the Chronicle article and asked her to blog about career paths for older students, since she asks for blog ideas on her website.
― ljubljana, Saturday, 31 March 2012 20:07 (1 year ago) Permalink
^ would read that blog
― 80,000 no name records (los blue jeans), Saturday, 31 March 2012 20:15 (1 year ago) Permalink
looks like the last two programs I'm waiting on hearing from are dragging this out into next week. *headdesk*
― Nicholas Pokémon (silby), Sunday, 1 April 2012 02:38 (1 year ago) Permalink
Wait I basically posted the same sentiment yesterday. I've gotten really boring in my fretting.
― Nicholas Pokémon (silby), Sunday, 1 April 2012 03:41 (1 year ago) Permalink
Right there with you! I really wish people would stop asking me how it's going IRL because there's nothing to report but it's ALL I THINK ABOUT and actually I have nothing else to talk about anyway but it's realllly not fun!
Today got sort of inadvertently grilled by an old professor about it and my reasons for applying and so on and it started making me all queasy and really out of sorts. Really want this over with!
― Doctor Casino, Sunday, 1 April 2012 03:45 (1 year ago) Permalink
Had a similar experience the other day with a work contact who knew I was applying and who implied I was headed to the wrong place. It was pretty disconcerting, because he has phenomenal knowledge of a huge swathe of social and behavioral science. But not quite the bit I'm interested in. Still worried me a lot.
― ljubljana, Sunday, 1 April 2012 04:24 (1 year ago) Permalink
Got a reply from The Professor (who wrote the Chronicle article) - she says she's going to do a shoutout for a guest post on the 'older PhD' question - looks like she might do it from the perspective specifically of older women, though I didn't ask her to.
― ljubljana, Sunday, 1 April 2012 04:25 (1 year ago) Permalink
aaaaah i got into the first choice waitlist school aaaah!!!!
― Doctor Casino, Saturday, 14 April 2012 03:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
wow well done man!
― judith, Saturday, 14 April 2012 08:41 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yes! Congrats Dr C!
― ljubljana, Saturday, 14 April 2012 13:45 (1 year ago) Permalink
One acceptance, 12 rejections. Visited the program yesterday. Pretty sure I'm not going to attend this year for a number of reasons.
― raw feel vegan (silby), Saturday, 14 April 2012 13:54 (1 year ago) Permalink
What's your main worry about the program you visited?
― ljubljana, Saturday, 14 April 2012 14:30 (1 year ago) Permalink
it's not so much a "main worry" situation. Sort of a lot of things adding up. The short version is that my naive and sort of flawed application only got me into a program basically by chance, and it turned out to not be a place that I think would really support me doing the stuff I now (vs. in October) think of as what I really care about vis a vis graduate school/being In the Academy. So going there just because it was go there or not go this year wasn't attractive enough given the opportunity cost, mainly in the form of having to move to a totally alien environment two time zones away from my partner and friends and every place on the east coast in general that's meaningful to me.
So my goals for my next try, so either this fall or some other time, are to get clearer with myself about what I want, be honest and enthusiastic about that in my statement, talk to more potential advisors earlier on in the process, and apply to a somewhat more realistic assortment of programs.
― raw feel vegan (silby), Saturday, 14 April 2012 23:41 (1 year ago) Permalink
Since after all this is playing the long game if anything is. Five to six years of school for the chance to postdoc or VAP for three to six years for the chance to maybe if I'm the *best* struggle for tenure at a decent liberal arts college in a location not of my own choosing. If I start by going someplace just to go, when I'm not sure why I'd be there, I'm just making a hash of things from the start.
― raw feel vegan (silby), Saturday, 14 April 2012 23:43 (1 year ago) Permalink
and belated congrats to Doctor Casino; you gonna be able to swing a visit to the first-choice program next week?
― raw feel vegan (silby), Saturday, 14 April 2012 23:44 (1 year ago) Permalink
silby, thanks - and I'm sorry to hear your search hasn't ended happily this year. But it sounds like you're trying to think big-picture and it does make sense to me. If it's all like you say, you're primed to hit it out of the park next year.
(I actually went ahead and accepted the first-choice school sight unseen, which is probably silly in one sense, but it really does seem like where I want to be. That's both for academic reasons and also for the kind of intangibles you're talking about - in my bones I want to give New York a whirl and not settle down into another cozy college down, as appealing as that is to a certain part of me. Anyway, we'll see how it all turns out I guess. I'm going to be up there next month for a wedding so I will visit the program then - obviously too late to change my decision...)
― Doctor Casino, Sunday, 15 April 2012 00:45 (1 year ago) Permalink
God, how I wish someone told me not to submit a naive and flawed (and rushed) application, because now I'm taking my only choice. Fortunately it kind of works out well, but a sense of disappointment still lingers.
Let all future applicants be aware: Apply like you mean it!
― EDB, Sunday, 15 April 2012 21:10 (1 year ago) Permalink
aren't you going to UT though? i mean that's a really good school. also are you still around man. i have a different number since i lost my phone.
― judith, Sunday, 15 April 2012 22:34 (1 year ago) Permalink
Lol yeah, I know, but usually it's totally overshadowed by weird psychic ambivalence about going home (i.e. I tend to hold it up to the standard of being an undergrad living with my parents, so to me it looks like a kind of regression when that's not the case). But, yeah it actually works out extremely well (perhaps more so than top tier schools) since I'll likely end up working with some really interesting people.[/neuroses]
And yes! I'm here all summer.
― EDB, Sunday, 15 April 2012 22:55 (1 year ago) Permalink
yeah I rushed together a PhD application while I was doing my MA but didn't get funding, and after a year off I've ended up in a place that's much better for me. I'm sure plenty of people luck out (like you EDB!), but taking time to really dwell on it and think it through is even more useful than you'd expect going into it.
― michael nyman cat (Merdeyeux), Sunday, 15 April 2012 23:00 (1 year ago) Permalink
yeah I think "top tier" isn't really a great goal in itself--for myself, my "second choice" school, which I ended up going to, turned out to be a wonderful experience, and I encountered some really amazing work in my field that reinvigorated my love for it--stuff i would never have encountered at the first choice school. I'm really happy I didn't get what I wanted. (I've been reflecting on all this a lot lately, since I defend in a week! Feels odd to be approaching the end of something that's been my life for so long.)
― ryan, Sunday, 15 April 2012 23:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
i couldn't even begin to think about doing a phd application right now. i have no idea how you like allot time for that. or even going straight from here to there. i feel like you need to spend at least one year smoking weed naked on a beach in spain somewhere first. at the very least.
― judith, Sunday, 15 April 2012 23:12 (1 year ago) Permalink
i think i just waited until the first year of writing my dissertation to take that mental vacation.
― ryan, Sunday, 15 April 2012 23:16 (1 year ago) Permalink
― judith, Sunday, April 15, 2012 7:12 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink
basically OTM - I got my masters three years ago and STILL feel like I haven't gotten the vacation I deserve. But I'll have a month this summer between finishing up my current duties and starting phd-school-ness. Trying to decide whether to spend it sleeping in, scanning old photos and listening to records, or hitch-hiking to the grand canyon or something. Would take the beach in Spain if it were closer at hand.
― Doctor Casino, Sunday, 15 April 2012 23:27 (1 year ago) Permalink
Oh, and between UG and grad was two years of working a food service job that was, at least for a while, really soothing in this way - - I lucked out and got a job that I could live off of (and have health insurance!) for four days a week. So basically spent a lot of time by the pool, reading books, working on music, trying to meet lady friends and otherwise Living Life Well, until the job went crappy and I got to a point where all I could think about, all day every day, was Architecture Stuff and suddenly school seemed like what I WANTED to do as opposed to what I was supposed to do next.
― Doctor Casino, Sunday, 15 April 2012 23:29 (1 year ago) Permalink
(Oh - and I also discovered ILX in that period, thanks to blount and emily.s, shoutout.)
― Doctor Casino, Sunday, 15 April 2012 23:30 (1 year ago) Permalink
Man I'm happier than I've been in weeks now that I'm not waiting for anything anymore. Even if I'm deferring my ~dreamz~ a bit. Couple years, tops. That's an instant in academia-time.
― raw feel vegan (silby), Sunday, 15 April 2012 23:32 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah really - - - whatever happens, you're back to living life at your pace rather than at the pace of admissions people and their coin-tosses. You should hit up some of these Spanish beaches I've been hearing about.
― Doctor Casino, Sunday, 15 April 2012 23:39 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah, it was kind of humbling to look at faculty pages of my top schools and realize that even if I went there, I don't even know who I could work with, whereas it turns out that this one professor I've been in touch with is probably the best fit of anyone. Likewise, everything I've heard about my top MA choice (re: the more reputable school) has made me very glad I didn't get in there because I'd probably have hated it/gotten little out of it. While I regret being so entrenched in a "top school" mindset (exacerbated by the jealousy of having friends get, like, direct entry PhD admission to Harvard) the point still stands that you shouldn't rush together an application, since it definitely foreclosed other possibilities, particularly with respect to funding, etc.
― EDB, Sunday, 15 April 2012 23:47 (1 year ago) Permalink
Heh I didn't rush anything, I just didn't know what I was doing. The sinking feeling I was getting as I was writing my statements and realizing I wasn't sure after all who I wanted to work with or why at a lot of the programs should've been a hint.
― raw feel vegan (silby), Sunday, 15 April 2012 23:55 (1 year ago) Permalink
I didn't think I had a "top school" mindset of any kind until I found myself having to tell people that I'm doing my PhD at a former polytechnic. NO IT'S A REALLY GOOD DEPARTMENT YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE ME.
― michael nyman cat (Merdeyeux), Monday, 16 April 2012 00:07 (1 year ago) Permalink