Datepalm

PhD: Bad Idea, Terrible Idea or the Very Worst of All Ideas?

187 posts in this topic

Well, for my part I can agree that this process is inscrutable and crazy and exhausting, but today is Decision Day and I have finally made mine! I ended up getting offers from three programs (Chicago, MIT, Hawaii) and after some insane back and forthing (I seriously changed my mind a dozen times in the past couple days, flipping between Chicago and MIT), I pulled the trigger on Chicago. I cannot believe that something I have daydreamed about for years as a passing fancy that would never work with my life is actually going to happen! I've given my notice at my current job and I will be spending the summer traveling and studying and moving.

I honestly had no idea if my applications were competitive. I shot pretty high with my applications and it worked out, so that was a relief. Also surprised at which programs I got into and which ones I didn't. People say that admissions can be a crapshoot and that is certainly true to my experience. I didn't speak with any faculty at any of the schools, didn't have much research experience, and didn't blow the PGRE out of the water, but here I am anyway! (Impostor syndrome definitely kicked in!)

Also one of my potential advisers is I think 2 years older than me. :lol:

On 4/12/2017 at 5:13 AM, Datepalm said:

Well, this has all been weird. I can just about summarize the whole experience now, (barring some unlikely last minute waitlist luck) and its by far the oddest and most disconcerting thing I've ever tried to do. Results being - I was accepted to Portland, who only let me know today what funding, projects, etc they have. (and Oxford, who still haven't) It sounded technically promising but way off what I actually want to be doing (and long term career goals.) So I tentatively brought up the possibility of deferring by a year with Potential-Supervisor-Person, who, to my surprise, immediately said it was a great idea, lets keep in touch, best, see ya in six months. So that was a decision I expected to spend weeks agonizing over suddenly made in passing in a last minute skype call. :dunno: The next 6-8 months until the next round of applications are due is already looking fairly busy (with relevant academic-y stuff...plus my actual thesis is a ways from being done) so it doesn't feel like a loss so much as just a natural dragging out of the proccess, but I still can't figure out if I'm relieved or disappointed.

On the other hand, yay, I can sleep now!

Congrats! That's awesome! I think it is pretty common for people to defer, glad that it worked out so smoothly for you. :commie:

On 4/13/2017 at 8:50 PM, Simon Steele said:

Is it okay if I post in this thread that I just got accepted into a PhD program? I hope it is not distracting from anyone else. But I just found out, and I'm kind of scared. Now that I've been accepted, I have a clinical faculty position waiting for me which pays better than what I made before, and everyone is so excited to have me. Like...no one has ever been excited to have me around before. To think, just a couple of years ago I was thinking I had jumped in over my head in grad school and would never be able to graduate. Hell, to think just a few years ago I was a middle school teacher in a rural, conservative community and figured I'd die in that building.

Woohoo!!!!!! Congrats! :cheers:

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Congrats! I'm totally thrilled for you. (And perversely glad you turned down MIT, because then I'd be more disappointed with the inevitable rejection they've not yet been punctual enough to send me.;))

And we'll see, I suppose I could end up at Portland after all, but the rational decision might be to stay here if nothing else works out next year either - Technion or even Hebrew U is probably a better place to do what I want to do than Portland (I applied because of a specific faculty member who might or might not be working on my-stuff-of-interest anymore - the department at large is less my thing.)

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Congratulations all around. Read Ph.D. comics every day, that’s about all the advice I have.

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3 hours ago, Datepalm said:

Congrats! I'm totally thrilled for you. (And perversely glad you turned down MIT, because then I'd be more disappointed with the inevitable rejection they've not yet been punctual enough to send me.;))

And we'll see, I suppose I could end up at Portland after all, but the rational decision might be to stay here if nothing else works out next year either - Technion or even Hebrew U is probably a better place to do what I want to do than Portland (I applied because of a specific faculty member who might or might not be working on my-stuff-of-interest anymore - the department at large is less my thing.)

Thanks! I know the feeling, I just got a rejection from one program late on Thursday night! I was like thanks, good thing I wasn't holding out for that. 

Rational shmational ;)

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Well, at this point I'm kinda holding out for that, but I also had the weirdest (not at all in a good way) interaction/interview/random encounter with faculty there, including their program director, (who happens to be Israeli, which I did not know before meeting him), so I have this irrational sense those guys are trolling me. :dunno:

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@Starkess Congratulations! Looking forward to welcoming you to Chicago! You will soon be living near one of my favorite bookstores.

@Datepalm You could come to Chicago too.  University of Illinois at Chicago has an Urban Planning school :) 

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11 hours ago, Starkess said:

Well, for my part I can agree that this process is inscrutable and crazy and exhausting, but today is Decision Day and I have finally made mine! I ended up getting offers from three programs (Chicago, MIT, Hawaii) and after some insane back and forthing (I seriously changed my mind a dozen times in the past couple days, flipping between Chicago and MIT), I pulled the trigger on Chicago. I cannot believe that something I have daydreamed about for years as a passing fancy that would never work with my life is actually going to happen! I've given my notice at my current job and I will be spending the summer traveling and studying and moving.

I honestly had no idea if my applications were competitive. I shot pretty high with my applications and it worked out, so that was a relief. Also surprised at which programs I got into and which ones I didn't. People say that admissions can be a crapshoot and that is certainly true to my experience. I didn't speak with any faculty at any of the schools, didn't have much research experience, and didn't blow the PGRE out of the water, but here I am anyway! (Impostor syndrome definitely kicked in!)

Also one of my potential advisers is I think 2 years older than me. :lol:

Congrats! That's awesome! I think it is pretty common for people to defer, glad that it worked out so smoothly for you. :commie:

Woohoo!!!!!! Congrats! :cheers:

 

Thanks--and our experiences are similar. Well, one of my potential advisors might actually be a couple years young than me, ha ha. But yeah, the process was awful.

Congratulations to you. And Datepalm--one of my mentors just deferred, and it saved her from losing it, I think.

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