Friday, January 14, 2011

Eeehehehehe--Grad School

Graduate schools are obnoxious.  Like I've said before, there's really nothing centralized, unlike undergraduate admissions and medical school admissions, which (while still a huge pain in the ass in many ways) make some effort to centralize the process.  You've got guidance counselors and medical school advisors, who organize the mailing of recommendations.  Test scores are easy to send out (although this is true for the GRE as well).  There's a common application.

Graduate programs are a wreck, and not just in terms of the disorganization of applications.  Most of my deadlines have passed (two programs have deadlines tomorrow), but now we're in the waiting period.  Many programs are already getting back to people; I have three interviews already (including one that I got back in December--absurdly early), and one of the interviews was issued before the application deadline.  Additionally, there are only so many weekends in January, February, and March, and so many people, myself included, are anxious about how quickly we're going to have to throw together schedules for these months.  I know I'm extremely concerned about how much work I'm going to have to miss (1 day per local program, possibly 2 days for others).  So I sought out information--when the hell should I begin to suspect I've been rejected?

I found a couple of websites, and the results?  FUCKING HILARIOUS.

Getting into a PhD program is really important to me, and to other people.  I've been extremely obsessive and organized about my applications, and now my interviews.  But I'm also confident that I'll get in somewhere great, have a great/stressful/wtf 5-6 years, and end up with a great career.  Cool.

People are freaking out, though.  They're posting their "stats:" GPA, what kind of college they attended, GRE scores, years of undergraduate/other experience, publications, etc. etc. etc., in addition to all of the programs they applied to and have heard back from.  People are freeeeeaking.  And while I don't find anything particularly hilarious about, "I found out I was rejected from [school].  I'm disappointed," I do think it's hilarious to see people panicking about the massive Nor'easter that just hit New England, because, and I'm not kidding, they're worried that it'll impact the decision timeline from Harvard's BBS program.  Now, I'm not that panicky because I didn't apply to BBS.  And because my PI told me that BBS isn't even close to making any decisions.  So it's hilarious to see that people are actually paying attention to Boston weather because they think that they're supposed to hear back any day now.

Anyway, am I anxious about graduate school?  Yes.  Do I feel panicked because I'm still waiting to hear back from 7 programs?  Yes, but it's because I always get anxious during the waiting game.  Also, I'm bored because I'm done with applications, and panicking is something to do.  But it just tickles me a little bit to see people getting this upset and worried so early in the game.  Look, everyone, almost all of us will be getting a PhD in 4-7 years.  Don't worry.

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