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18 December 2008 @ 10:32 am
Advice sorely needed  
So, okay.

...

Suppressing the urge to elaborate.  Just stick to the facts.  I'm barely sliding under the admissions deadlines for the schools I would like to attend.

Optimally:
I would have studied for the GRE last summer.
I would have taken the GRE in October.
I would have taken the GRE Math subject test in November.
I would have applied to schools early this month.

And so on, and so forth.  None of these things happened.  I didn't even start thinking about these things until early fall.  Nothing whatsoever can be done about that now.

Now.  The next Math Subject GRE test is not until April, far beyond all application deadlines.  I can only just barely manage to slide the general GRE by Jan 6th, for applications which need to be turned in by Jan 15th.  I can not do grad school without financial aid or a fellowship, which means I need that Subject test.  My GPA is not going to help me.

Should I take a year off, study like hell, and apply for schools next year?

Should I just suck it up and apply and see what happens?

Does this happen to everybody?

* * *

Edit: I had better take a year off and work. I can not apply to any of my Boston schools without the Math Subject test.

I am not going to panic.

* * *

Okay, so far? Today sucks too.
 
 
Current Mood: blankblank
 
 
 
Chriscrm17 on December 18th, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC)
I don't know enough about the admission dynamics to give advice.

Can you call one of the schools you are interested in and have a conversation with them? Might take a few calls but likely you would be able to find someone who could give good advice, at least for that school.

Seems like you have 3 options:
1) Apply without GRE.
2) Wait and apply with GRE.
3) Apply to something else at target school to get foot in door and then work on getting GRE and get into the program you want at the school. (No idea if this is remotely actually possible as described)
Радаdigitalemur on December 18th, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC)
Should I take a year off, study like hell, and apply for schools next year?

YES AND MAKE $$$

Should I just suck it up and apply and see what happens?

NO

Does this happen to everybody?

VERY YES
Becky: sword in the stoneladybird97 on December 18th, 2008 04:57 pm (UTC)
HECK YES.

One of the best decisions of my life was to take a year off between undergrad and grad school. There was this week in my senior year when I was having to choose between doing my work for class and working on grad school applications, and that just didn't feel right to me. Added to that was the fact that my junior-year grades, while good, weren't as high as I had hoped. So I put it off for another year, and devoted my senior year to getting my grades as good as possible. It's not the right decision for everyone, but it made my senior year much less stressful and more successful.
Радаdigitalemur on December 18th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
My mom still argued with me, that I would never get on to grad school if I took time off, when I gave her your example. I kept saying, "Mom, when I was in high school McCann said that some people were just destined for some grad school whether they liked it or not, and I KNOW I'm one of those people, now leave me alone."

I still did a stupid job of planning my finances, but grad school dragged me in kicking and screaming, nevertheless. Nyah nyah, mom. *grin*
Wiseacreewin on December 18th, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC)
My GPA will not be up to a 3.0 by the time I graduate, despite my having a 4.0 while at CSU. There's really nothing that can salvage it at this point.
Радаdigitalemur on December 18th, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC)
Also: see if you can talk yourself into not panicking until you've talked more about this to a variety of people. I'm happy to help, for one thing, with my indirect-but-encyclopedic knowledge of the wacky clusterfuck that is grad school. You sorta need to play anthropologist and learn about the many varieties of wacky, and that means it's generally correct to take your time and plan like mad before starting to apply.
Wiseacreewin on December 18th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC)
Okay. *nod* Okay.
Радаdigitalemur on December 18th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
You also need a financial plan for the whole thing plus the first few years afterward. Yes, I know some people don't seem to be planning that carefully. They may be more risk tolerant than us. They may be more willing and comfortable to get family support than us. They may just be nuts. Either way, don't be like them. Don't be like ME! My grad school choices were SO financially stupid! It's doable and even kinda fun at times... but oh god if you rush into it it fucks you up so bad.
Wiseacreewin on December 18th, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC)
A big part of the reason why I was heading directly to grad school was that I have no idea how I will make my student loan payments.

So obviously financial planning is not my forte.

I'm also not really sure how bankruptcy would affect my ability to apply to school in the future...
kenjarikenjari on December 18th, 2008 05:30 pm (UTC)
What digitalemur and ladybird97 said. I took a few years off between undergrad and grad school, and I think it was a very good thing. It helped me develop an additional layer of independence that turned out to be really useful (not that I think you have any trouble in that area). Plus, time away from school, no matter how much you love it (and believe me, I really really love school), gives you time and space to figure stuff out about your life and how you want to live it.
Wiseacreewin on December 18th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
:( But I was forced to take five years off before I could go back to school to complete my bachelor's.
kenjarikenjari on December 18th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
I well know that frustration. I'm being forced to take time off before moving on to grad school part 2, and it isn't very much fun. But just one year off might still be a good idea, if it will allow you to turn in better applications. Also, you might be able to visit some of the schools, if that's the sort of thing that's useful to do in your field (and I can offer crash space in Boston, btw).