March 22, 2012

I just received my last rejection in my mail today, which gives me a depressing total of 0/6 schools I applied for to do my PhD in this year. It’s been a grueling process, not to mention the toll it’s taken on my pocket. I still can’t believe that hundreds of people apply to each graduate program and put in all this effort, only to receive a paragraph and no explanation in reply. Even for the handful of people who get accepted, it must seem like they got lucky because the schools accept soo few applicants that it must just seem like a dream come true that is unexpected. On that note, one of the schools that rejected me for a doctorate did recommended me for their one year MA in Social Science program and I was accepted into with partial funding. While my first thought was – I already have a BA and MSc, why should I do another MA! – that thought was quickly replaced by relief for at least getting accepted into something, plus the fast that a double masters wasn’t the work idea…

It wasn’t long ago that I thought I’d do a PhD in a different topic (my original topic) in the UK. But as it turned out, lecturers and professors I emailed both in the UK and US wouldn’t give me straight answers or even reply to my emails, and my topic dwindled down and evaporated into the abyss. I didn’t have time to mourn my dream PhD topic (which was a continuation of my MSc thesis) as I only had 45 days before applications had to be submitted. So I put my brain into gear again and thought of another topic that could match the first in creativity, uniqueness, and potential.

By this point I also started to wonder about financing my studies, as I didn’t want to burden anyone, and decided to concentrate on schools in the United States. At least I could get some teacher training or research trainingwhilespending lots of money!While chances were slim of getting funded, at least there was a chance – unlike studying in the  UK and Australia – to get others to fund part of my study. So it was decided I would change my focus from the UK to the US, but the question of a valid thesis question still needed to be procured. I finally decided to go out of my comfort zone and changed directions from a formerly hardcore Archaeological Science topic to a European History/Art project. I justified my transfer in my personal statement and though every method I could think of. This time around I didn’t have time to ask prospective professors for their opinions. Or to be more precise, I didn’t want to hear what they had to or didn’t have to say.

I’m sure life will go on, but I’m not quite sure what to do next… I need to give the university that offered me a spot on their MA program my decision by May 1st, and I will be applying for a research grant come mid-May, but as the acceptance rate for that is about 5%, I’m not keeping my fingers crossed for this one either. As I see it, the less disappointed I’ll be if I have fewer expectations in this part of my life. Other than that, my future is, at least for today, a blank slate.

Wish me luck on my journey…


2 Responses to “Decisions”

  1. Romney Says:

    Good luck, I’ll be enduring that as well. Seems like everyone I know gets rejected a dozen times before being picked.


  2. […] student at the University of Chicago for another Social Science MA (as mentioned in earlier posts here and here) which I struggled with from Day 1. In fact, I’m still struggling to finish up, and […]


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