9 Things Procrastinators Should Actually Do When Applying For Grad School

9 Things Procrastinators Should Actually Do When Applying For Grad School

Grad school applications can be tough, follow these pieces of advice to make the process a little easier!
122
views

As someone who just recently went through the absolutely God awful process of applying to graduate programs (no, I don't know where I've gotten in yet. Please don't ask me. It makes me nauseous.) I figured I could give some of my take-a-ways and pieces of advice I learned along the way.

1. Take the GRE early!

You usually apply to graduate schools in the fall (September, October, November) because many deadlines are during December and January. If you wait until October to take the GRE (or whatever entrance test you need), it is going to be really hard to schedule a time to re-take it if that's something you have to do. I took the GRE the summer before I would be applying and it was one of the best decisions! Luckily, my scores were good enough for me and I did not need to retake the test. However, if I did need to retake it, I would have had plenty of time! Studying is a different story and I am sorry to say that I have no advice on how to tackle the utter Hell that is the GRE.

2. Research programs before you research schools.

Graduate School is not like undergrad. The football team, clubs, demographics, and reputation doesn't mean as much. The "party school" label shouldn't mean anything because you'll be 22 and hopefully not focused on how fast you can shotgun a beer. So make sure you are researching the program, professors, and curriculum rather than the overall school. Yes, it is important to like the campus and area. But since you are getting a specialized degree, it is important to understand the program and who/what you'll be learning from!

3. Try to find someone (friend, supervisor, mentor, boss, teacher, etc.) who has gone to the school or graduated from the program.

When applying to undergrad, you can go on campus tours and visit open house events. When it comes to degrees other than a bachelors, you need to have real and raw information about the school and the specific program you'll be applying to. I highly encourage you to find someone who can attest to the program you're interested in. This will help you make your decision on which schools are worth the application and which are not. It will also give you some insight into the school and hopefully, that person can give you some specific advice when it comes to applying and getting into the school!

4. Start writing your personal statement early and have it edited by multiple people.

I didn't start writing my personal statement until a week before I wanted to start my applications. This was a bad choice. Writing about yourself is harder than you'd think. And deciding what to say and what to leave out is very difficult. Plus, a lot of schools have different requirements when it comes to length, format, and what needs to be included. This is probably the hardest and longest part of the application process so it is important that you start early so that you don't miss deadlines. Also, make sure you aren't the only one reading these statements. Find a supervisor who has been through this process so they can edit your work!

5. Have an open mind!

Any education you have after a bachelors degree is a big deal! You are about to learn a very specific field of work. It is important that you find a school that will meet your needs, help you reach your goals, challenge you, and set you up for success. Don't ignore a school just because you "don't want to go there." Do your research and see what each school has to offer!

6. Ask for recommendation letters now!

Recommendation letters are another big part of this process. For the most part, schools ask for a minimum of 2 and a max of 6 recommendations letters. And sometimes, they are required to be from different people. Some have to be professors while others should be advisors, supervisors, or faculty members. You need to make sure you are asking people who can accurately and positively showcase your work and achievements. And you need to ask NOW! Even if you still have a year before you'll be applying, it is better to be early. You want to make sure you have enough letters and that they will all come from excellent people. Plus, many of them will ask for a copy of your personal statement so they can mention your goals in their letter, which is another reason why your statement should be written early!

7. SAVE MONEY!

I had no idea that applying to graduate school would be so expensive! It costs to send your GRE scores and your transcript. The applications also cost money! Multiply all those costs by the number of schools you're interested in and you'll be shocked at the total. The saying is true, you gotta spend money to make money!

8. Have a backup school.

You always need to aim high and push yourself to where you want to be. But it doesn't hurt to have that one school that you can fall back on. For many, it is their undergrad institution. But make sure there is at least one school that you know with almost absolute certainty that you will get into. That way if you need to have a plan B, you'll be ready!

9. Trust the process.

The few months that it took me to research schools, edit my personal statement, and submit my applications were some of the most stressful months ever! I felt like my future was at my fingertips and with one wrong move, I might have to rethink my entire career. But now that it is over and I am just waiting to hear back, I am confident that I will get into the schools that I deserve and I will end up where I am supposed to be.

Cover Image Credit: Fabian Irsara

Popular Right Now

Let's Talk More About Lori Laughlin Facing Up To 20 Years In Prison When Brock Turner Got 6 Months

And he was released three months early for 'good behavior'... after sexually assaulting an unconscious girl behind a dumpster.

15499
views

To start, Lori Laughlin messed up royally, and I don't condone her actions.

If you live under a rock and are unaware of what happened to the "Full House" star, here's the tea:

Lori Laughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli — and like 50 other celebrity parents — were found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud, and paid a $1 million bail on conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and honest services fraud. You don't need to know what these mean except that she paid $500,000 to get her two daughters, Bella and Olivia Jade Giannulli.

I know you're wondering why they did it — tbh I am too — however, these parents paid the University of Southern California to give admission to her daughters in through the rowing team on campus, despite neither one of them actually playing the sport ever in their life.

Yeah, Aunt Becky messed up and should face punishment, but why is she facing up 20 years when men like Brock Turner are sentenced only six months for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at Stanford?

I hate to bring up the gender card, but I'm pulling it: Why is Lori Laughlin — a woman who with bad judgement who used money to give an upper-hand to her entitled daughters — face more prison time than a man who willingly raped a woman who wasn't in a right state of mine (or any at all!) behind a dumpster of all places.

The answer? Because the system is a mess.

Yeah, Aunt Becky paid for her daughters to get into a school, giving disadvantages to students actually deserving and wanting to attend a college. Her act was immoral, and ultimately selfish, but it doesn't even compare to what Brock Turner did, and it doesn't even effect others as much his rape survivor.

The most that will happen to the Giannulli girls is an expulsion and a temporary poor reputation, however, Emily Doe (the alias of the survivor) will feel the consequences of the attack forever.

There should have been a switch:

Lori Laughlin and the Target guy should have had to pay other students tuition/student debt while facing prison time, while Brock Turner should have had to face over 20 years with more consequences.

But, that'll never happen because our system sucks and society is rigged. I guess our society would prefer a rapist walking around more so a woman who made a poor choice by paying for her daughters to go to a college.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Teaching Is An Amazing Career, It's More Powerful Than We Give It Credit For

Teaching is a career that is heavily overlooked — it is much more powerful than people realize.

103
views

When it comes to teaching, it's not always easy or fun. But, let me ask you this: what career really is easy or fun all the time? Being challenged can beneficial. Otherwise, you are just going through the same routine over and over. Teaching will definitely keep you on your toes because there's always something happening.

People seem to think teachers just lecture on information that they hope their students remember for the test. You know what? Those people are dead wrong. Teaching is more than that. Teaching means having the passion and drive to educate children. Teaching is turning something dull to something that students will find more interesting and enjoyable.

Teaching is also about providing tools and other resources for students in order for them to succeed, especially the ones who tend to struggle in school. Being able to give those tools to help them accomplish their goals is extremely rewarding. A teacher will work with a student who is behind on his/her reading skills to have him/her be right at the level he/she needs to be by the end of the school year. Not many jobs provide a reward quite like guiding a student, if not more, to success.

Although it focuses on academics, teaching is not just about that. Sure, being an effective teacher is key, but there are other aspects that are just as significant. As a teacher, you also have to connect with your students. Knowing your students on a personal level is so important. The connection can build respect that will, in turn, help them to succeed. Plus, students spend more time with you on a day-to-day basis than they do with their parents — isn't that frightening? So, you have to be able to support them and let them know them that you are there for them if they are having trouble.

Additionally, that connection you build with your students can last a lifetime. You can witness the growth of a student right in front of you. In fact, I am still very close with some of my teachers from elementary school. Many of them inspired me to become a teacher. Because of those great bonds I built, I had the opportunity to intern with some of my past teachers, which was a rewarding experience for everyone. Being able to develop such a connection with someone so different in age is something that is so powerful and that doesn't come with many other careers.

Teaching is so amazing. There are so many layers and beautiful aspects to it. Again, it can be difficult, but it's also a lot of fun. Not many people can say they have fun and laugh every day at work. I also truly believe that not many other people can say their careers provide as rewarding of a feeling as teaching does. To be able to make such a difference in someone's life is an incredible thing. Teaching is my passion. I know teaching will not be only gratifying but something that will bring me pure joy.

Related Content

Facebook Comments