Stressed out explaining grad school to people

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by puma1552, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #1
    This is stressing me out and getting really irritating.

    ***DISCLAIMER: I appreciate that people give enough of a crap and have enough interest in me to care what my plans are and what I'm going to do, and to continually ask***

    ----------

    But bloody HELL is it annoying explaining the exact same thing to the exact same people over and over and over again.

    Here's my plan, I'll keep it short and sweet: My original plan has been to get into grad school and defer for a year to help my girlfriend get ready to study in America, then come back together with her. Thus if I get accepted, defer admission--unless I get a ton of funding, which is not deferrable, then I may have to go this year. Pretty simple right? Defer unless I get a large amount of funding.

    Well, I got into one school with no funding and wait listed at the other. As part of the policy for wait listed candidates, we can neither defer admission (should it be offered), nor will there be any funding available for anyone on the wait list. So, if I get in, I have to either go this fall or just flat out decline. Just how it is for wait listed people.

    So what am I doing right now? Well, sticking to my original plan, with the school I've been admitted to I am going to defer since I received no funding so I'm not losing anything by doing so. Then there's nothing else I can do until I hear from the other school. If I get in, I've got hard decisions to make. If I don't, then I'll stay here in Japan another year and probably go to the school I deferred, continuing on my original plan.

    So it's pretty simple--I got in, deferred, now have to wait on the other school knowing I'll get no funding and won't be able to defer.

    Over the last six months I've had people endlessly asking me about this and it's driving me up a wall. I thought it was bad enough putting up with people asking me every day as far back as December if I'd heard back from schools when I told them repeatedly that "No, they don't make decisions until March at the EARLIEST." Now I don't expect people to commit my life to their memory, not at all. But simple common sense of listening to me tell you "MARCH" should eventually register after the fifteenth time I've told someone, shouldn't it? People just don't f*ckin' listen.

    But I thought it was bad then. Now I have an offer, and a wait list.

    So now I've got a whole slew of other questions to deal with. Despite saying I'm on the wait list and don't and won't know anything until later outside of no deferment and no funding over and over and over again, I still have people asking me about that school and what I'm going to do. Despite over and over and over telling them "I don't know what I'm going to do, I have to wait to see if they offer me admission and if they do I have to weigh the amount of debt and talk to my girlfriend, I will cross that bridge when--if--I come to it," they still keep asking about it.

    Same thing with my other school I got into. Everyone's like "So are you for sure going there this fall??!?!" and it's just like UGHHHH when did I EVER say I was planning on doing that? How many times have I said my original plan was and is to defer? How many times have I said I don't know, it depends what the wait listed school says?

    I'm just frustrated. I don't have any other friends with a dick hint of ambition to go to grad school, I'm the first person in my family extended or otherwise to go, and it's not that they don't understand and I have to explain--that's fine I'm cool with that--it's rather that they just flat out don't even listen to anything I tell them and keep asking the same menial sh*t over and over and over again.

    What pushed me towards this rant was talking to my one friend I've told all this stuff to a thousand times over just now. I told him I had just found out I'm not getting funding for the school I'm admitted to. I've told him at least five times I will not get any funding at the other school if I'm let in because I'm on the wait list and wait listed people don't get funding, period. You know what he said to me right after I told him I got no funding at the school I'm admitted to? "I'd go to whichever school gives you more funding" AAARRRRRRHGHGGHRHGHGHEEHRGHGHFGHGH

    I know I come across as a huge dick for this and I'm sure I'll get flamed, but I get tired of people who just don't f*ckin' listen. I appreciate the interest--I do, and I appreciate people caring enough to ask, but holy hell if I don't get so, so, so tired of explaining the exact same processes at least 6-7 times to every single person because nobody listens the first four times. If you're not gonna listen, and even try to commit anything to memory, stop feigning interest and stop asking me about it. Honestly I wish I would've never told anyone at all I was applying to grad school.

    It's a stressful process and I've got a lot of big decisions to make, because the girl I may have to leave behind may indeed be 'the one' and I'd be leaving her for $140k in debt. I'm not asking for advice here, I can handle what's on my plate and make my own decisions--but I tire of people constantly adding to the stress by making me sound like a broken record; it got to a point where I just flat out said, "I have no idea what I'm doing, I'll tell YOU when I make a final decision," and still, they ask. *sigh*

    I just want to scream out "I DON'T HAVE ALL THE PIECES OF THE PUZZLE SO I HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA WHAT I'M GOING TO DO YET!!! I'LL TELL YOU WHEN I DECIDE!!!!"

    [/rant, god that felt good after getting told go where the money is after just saying there was no money anywhere]
     
  2. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    #2
    Yeah man, it can be tough. It seems like a lot of people don't actually listen when others are speaking. Just got to go with it though, I guess, not much you can do about it, right? The endless questions of others in regards to future plans like graduate school can get tedious (especially when you've already explained a couple of times) even in simple situations, yours is more complicated to explain, making it even more tedious.

    Good luck on the funding and wait-list, hope it works out. I'll be going on to graduate school next year as well.
     
  3. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #3
    just curious but if your plan was to defer a year, why did you apply this year as opposed to next year? I know you said you would go this year if you had no defeerable funding but it really sounds like you want to push it off to next year if you can
     
  4. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #4
    Mainly because my plan was to just always apply after two years here, and in the meantime I happened to meet and get serious with my girlfriend, particularly over the last six-eight months as I've gone through the application process.

    Really I just didn't want to go home without a plan or job or anything and live in my dad's basement; if I got in, then I could defer and pursue something else here in Japan for a year if I wanted (I can't take this job anymore), knowing my next step in life and giving me a bit more freedom in what to pursue since I'd already have my next step secured. If I didn't get in, I could step back and reevaluate while I'm still here, and gain another year of international experience and do lots of other things to strengthen my application while I have this opportunity here and would've been able to reapply the next year (I absolutely do not plan/want to stay here more than three years).

    Truth be told I didn't realize at the time that funding would not be deferrable (so obvious in retrospect, but moot since I received none anyway).
     
  5. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #5
    I agree with duke. I know the application process is stressful and difficult, but I'd just reapply next year. I don't know what field you're in, but it usually isn't advisable to accept any offer that isn't funded (at least in the humanities). See if you can get any better offers next year. Disregard this if you're going into a field that typically doesn't offer funding to its students.

    I know what you're going through with family and friends constantly asking for updates. If I were you, I'd stop trying to explain all of the details and plans about deferment. Just tell them "I will know everything by x date. I will let you know what I am doing when I find out. I'm going to tell you the same thing when you ask me again tomorrow." It may be harsh, but its better than repeating your long complicated (to them) story again and again.

    EDIT: I posted this before I saw you replied to duke about reapplication, so I'm not trying to be a jerk and ignoring your response.
     
  6. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #6
    I'm going into international relations. Typically funding is not offered for IR students, pretty much across the board so it was expected to not get funding even if I was a top top student, so I wasn't too surprised at the lack of funding, not to mention California is broke as a joke.

    EDIT: I feel like if I tell them I'll know everything by date X they will still keep asking, just like they did when I told them admissions decisions would be rendered in March. Ugh.
     
  7. callmemike20 macrumors 6502a

    callmemike20

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    It won't last, bro. Focus on your life first. Go to grad school this year, get a good job, then focus on women. What if you get her pregnant within the year? Another excuse to wait another year?
     
  8. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #8
    Believe me focusing on my life always has been my plan long long before legally entwining anyone else in my life. I've been a stronger advocate than anyone of setting myself up first before adding anyone to my life, believe me.

    However, we are approaching the 1.5 year mark and extremely compatible; I wouldn't still be with her at this point if I didn't see it going somewhere.

    But, that's neither here nor there, since thus far it hasn't affected my plans of applying and deferring and going after three years. It only becomes a factor if I get into Columbia off the wait list, and then it becomes a question more of "Do I really want to go $140k deep?" as opposed to "Do I want to keep my girlfriend or go to grad school?" I do think that more work experience could be good either way in terms of what I might get out of grad school, as the average applicant to my programs has 4-5 years of experience. She's been extremely supportive and understands my need to do this, and is pushing me towards grad school, particularly Columbia if I get in because "it's the best decision for you," even though she knows it's far from the ideal situation for us. She has been 100% supportive and she has caused no stress for me, thankfully.

    As for her getting pregnant, we've already had that discussion and we would not keep it because we aren't financially/emotionally ready for that anytime soon.

    Thanks for the input, it's duly noted and by and large I agree with it 100%, but like I said I wasn't so much looking for advice here as I was just bitching about people who don't listen lol
     
  9. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #9
    I made the mistake of applying to three different grad programs in CA. Luckily I got a great offer elsewhere this year, but this was probably the toughest year for grad. admissions in a long time.

    There is no way you can stop them from asking over and over what your plans are, but if you just stick to the "I'll let you know by x when I know", at least you'll only be repeating a very short sentence instead of the longer version including the deferment information.
     
  10. stonyc macrumors 65816

    stonyc

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Location:
    Michigan
    #10
    Um, maybe this is a stupid question... but why would you get into 140k of debt? Are there not other funding sources you can apply for? Fellowships? Grants, perhaps? If you end up working with a mentor who has a grant, maybe they can include you on their next one. Loans don't have to be the end all be all for funding graduate education... unless IR is just that different from grad school in the sciences like I'm used to?

    Yes, this. A simple "I don't know yet, I'm still waiting to hear from X school and then I'll know what I'll be doing." would probably suffice.
     
  11. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #11
    I thought about grad school straight out of undergrad, but decided against it to spend more time on my career. I'm not exactly kicking myself for it, but at the same time I feel like I missed the boat on a graduate education. My GREs are all timed out, and like you said, it's apparently a lot more competitive to get in these days. Oh well.
     
  12. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2001
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #12
    TL;DR, but as I've got you here, what are you planning to do about grad school?
     
  13. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #13
    OP, perhaps you can just refer them back to this thread.

    I would have however waited to apply until next year and I would not hold out for a year over a girl, then again I don't swing that way so that could be why. That's just me and maybe grad school has changed.
     
  14. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
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    New York
    #14
    I don't know how old you are, but you probably haven't missed the boat. There are plenty of people in their 30's and 40's and even older going back to grad school after a long hiatus spent working on a career.

    Plus this is a great time to retake the GRE. They are making a lot of changes for the upcoming version of the test which, in my opinion, is going to make it much easier.

    Perfect.
     
  15. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #15
    LOL!

    I'm in my early 30s. Grad school was just a personal goal of mine - it wouldn't further my career in any way. I don't think I'd struggle too much with the general GRE, but the Physics GRE would take a substantial amount of work for me to get back into proper form. Probably more work than I'm willing to do. :) The Computer Science GRE would be far easier, but I have no interest in doing postgraduate CS work.

    So I just sit back and wistfully imagine myself getting a PhD in Physics, but really, it'll never happen.
     
  16. renewed macrumors 68040

    renewed

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bemalte Blumen duften nicht.
    #16
    Hey everyone! We have us here one of them future telly peoples. Woohoo... I wonder if he knows those deadgums lotto numbers.. maybe even he knows what the new iPhone will look like and what 4.0 will provide...

    Geewizzards... :rolleyes:

    [/sarcasm]

    Dude that has to be the worst comment/advice I have ever read. I know plenty of people who are married and stuff and like they kinda lasted, bro. ;)
     
  17. callmemike20 macrumors 6502a

    callmemike20

    Joined:
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    USA
    #17
    I made that comment somewhat in jest. However, my full comment has some truth to it.
     
  18. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #18
    $140k in debt is the worst case scenario. Funding from the school for the first year is extremely limited; a very select few students (and I mean a few) received fellowships of about $20k for the first year. In the second year, if I maintain above a 3.2 GPA I can apply for a fellowship, the average of which is $20k, but still only 50-70% of those qualified who apply actually get it so there's no guarantee there either.

    As for external funding sources, no doubt they are out there. I really need to look hard and do a crapload of work (writing essays for each, additional letters of recommendation, etc) to have a shot at them and that shot is slim. Thus I have to plan for the worst case scenario of $140k for the two year cost of attendance.

    Yeah I'm not so much as holding out for a girl as I am sticking to my original plan of deferring, just so when my time here is approaching the end I have my next step planned. If I had waited til next year to apply and then got rejected, I'd be SOL and going home to no plan at all since I really have no interest to stay here more than three years; this way I was able to gauge if I was a strong enough applicant for grad school so if I didn't get in this year I'd know I needed to strengthen my application, preferably done from here in Japan.
     
  19. stonyc macrumors 65816

    stonyc

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Location:
    Michigan
    #19
    Gotcha. I have to remind myself that not all graduate programs are the same, sometimes not even at the same school. I'm in one of those 'hot' fields (bioinformatics), so training grants and fellowships are not exactly easy to come by, but if you do your due diligence you could have every year of your graduate education paid for. Tack on a semester or two of being a GSI (graduate student instructor) and you could actually make a fair amount of money as a grad student in my program. Class-wise, our program mandates 8 credit hours for full time student status... my sister is at the same school, but in a different program and her program mandates like 12 hours. So while I can get away with taking 2-3 classes/semester and graduate in 1.5 years, she has to take 4-5 classes and she'll graduate in 2 years. In any case, I start my applications for more graduate school this coming Fall... good luck to you then.
     

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