Saturday, September 10, 2005

And so it begins...

Well, I've procrastinated for long enough. It's time to start the grad school search-and-apply process. I'm kind of behind, I fear. After my GRE mishap of today, I've decided to take it for sure in early October--at the very latest, giving me more time to properly prepare myself.

I've got a basic draft of a personal statement, though I'm afraid it kind of sucks. I'm not entirely sure who reads this blog, but if you would comment and critique it, that would be lovely. I think I'll post it tommorow or so, along with my anxieties about it.

As to schools, I've looked at a few that look really exciting, but, the problem is, I'm not sure that I could ever get into them. See, I really wish I knew how I stand compared to other people, if I'd even be a competitive candidate. I've got a 3.899 gpa, no clue on GRE scores, and experience on one research project. I've taken a graduate class and am taking one right now. I was lazy this semester and didn't start doing a senior thesis (I suck!), though I'll do one next semester so I can graduate with honors. I've helped start Amnesty International and National Organization for Women chapters on campus (if that even matters in the admissions process! probably matters less for grad school than stuff like that did for undergrad).

Here's the sticking point: I go to UT-Dallas. It's a great school, and my professors, particularly in sociology, are wonderful and brilliant. But... I go to UT-Dallas. Who's heard of UTD? Except for in EE or CS? If you have an applicant with similar scores, gpa, background, etc, and they went to, say, Yale or Berkeley or Chicago... who are you going to pick? Yes, yes, I know... personal statement, reccomendations, research experience, research interests, blah, blah... those matter more.

But, seriously... is this going to be a problem? Does anyone know? Maybe I'm just being paranoid.

But, even beyond that: would I be a good graduate student? It's what I want to do. Maybe I'm not smart enough. Who knows? I want to, like, ask one of my teachers, "should I even be so optimistic as to apply to this-or-that school?" But questions like that invariably come off as compliment fishing ("please tell me I'm smart!"), I'm afraid.

Anyway, I just wanted to get these basic anxieties off my chest. And to start blogging about more personal stuff, as a few people have mentioned today that I should.

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