I’m working on applying to grad schools right now. I did this last year, cluelessly, and made the fatal error of applying to programs that didn’t quite fit my goals. This year, I’m correcting my mistake. I’ve found programs I’m terribly excited about, which will prepare me well for my chosen path. I’m writing a separate, individualized personal statement for each school, geared toward the program and professors I want to work with. I’m emailing professors I like, asking to hear more about their work and often getting recent papers sent back to me. I’m taking the time to read the papers, too…
Writing up a grad school application feels a lot like dating to me– we put our best foot forward and hope for the best. We spend a lot of time trying to look polished– and fearing rejection.
And application-due date season feels a bit like what speed dating must be like. You get x amount of time with each school– to learn from their website what they want you to hear, and to tell them as much as you want them to know about you. Then decide if you want to know them better.
I flirt: uploading the transcript, the writing sample, the GRE scores. I hope I’m just their type.
I bat my eyelashes, twirl my hair– and hit send.