Tuesday, October 5, 2010

To everything, turn, turn, turn

Dress: Spense;
Sweater: from Marilou;
Belt: Ann Taylor Loft;
Shoes: Minnetonka;
Leaf brooch: thrifted.
How I've worn the dress before: here.
Listening to: The Byrds, "Turn! Turn! Turn!"

I made some allusions on my Twitter account recently to the fact that I'm in the process of re-applying to graduate school right now. I put some wheels in motion by contacting some of the programs I'm applying to so I can sit down and talk to an advisor and ask some more questions about the program. It's hard to describe how I'm feeling right now -- I'm excited, but I'm a huge, neurotic ball of nerves because of getting rejected last spring and obviously I want to get things started right this time around.

For those of you in academia right now -- graduate students, TAs, professors, etc. -- I'd really like to pick your brain a bit. What sort of advice would you give to a prospective graduate student, now that you are on the other side? What do you wish you knew about graduate school before you got in? Any and all points are highly appreciated. I also wanted to thank all who gave me some words of encouragement yesterday -- it means so much to me.

Not much to say about this outfit except that I kinda threw it on Monday when I was running late. I like the laidback style of the moccasins with the dress. I think I'm going to be reaching for the leaf brooch more, as it reflects my current state of mind about moving forward with my life.

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  1. Timeless and classic in stripes....you look gorgeous hunnie:)

    Enter my Wendy Hammer Designs Purse Giveaway♥
    Statements in Fashion Blog

  2. Awww, I love your sweater! And your brooch! And..and. :D

    You look great, as always.


    Times Like Mine

  3. Personally, grad school was so much easier than being an undergrad. I had no exams or quizzes, so cramming was a thing of the past. I mostly just had to read tons of books and write tons of papers, but for some reason it was a lot easier giving my thoughts and opinions versus regurgitating facts.
    Good luck!!!

  4. Love the song, love your outfit, love the pictures (especially the one with the ducks).

    I've finished grad school now (twice in fact!) and I guess my (somewhat lackluster and predictable) advice is that it is extremely challenging, yet incredibly rewarding. It's very intellectually fulfilling because you weed out the ppl who "have" to be there (to get their BA/BS) and what's left are the ppl who "desperately want" to be there. The profs are more attentive and the material is of interest to you. I can't say enough good things about grad school! It changed how I think and write, that's for sure.

  5. hmmm...what can I say about grad school.

    I think it's important to determine the purpose of going to grad school for you and what you hope for it to provide. Why do you want to go?

    For me, it was (1) delaying a job, (2) I felt it was the direction I "should" be going to live up to expectations, (3) I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for a job or career, (4) I loved chemistry and wanted to learn more, (5) to provide more opportunities for a career in the chemical industry.

    Now, these seemed fine at the time, and I probably would do the same thing over again. But my issue now is with #5. Whereas that is the most concrete and "best" reason, a problem arises: what if I don't want a career in the chemical industry? And that's something I'm just now realizing. I finished grad school and I have no idea what I want to do because I never really thought about it. I don't regret going, because I have a degree that I *earned* and that feels great. But now what to do with it? There is something to be said for learning for the sake of learning -and I did that. But now what?

    So think about the real reasons you want to go. Because if you know why you want to go, I really think you can make the most out of shaping you goals and career. And grad school, like undergrad, is really about what you make of it and about what you want out of it.

    Does this make sense? I hope so. I might come back later with more thoughts, as this is something I've been thinking about a lot lately.

  6. As you know, I'm currently doing a post-grad Certificate in Terrorism Studies. Its not that its harder than undergrad but with a full-time job, a teaching part-time and blogging, its the hardest thing for me to complete.

    Something's gotta give, right?

    On a fashion note, I really love that cardigan on you!




  7. Love the bold colors in your outfit today :)

    And I just started grad school so I was in your boat a year ago. I would say apply far and wide, tiers high and low, b/c it's really difficult to tell which particular professors in what program are going to be dying to work with you on your proposed project. Also, be specific in your statement of purpose about what academic area you want to explore (you can change it later)!

    OK gotta go to class, hope that 2 seconds worth of advice helps :)

  8. Grad school has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding things I've ever done. I'm almost finish too, thank God.

    I have no real tips for application because I am still in shock I got in where I go now, but I have plenty for when you start. Always make time to have fun with friends or do something outside of school and work. Focusing on school all the time makes it worse. Don't stress TOO much. While easier said than done, it does help. Find a program that fits you, not program that you can fit in to. Those are just a few tid bits.

  9. Great photos! I heard the Birds on the radio today. Love that song.

  10. I love the stripes and that skirt. Your pictures are always so beautiful.

    I'm currently in graduate school, and I think meeting with academic advisors is the best way to go. I didn't meet with anyone, just took all the necessary tests and applied to the program. When I got in though I really didn't understand all that would be involved, I wish I had met with an advisor so I could have made more informed choices. Good luck to you in your application process, hope everything goes well!

  11. I love the pics of the birds swimming ....too cute! And the leaf with the reflection of the water is GORRRRGEOUS! Great outfit babe!!! Love how nautical it is!
    xoThe Beckerman Girls


  12. I love the stripes with the red!

    Personally, I would recommend that you apply to at least 10-15 programs. The economy is bad so that means most programs will be inundated with highly qualified candidates, so you really should consider contacting professors who you would be interested in working with and making sure that you get glowing letters of rec.

    I'm not sure what your goals are in terms of your career after graduate school, but do not go into serious debt for a degree in the humanities.

  13. Best of luck with your new journey! I'm sure it will turn out great :)
    You're pictures always brighten up my day, so pretty :)

  14. your red skirt is so cute, great outfit!


  15. I love the red dress, it's so pretty! And those shoes look so comfortable!

  16. You wear red so very well, and I love the bright color with the sweater from Marilou. Your leaf brooch is stunning, and it seems to fit both with the current season and some new life events. Good luck as you work through grad school applications. Although the application process can be daunting, it sounds as though you are already taking several steps to best prepare yourself. Kudos!

  17. I love your outfit, it's super cute!

    Good luck with grad school... I need to take my GRE's bleh, and I'm completely slacking on that!

  18. Oh my gee I love that song! Holy moly I love that brooch!

    I am in the current state of applying for grad schools as well, the only thing I can say is be diverse with where you are applying to and apply to more than one dream school. You never know.

    I know for me the schools really like that my fulltime job is in the field of my chosen study (I am a Gallery Director & am looking at Art History/Museum Studies dual majors). Grad schools really love know your experience outside of your undergrad (in my own experience). ALthough I'm sure some programs want you more straight out of a bachelors program. So play up your works and abilities that you've accomplished outside of your bachelors.

    Sparrow & Urchin

  19. Finally getting around to commenting on this post. Sorry for the delay!

    I'm currently in my first year of my PhD, having finished my masters last year. I'm naturally a big fan of people going to grad school! :) I love being in school and how dynamic and exciting the environment of a university it- how much people believe in their ideas and value their intellectual creativity. For me, grad school has been much more difficult and time-consuming than undergrad, but no less rewarding. Getting to focus more intensely on the specific subjects(s) that interest me has been really great.

    In terms of your nerves about rejection- people of all sorts, abilities, talents, etc get rejected from grad school all the time. There are so many factors out of your control that it's not fair to yourself to think that you're the reason you didn't get in. Sure, there are ways to be more competitive and there are issues of fit w programs, etc, but mostly you have to remember that if you've worked hard and met their requirements you've done everything you can. It's terribly annoying that the state of the economy and the applicant pool and all that biz impacts your application, but it's also a relief to know that not being accepted doesn't mean anything for the next time around.

    Good luck w your decisions about school. I'm sure you'll be great!!


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