How it went

For the past few years I thought I had flip-flopped between believing I had been wasting my time living and working in the real world instead of going to grad school and thinking that my choice was the correct one.  I now know for certain that delaying grad school was the correct decision.

Looking back it’s amazing to see just how much I have matured since my undergrad years.  Meeting other grad school applicants still in their senior year further reinforces my view that in the nearly three years since college I have come a long way and I will be a better student because of it.  All those skills that are necessary to live on your own I have already learned (at least for city life) and I foresee that making grad school a much easier transition for me than for someone fresh out of college.  Of course, there are hurdles I’ll have that they won’t, but I still think I have the easier route.  It may have taken three years, but that was just the way I needed it to go.

I’m fairly certain I made a great impression and will be accepted into Stony Brook’s Program in Neuroscience.  Though the program is fantastic and they get their graduates into amazing postdoc positions I don’t think it’s the place for me at this point in my life.  The campus is on an area of Long Island that reminds me of a sprawling, solidly middle class, northern Michigan town.  It’s a fairly small campus in relation to what I’m used to, which is not necessarily a bad thing, and it has the graduate to undergraduate student ratio I am looking for in a school along with an interdepartmental program with some amazing faculty exploring a diverse set of interesting questions.  However, for some reason it just didn’t feel right.

I believe it was a mixture of the setting and the graduate students I met that have colored my decision most.  I like Long Island, but I like it in a way that I’d want to visit, not to live and do research for five or six years.  The graduate students I met seemed very bright, but they lacked the vitality and sheer enthusiasm of the students I met at Northwestern.  I even detected a hint of bitterness in a few of them that was completely absent in the dozens of Northwestern students I spent two days with.

In essence, I think I’ve made my decision but I still want to give another day of thought to the matter.  Looks like I’ll be here for a while though and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.

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1 Comment

Filed under grad school, life

One response to “How it went

  1. “The campus is on an area of Long Island that reminds me of a sprawling, solidly middle class, ”

    Hate to break it to you, majority of long island (pretty much all of “downstate”) is like that…

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