Gravity's Rainbow

botany, shoes, books, and justice

Grad School Rejection Weekend


Last week I shared the good news of my invitation to a grad school recruitment weekend. I’m still thrilled about it and am grateful for all the good advice I’ve gotten in the comments. I’m looking forward to recruitment weekend, but this weekend is rejection weekend.

The program I was most in love with, that ties in perfectly with my interests and goals, that sounded so fun and exciting, rejected me. I found out this afternoon and am pretty miserable about it. Telling me that I may be one of the “fine applicants” they had to reject because of funding and space limitations doesn’t actually soften the blow.

But, as I’ve said elsewhere, I’m not going to let myself wallow for long.

All the news today wasn’t bad – I heard back from a professor at the 4th university I’m planning to apply to. I thought she wasn’t interested in me, but she’s actually just been busy with some rather exciting things and even had some very nice things to say about my prior research and undergrad record.  We’re going to ‘meet’ online later this week and talk in more detail about potential projects.

So, tonight I’m going to whine and complain and maybe even cry a little (math and ecology and soup? You’d cry, too). But tomorrow I’m going to dive back into that 4th-university-prof’s papers and come up with some good questions for our meeting.

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  1. You’ll end up in the right place. You’ve worked so hard & these things really do work out the way they’re supposed to, even if it’s hard to see at the time. Hang in there, and a big hug to you. K

  2. Don’t be sad! These things often happen for no discernible reason at all. At my graduate program my colleagues and I discovered that every one of us had been rejected by a certain coveted graduate school. All of us except one person. Who was also the weakest student at our department. She was so behind everybody else it was scary. But that famous school wanted her and rejected all of us instead. Things are weird sometimes but this kind of rejection often has nothing to do with how qualified and well-prepared you are.

  3. It would have been something to see flying squirrels that can take on a fully-grown male salmon, I assumed they were vegetarian.

    It is Washington’s loss. That is what I always tell myself when I fail an interview.

  4. It will be ok! The funding climate still blows- I was rejected last year to one school where the professor pretty much was ready to have me come down and interview- turns out they only took in one new student that year. Keep in touch with your PI’s of interest (PIOI? hah!). You still have my sympathy though, being rejected hurts :-/.

  5. Don’t get discouraged. You already have a meeting with another prospect, and that’s awesome. It sounds like your rejection letter was a lot nicer than mine too. I don’t think I even got details about the reason why. If I had, at least I’d have something to go on if I wanted to apply again, to know what to do or not to do next time. Sometimes your second choice is the better way to go. I’m in that kind of situation, and I think that my first choice probably wouldn’t have worked out anyway.
    I’m sure wherever you end up will be the right place for you.

  6. I was sad to read this, and I certainly would cry too. I wish that the impersonal nature of these kinds of rejections and the fact that you were likely really were one of many well qualified applicants made it hurt less, but as you said it just doesn’t. But, as always, I respect and admire your forward-motion attitude and think you will end up somewhere great. <3

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