It's been about a year since I began the whole graduate school admission process. In May I began preparing for the GRE's, in July-August I began researching how the process works and what I need to do to put myself in a good position. In September I was researching schools to try to see what places would be the best fit for me in terms of research, curriculum, and location. In October I was writing a personal statement and recruiting professors to write me recommendations. In November I will filling in the blanks for my 9 selected schools of interest. December consisted of me hitting the 'submit' button and pressuring everyone to get in all my application materials on time. After hanging tight in January, I spent the last two months flying out all over to visit schools and to see if I fit in there. And the last two weeks consisted of many sleepless night trying to make that final decision.
The Future of Karen with a K
It was a long, intense process, and it's finally over. Next year I will be beginning a doctoral program in Bioengineering at the University of Virginia. I will be doing work in the cardiac field, which I think is pretty exciting. I got to be a special case where I don't have a final faculty assignment yet and will be rotating in two labs – one that does systems biology and one that is more mechanics based. I'm really happy that I'll get to do a rotation and test out both my interests and work with the professors to determine the best fit for me.
Graduate school admissions can be pretty stressful. Through all the mini disappointments along the way I tried to keep my chin up and tell myself that it was all going to work out like it was supposed to. I truly believe that it did. I think Charlottesville is a place that I can make strides both academically and personally. I think the city has changed me in one good way – I'm much more assertive than I was 4 years ago. But, I also think I could be a lot happier in a smaller town where I could experience nature and friendly faces. And a car. I'm really happy I'll have a car. There will be no more back aches from getting carried away at Trader Joes and walking home.
I hope you will all stick with me – the blog of a prospective grad student in Philly will soon switch gears to the life of a budding young scientist in a small collegey town. Get excited!