Today I caught coffee with a friend in the National Theatre’s atrium. We discussed our swiftly approaching PhD application deadlines, the GRE, and other complexities that go in hand with attempting to break into the world of academia. A rather terrifying prospect, but our mutual adviser made it sound very empirical and prescribed. Brilliance often appears effortless, and V is no exception to that appearance.
I hope to apply to MIT, University of Chicago, University of California – Irvine, and University College London for my PhD, and I’m in the process of identifying the individuals with whom I would like to work. This is always a somewhat terrifying process, since it feels like I do not have the appropriate level of expertise to even begin a conversation with these titans of anthropology. Even more worrying may be trying to find recommendation letters. This is especially true when looking to secure one from a professor who may not know you as well as you’d like, or you have no been in contact with for some time.
The difference in deadlines between US and universities abroad also provides another opportunity for complications. While most US schools require your application for next year to be due by the beginning of December, European schools have yet to even open the application portals for their programs. If applying to both, this can be particularly perplexing and tiring. The rush to submit an applications followed by the process being drawn out longer. Mind you, this will always still be worth it to me.