la joie de vivre

From California to Lyon, France: living & studying abroad…and coming back!

Looking at Graduate Programs

Researching graduate programs can be exhausting, not to mention scary!

I forgot how overwhelming it was to look at undergraduate schools. Well, this takes it to a whole new level, because for PhD programs, you look at each specific faculty member to review their interests, labs, and concentrations.

I’m looking up programs for mainly psychology. A program is a specific concentrated area (so you could be looking at multiple programs–like psychology and communication–at any one school), and these days, people tend to apply to between 6-8 programs. When you think of ALL the different academic institutions out there multiplied by all their faculty members, and then think about this teeny tiny number in comparison, it can get pretty crazy.

And there are so many good choices! It’s like choosing a candy…except that candy has to want you, too!

But it’s also really exciting! To think that you could be the mentee of a really intelligent, amazing person–maybe someone you’ve seen in textbooks, documentaries, or articles–that’s pretty mind-blowing.

I’ve now narrowed it down to about 17 programs. Getting it cut down to the number I have now was quite a feat, but I have some more narrowing down to do. It sure does take a lot of thinking – thinking about what my passions truly are, about what I hold valuable, and about my future. After all, graduate programs are usually 5-6 years, and are definitely not a cakewalk!

But I’ve loved psychology the minute I started to study it — actually, even before I actually knew that’s what it was! And I’ve always been one of the nerdier ones who has enjoyed learning and doing school work.

From all my experiences, I can never forget how incredibly privileged I am to be in the position of being an American citizen with the education that I’ve attained, and I want to make something good out of that…and the thought of making new knowledge–knowledge that could help improve life in some way–is incredible.

Some days are better than others in the whole process, but like everything else, it’s important to remember:

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This entry was posted on September 2, 2012 by in General.
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