While I did talk about my admission to Minnesota in the Two-Body Problem post, I figured I'd make a post about my acceptances to offset the rejection post.
The first school that I got into was Ohio State
, one of my backup schools. I got their acceptance in late January, sooner than I thought I'd start hearing back. It was exciting to know that I had gotten in somewhere, even though it was low on my list. But mostly, it whetted my appetite for more admissions.
So began my agonizing month of waiting... checking my email every chance I had, checking the mailbox at least once a day, sometimes twice to see if maybe the mailman came in between my visits.
About a week and a half later, I got my acceptance letter to Indiana
. This was expected, and not all that exciting, since IU was even lower on my list than OSU. But still, it was cool to be wanted. And plus, this was the first official financial package I had received.
All well and good, but I really wanted to hear from the other schools on my list. Any of them... It was killing me. For awhile, at least I could count on the fact that no one else had heard from those schools. Then a whole bunch of people got into Washington... but not me. Okay, that was my highest reach school, maybe I wouldn't get in, not the end of the world...
But the WAIT WAS KILLING ME. And pretty much everyone else on this message board. And I'm sure most other people in the country who were trying to go to grad school in physics.
Then, last Monday, I checked my email, and there it was at last. A TA offer from Minnesota
, probably my top-choice school at this point. I was thrilled, to say the least. Although it would be great to have options about where to go, if I got rejected everywhere else, I would be very excited to be a Golden Gopher.
I don't think I did any productive work the rest of the week after that acceptance. Okay, slight exaggeration, but I did spend a lot of time on the UMN website, learning about the school, the program, and the Twin Cities. I really started picturing myself there next year. My girlfriend and I began planning our visit there together. I tried to slow myself down, not jump to conclusions, especially since I still had three schools to hear from. But it proved impossible; I was too excited.
Wednesday morning, I got the rejection email from Michigan
. For more about that, see my previous post. Sure, it sucks to get rejected, but I had a good offer already, and Michigan had been slowly sliding down my list. I had actually considered looking at their department website some more the night before, but I'm glad I didn't waste my time.
Now, I was that much closer to being a Gopher. Plus, my other two applications were to Washington and Maryland, which are ranked higher than Michigan. I had resigned myself to the idea that rejection was just a matter of time. Then I'd do my OSU and UMN visits just to make sure, then I'd be a Gopher.
But that very Wednesday night came the surprising admission email from Washington
. Exciting! I got into my highest reach school! Take that Michigan!
Oh wait, now my decision is suddenly harder. Washington is ranked higher than Minnesota, but they were still #2 on my personal rankings. Minnesota gave a better financial package, plus Washington didn't mention anything about a visit. In fact, they said that I should check out their website to learn about their department, the UW campus, and Seattle. Oh, thanks for the advice! Like I haven't already looked at their website a hundred times.
I knew from this board that their visitation weekend is next weekend, so I guess I won't be going to that. I played dumb, writing an email back saying how excited I am to learn about their department and asking about a visit. It's been one business day with no response, so we'll see what comes of that. I don't see how they can realistically expect me to come to their school if I never get a chance to visit.
And I'm in the Midwest, so there's no way I'm flying out to Seattle for a weekend on my own dime.
Word on the street is that Maryland
(wow, I applied to a lot of red schools) is sending out acceptances on Monday, so stay tuned. They'll jump to a distant third on my list with an admission, but they're high enough up there to merit a visit if I can make it.