Son of a Nutcracker, I got in! I got accepted to UC Davis in May! In May of all months! Anyway I am very excited but it is tempered by the fact that this was my only acceptance and really late I might add. It is tough working so hard for so long with having to sacrifice...well, a lot and then finding out no one wants you. It was especially hard for me because physics is my life. I know many people say that..yadda...yadda...yadda but I really don't want anything nor care about anything but physics. I know that sounds pretty nerdy of me but oh well
. Anyway, it was hard for me to reject San Francisco State because of the potential of getting into a more prestigious university but in the end I accepted Davis's offer. I have the usual fee waiver and $17k TA position with sadly no fellowships. Oh well, in my first year I'll just have to dazzle them and win scholarship and fellowships galore. To all of you future applicants, take my advice:
1) Make sure you do as many internships as you can
2) Study for the GENERAL GRE as well, don't blow it off
3) Highlight what you've accomplished in your Statement of Purpose not just explain what you plan to do
4) Study for the SUBJECT GRE as far ahead as possible. Let it sink in, take the first practice test, find what you're weak at, study that area and then repeat
5) Get into contact with potential grad school advisors BEFORE the application process starts. Show them that you are interested in their work if you are.
6) Apply to a spectrum of schools, not just prestigious ones. I know you are probably thinking that you will get admitted and maybe that is so you little genius but do not take chances.
7) Make sure you apply to those schools which you would be absolutely thrilled to go to even if it is lower in prestige.
I will add more advice if I remember. Good luck to all of you future applicants. Try not to get too discouraged and stressed out but I won't say don't do it. It is inevitable.