Hey guys! First off, I've searched extensively through the student profiles on the threads and the threads in this forum and haven't found one quite like me, so I figured I would just ask you all your opinion on my situation. Please don't get mad! Not asking you to evaluate everything about me, just answer one question.
So I am at a female white senior physics and math major at one of the HYP trio, and although I have previously not been interested in grad school, I have done a total 180 this year and think I will apply. I have a GPA of 3.75, I think I can pull a pretty good GRE score (taking it in November) and I've been a TA for 3 years for a linear algebra class, BUT I don't have very good research experience. Because I didn't think I was going to go the grad school route, I did a lot of other random stuff during the summers, like waitressing and working on a farm (making $$$ in the summer = great!). This past summer I did research in climate dynamics on an REU at WHOI and I am writing up and submitting a paper with my results. Other than that, I was a lab tech in a biophysics lab for a year but didn't really do any independent work. I was thinking of joining a lab now but it is pretty late in the game because applications are due in December. Do you think it would be smart to take a year off before applying to work in a lab and strengthen my application? Or do you think that with the luck of my undergrad education location I could still get into some good programs? I am interested in condensed matter and soft matter and potentially biophysics, but am still unsure about my exact area of focus.
I would really appreciate any of your opinions! Once again, sorry for the personal post, I know it is obnoxious, but figured it was worth a try to get your take on the situation. Thanks so much!