muons wrote:Hi everybody, this may sound like a ridiculous question but... hear me out:
I'm a top notch undergraduate (domestic male, not minority) interested in high energy theory. I love my gf but our grad school plans kind of failed. I was hoping she would apply to CA schools but she refused.. in turns, I only applied to the top notch schools:
Princeton, Harvard, MIT, UChicago, Stanford, Berkeley.
I got into all of them, and got a fellowship offer from Stanford. However, my gf didn't get into any. She's into high energy experiment, and she got into:
JHU, Cornell, Rutgers, Rochester, Boston U
Now she seems pretty set on Cornell. However as stupid as I was, I did not apply to Cornell. She does not seem to want to compromise. It'll be 4 hours away from Princeton (my top choice), however, I seriously hate long distance relationship and even 4 hours sound ridiculous to me... my only regret now is that I did not !@#%# apply to Cornell...
Now, what if (I know it sounds crazy...) I send the admission committee people an email, stating my situation... would there be a slight chance that I'll get admitted?
I have a very strong record:
- 990 PGRE, 800 Math GRE, 520 Verbal GRE, 4.5 Writing GRE, gpa=3.97
- 3 summer of experimental research, 1 summer at CERN
- I just got the new DOE fellowship 35k per year (that means no funding needed from the department)
- grad courses: 3 semester QFT, 2 QM, GR, applied group theory (in physics), 2 EM, Stat Mech (right now)..
- My recommendations are from well known hep experimentalist and one theorist but it would almost be impossible to
get their recommendations at this point... They would totally KILL me for even considering this... and my parents, advisors and recommenders will surely be disappointed...
So my question is:
1. How likely can I pull this off seeing how admission decision deadline is April 15th?
2. How stupid am I? I'm blowing off Princeton, MIT, Harvard... just to go to Cornell and be with my gf... am I making sense? How much of a sacrifice would it be?
3. Am I insane for considering this?
1. It is probably pretty unlikely as Cornell has probably sent out acceptances and at such a late stage in the game, I would doubt that they haven't already allocated most of the funding they have at their disposal. With that said, it is certainly worth a try (if you decide that this is what you want to do). As you pointed out, your profile is strong and if you appeal to a professor in the department then you might stand a chance, especially if you can convince them that your research area would be a perfect fit for the faculty in some way.
2. Nobody can answer that but you. I realize that this is a bit of a cop out, but really none of us can really know how significant your relationship is with your girlfriend. If leaving your girlfriend behind would be enough to make your stay at Harvard, MIT or Princeton unbearable, then you would probably be better off being happy at Cornell than miserable at MIT.
3. The painful but honest truth of the matter is that the 2 body problem will haunt you for the next 10-15 years, at least. Right now you will have location issues with going to grad school. In 5-7 years you will likely be moving around for post doc positions. after 2-5 years of that you will be traveling around trying to get a teaching position at a university (assuming you don't plan to go into industry) and even then there is the possibility that you will have to move around until you get a permanent position.
I don't know your situation well enough to give you any real advice and I'm not an advocate of psycho-analyzing someones motives from their statements, but the simple fact that you are considering leaving her behind might be enough to tell you that it isn't worth a decade or more of problems with this specific person. If, on the other hand, you were convinced that you couldn't leave your girlfriend under any conditions, then I would probably think it would be worth it to at least try to make it work.