Even with all 11 applications almost ready to submit, I am still nervous because, while the article is pretty advanced, we may not complete it on time for the application deadlines, and I want them to have some time to troubleshoot any rec issues that might arise. I know, many internationals have no papers, even those who are top-10 material, when actually applying to PhD programs. And that, in theoretical particle cosmology, with only one year into a theoretical project, not many can actually publish a paper, or even submit one.
But, because I have two strikes against me (hence this wide, perhaps overly wide, application list) I can’t help but feel nervous, especially with Ivies on my radar. If I knew for sure that the article wouldn’t be submitted on time for Friday next week, then I would be able to submit these applications by then. My PI still somehow clings on the notion that it could be submitted in that timeframe, but I am not sold on it. It is going to be the most nerve-wracking three months in my life, especially since a PhD is a major decision where I would be signing away for 4 years (per NSF regulations) at a minimum, perhaps more.
Now, since the Ferguson riots have erupted again, I am worried for campus safety at WUSTL if it ended up being my only acceptance. I first considered the school during a period where the riots ceased to make international headlines assuming that the situation there became less severe as to not be a threat on campus. But, after the verdict came down, according to which Darren Wilson wasn’t indicted, not even on manslaughter charges, WUSTL has gone ever lower on my preference list, especially since a girl I knew from high school, who majored in geography as an undergraduate, crossed WashU from her list when riots erupted again.
Even so, I hope I can get into some PhD program… if only WUSTL.