I might be a little unstable right now, but this entire cycle has been an emotional roller coaster for me. I am currently in one of these moments where I curse not my lack of ability but my lack of judgment. I even doubted the worth of a physics PhD from Minnesota or Notre Dame to the point I would even contemplate what would I have done if I dropped both physics and mathematics for special education during my third semester in undergrad. First there would have been no desire on my part to attend Ivies because special education jobs at home are not prestige-sensitive at all.
But, at the same time, even with a rejection from Dartmouth, I’m still awaiting a decision from UPenn and Columbia. If either school accepts me, I’ll attend either school without fail, especially since I expect the job market for physics PhDs to become more elitist in the future, if only because of outsourcing of PhD-required/preferred jobs. I wonder whether I will find happiness again if I go to Minnesota (or Carnegie Mellon if I make it out of the waitlist)… unless I could, in a rather distant future, make up for it with some other advanced degree, like, say, a MBA (even the joint EMBA degree from unaccredited Brown Prime with IE Business School would likely suffice as far as fulfilling this objective is concerned)?
And I also berate myself at this time because I didn’t apply to Duke when I should have. Plus I think I behaved like a common law 0L (civil law 0Ls tend not to care as much about where they end up going to law school) because I put prestige as one of the primary considerations… And, if I really wanted nothing to do with Chicago or Princeton back in the day, I would have picked Brown and Duke in their stead.