View Full Version : Grad school anxiety

2005-Jan-30, 06:02 PM
For those of you who have made it into a graduate program in astronomy or physics, what kind of undergraduate work did you do and when? I know I'm still only a sophomore, so I have plenty of time to work on it, but for some reason every so often I feel like I'm not doing anything and that no top rated grad program will want me. I guess I just need something to calm my nerves, or to tell me that yeah I should really be doing much more.

Tobin Dax
2005-Jan-30, 08:32 PM
(This oughta make you feel better. ;) )
I didn't do a whole lot as an undergrad. I never went on an REU, for various reasons, though it did sound like a blast from friends who have done them. I TA'd in my senior, half for the money and half because I've always wanted to teach. The only research I did was for my senoir thesis, and it was something done in about a semester (or 1.5 quarters), and not too Earth-shattering a topic, IMO. Yet I still made it into grad school, and a good one at that. As a sophomore,

Normandy, I don't expect you to have had much opportunity to do the things you're talking about. You're a sophomore? The doors have probably just started to present themselves, then. Have you started looking at REU programs? You could do one this summer if you want (and can still make the deadlines). If you don't make it this year, try for it next year. If you really want, you can also talk to a prof or two about doing a research project with them, perhaps a class for credit if possible. This doesn't have to lead into a senior thesis project if one is required, but it can.

If you get into these, great. If not, that's not necessarily a bad thing. There are many other things that admission committees look at as well.