The first step to any grad school visit is information gathering!
Makes sense, right? I mean, you’re going to be trying to impress a lot of people during each grad visit, and what better way to impress them by showing how knowledgeable and excited you are to go to their school!
Therefore, I suggest looking at each school’s graduate admission webpage as well as each department page in order to put together a little document to store all the information you’ve gathered. .
Not only will this be a nice way to keep track of the piles of information each school will throw at you, but it will also serve as a great way to compare offers once accepted and a study guide that you can look over before your meetings.
Here are some important things I feel are important to keep track of:
Stipend: (Is it suitable for the cost of living of the area)
Fees/Tuition: How much of my stipend is going to be used to cover these costs? Is this affordable? Do they have financial aid programs?
Health Insurance: Is it provided? How much will it cost?
Fall Reimbursement: Are they helping you move to their school in the fall?
Housing: Is housing guaranteed? Will I need to commute from off-campus?
Average completion time: Most schools say 5 - 6 years depending on department. How much of your life are you going to dedicate to get a Ph.D?
Course requirements: Some departments are really strict with their course requirements. Will the amount of courses you need to take interfere with other things such as research, home life, etc?
TA Requirements: If you don’t like teaching, this could be a deal breaker…
Lists of Professors and their research: Try and focus on the professors you are planning to meet during your visit. It looks good if you have an idea of what their research entails.
Process of advancing to candidacy/graduating: How many hoops are you going to have to jump through just to graduate?
Of course, add whatever you think is most important to you regarding each school and provide suggestions of anything I might have left out.
“You should be invested in the things that really mean something to you… Explore! Choose quality over quantity - you don’t have to do a million things to get into college. Put your heart into a few things that you truly care about and that will be enough.”
A Camden, N.J., charter school encouraged each one of its seniors to
send a lot of college applications, and by a lot, we are talking about A
LOT — an average of more than 45 per student. One student sent out more
Fun Fact #22: There is New Year’s flash sale on college tuition. If you stand in front of the mirror, at the stroke of midnight, and chant “no debt” three times, the college fairy will appear and you can purchase your tuition for just three easy payments of $19.99
In ASiP Sherlock exclaims, ‘it’s Christmas!’, when he’s happy (he’s going on an interesting case). To him Christmas has positive associations.
In Series 1 we not shown a Christmas.
In Series 2 we see Christmas in ASiB. So, we know that Sherlock loves Christmas. We see him being prickly to others at Christmas especially Molly, who appears visibly amorous to him. He is being rude on the one hand but not the other he is there. He is entertaining his guests by playing violin and, for the most part, attempting successfully to tolerate them. If he didn’t want to be there he could’ve found an excuse, as we see in MHR. He does want to be there but it’s tough because he can’t be with John. Jeanette is there to drive that point home and when he sees Molly, able to pursue someone she likes, he is resentful of that, I think, because he cannot.
Once Molly, the woman openly looking for love, enters we get Sherlock pulling John’s attention away from her and calling attention to his blog. His hits counter is apparently stuck on 1895. We’ve already seen this number referred to in an amorous context and it’s a number symbolic of their love due to its historical connection to the persecution of Oscar Wilde in Victorian England.
So, Sherlock, jealous of John ogling Molly, calls him away to point out that his blog is stuck on a very significant gay reference. He calls him away to say, 'hey, stop checking out Molly, look, we’re in love’.
At New Year’s Eve John will attempt to engage him in a conversation about his feelings. It is still very clearly Christmas time because John is framed in the twinkling lights of the fireplace (a symbol of desire). John has a drink and is ready to open up. Sherlock is closed down and will not engage with him.
The next Christmas we see is in HLV. Again, it’s a time for John to have a difficult emotional conversation, this time with Mary. Here we see that, again, Christmas time is a time to open up and tell your true feelings. To have the difficult emotional talks. (Whether he really did open up, at all, is, of course, debatable).
Soon after his conversation with his wife concludes (on a positive note due to a reference to Sherlock, I might add) John is whisked away on an adventure by his best friend.
Here, once more, Sherlock is able to get John’s attention away from the woman in his life (and any other women, for that matter) and to engage him in a distraction relating to a case. This is a form of seduction on his part. Whatever new reconciliation he’s achieved with his wife, he is to be immediately reminded that, well, his blog is stuck on 1895, basically (that number is again brought up at the beginning of HLV). He wants to be with Sherlock but, as always, there are countless obstacles in their way.
The prospect of going on a dangerous adventure with John makes Sherlock so happy that he, once again, feels like, 'It’s Christmas’. But, this time it is John who says it. He, misunderstanding his intent, concurs, 'I feel the same way’. However, John was saying something more socially acceptable: I don’t want to go on a case on Christmas: this should be a time to stay home and drink (open up), not to go out gallivanting. Sherlock, then, would appear to be disagreeing, here. He does find this exciting, but it’s not because he feels dissimilarly to John. It’s because he feels the same way: he wants to spend Christmas with the one he loves, doing the things they love to do. For them this means going on a case.
So, Christmas is a time to open up to loved ones. Sherlock loves Christmas. While he dodges opening up to John in ASiB, he is, still, making an effort to spend Christmas with him because he loves him. He is still attempting to get his attention.
In ASiB, we see John say, 'how are we feeling about that?’, and in HLV we see Sherlock say, 'I feel the same way’. He is so elated to say that, it’s like when people admit they love each other, in movies. "I love you", says the one person, the other sighs dreamily, “I feel the same”. Like so many other things in the show these little fragments are constantly seeking each other out.
In John’s blog post of ASiP he will admit that Sherlock was right, he was hitting on Sherlock. It takes Sherlock another 7 episodes to admit that John was right, he, too, was hitting on John in ASiP. Here, as well, we see a delayed reciprocity on the part of Sherlock. John wants for him to open up and discuss the issue of his blog begin stuck on 1895 head on and Sherlock tells him, finally, that he, 'feel(s) the same (way)’, even though it’s 5 episodes later.
While I don’t know if a Christmas special kiss would be the correct timing in the context of the overall narrative, we are being told that this episode is a one-off and separate from the rest of the narrative. Is this why it might be an AU? So, that our characters will be free of the constraints of the current narrative and admit their feelings (and maybe even kiss) without affecting the rhythm of the overall story? I do feel like Christmas is a very romantic time and it would be clever timing to introduce romance into the show then.
Sherlock loves Christmas time and is ready to admit that he, 'feels the same’, as John. Maybe next Christmas John will ask how, 'we’, are feeling and Sherlock will actually tell him.