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Older than my peers.

  • Thread starter pergradus
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I'm 22 and I'm a sophomore. I really hate some of my "peers" because on top of being insanely immature a lot of them brag about how they're only 18 and 19 and are taking junior level courses.

I will probably graduate with my bachelors at age of 24 - and I know some people are already working towards a PhD by then. Do you think this will hurt me in the long run?
 

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  • #2
Vanadium 50
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Do you think this will hurt me in the long run?
Since you don't have the option of being a sophomore at 19, I wouldn't sweat it.
 
  • #3
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I'm 22 and I'm a sophomore. I really hate some of my "peers" because on top of being insanely immature a lot of them brag about how they're only 18 and 19 and are taking junior level courses.
Just hang out with older people. There is no law saying you have to be around your peers. Problem solved.

I will probably graduate with my bachelors at age of 24 - and I know some people are already working towards a PhD by then. Do you think this will hurt me in the long run?
No.
 
  • #4
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I'm 17 going into my second semester at university so I'm worried that I'm younger than my peers.
 
  • #5
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Don't worry, there's someone in my Graph Theory class who's 12. I doubt it will hurt you since two years isn't a terribly big difference in the long run, especially since you'll be able to focus yourself more than some of your "peers" academically.
 
  • #6
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I'm 22 and I'm a sophomore. I really hate some of my "peers" because on top of being insanely immature a lot of them brag about how they're only 18 and 19 and are taking junior level courses.

I will probably graduate with my bachelors at age of 24 - and I know some people are already working towards a PhD by then. Do you think this will hurt me in the long run?
You're worried about only being 3 years behind? Out of a ~80 year lifetime? Is this a serious post?

I'm a 28 year old junior, you whippersnapper, now get off my lawn.
 
  • #7
chiro
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You're worried about only being 3 years behind? Out of a ~80 year lifetime? Is this a serious post?

I'm a 28 year old junior, you whippersnapper, now get off my lawn.
Was it you that told me you had to walk fifffteeeeeen miles in the blistering cold to school every morning?
 
  • #8
Choppy
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One thing that might make you feel a little better is considering what these "younger" peers give up to get where they are. Maybe they are two years ahead academically, but do they have as much life experience? Were they subject to the same conditions you were growing up? Did you have the exact same opportunities? Have you made the same choices?

As the great Baz Lurman once wrote... "The race is long, and in the end it's only with yourself."
 
  • #9
Andy Resnick
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As the great Baz Lurman once wrote... "The race is long, and in the end it's only with yourself."
That's excellent advice.
 
  • #10
lisab
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One thing that might make you feel a little better is considering what these "younger" peers give up to get where they are. Maybe they are two years ahead academically, but do they have as much life experience? Were they subject to the same conditions you were growing up? Did you have the exact same opportunities? Have you made the same choices?

As the great Baz Lurman once wrote... "The race is long, and in the end it's only with yourself."
I agree with Andy, it's great advice. But Baz didn't write it; Mary Schmich did.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wear_Sunscreen

Baz sang it, though...it's worth a listen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTJ7AzBIJoI
 
  • #11
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One thing that might make you feel a little better is considering what these "younger" peers give up to get where they are. Maybe they are two years ahead academically, but do they have as much life experience? Were they subject to the same conditions you were growing up? Did you have the exact same opportunities? Have you made the same choices?

As the great Baz Lurman once wrote... "The race is long, and in the end it's only with yourself."
Actually you're right. Most kids here seem like spoiled brats who never really had to work for anything. I'm financing my (very expensive) education completely on my own.

Still, I know the type of people who sit on admission committees. They see what they think is a flaw and suddenly you're in the "no" pile.
 
  • #12
Here would be the two big flaws they'll look for:

Little/No research experience -- Still be sure to get involved in the research of a professor in your university, and if personal commitments allow (you haven't mentioned being married or having kids) try to get an REU during summers. Hopefully even get a publication or two out of it -- and DO make sure to do some research presentations at conferences, even your "local" chapter. Showing prior, and successful, research is important to committees; it will show you "know the research gig" and are more likely to succeed as a graduate student.

Poor grades/GRE -- Obviously these factor in. If poor grades are early on in lower levels or in electives/gen-ed, it's of course better than if the poor grades are later on in upper-levels... but your best chances are with good grades throughout and a strong GRE. this will show you'll be able to complete core coursework successfully (before you really move onto full-time research for your dissertation).

Honestly, in my experience on a committee (in a department that had a few very highly ranked research areas and some recent Nobel Prizes awarded), we weren't really looking for young proteges. In fact, in my experience, our committee would be less wary of a slightly older student than a younger. An older student might have considered his/her career path more carefully, and be less likely to leave with an MS (or tank altogether). In short: We were looking to accept students with great records (preferably also from great schools) to result in an incoming class that would then have a high graduation rate (with the PhD degree, in a reasonable time frame), and be highly employable after -- in industry, national lab research or stable post-docs, etc. (i.e. not sticking around to post-doc for their own dissertation adviser). Maybe the top few acceptees to the program would be "young" proteges from Harvard, Yale and the like (maybe a year or so early) already doing research under Nobel-Laureates at their institutions and were hoped to produce top research in our program (perhaps looking to work under a Noble Laureate or a faculty member that was working on a problem that would perhaps become "Nobel-worthy").... but the one person I remember us accepting that was more young (by about 3 years -- and thinking of himself/herself as a protege-type) actually tanked and left before receiving the consolatory MS.

I also knew someone who attended undergrad at Cal Tech with one of those 12-yr-old proteges -- and, over fifteen years later (after successful graduation from Cal-Tech) that student was still working towards a PhD at the institution the student next attended (after a period of tanking). That would not be viewed as a success in our graduate program.
 

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