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Thread: Deferring to Fall 2022 due to COVID

  1. #1
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    Deferring to Fall 2022 due to COVID

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    First off, congratulations to everyone with offers in this tough cycle, and good luck to everyone still waiting for an acceptance!

    Is anyone considering deferring their start to Fall 2022 and citing COVID (and lack of in-person classes/interactions) as their reason? I'm wondering if schools will still be generous in their deferral policy this year given the continued uncertainty about the situation.

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    Re: Deferring to Fall 2022 due to COVID

    I think it would be rational for universities in the US to commit to total normalcy by the start of the semester barring some unforeseen mutation given vaccine trends but, as of late, I've had worries that the fall semester and almost certainly "math camp" will be very compromised. This is based on noticing that the objective of "zero COVID" is oddly widespread in some camps (it's obviously totally unreasonable) and I worry that some institutions will hold onto those objectives for far too long.

    I wouldn't seek to defer in that case but it would be a bummer.

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    Re: Deferring to Fall 2022 due to COVID

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDeadFlagBlue View Post
    I think it would be rational for universities in the US to commit to total normalcy by the start of the semester barring some unforeseen mutation given vaccine trends but, as of late, I've had worries that the fall semester and almost certainly "math camp" will be very compromised. This is based on noticing that the objective of "zero COVID" is oddly widespread in some camps (it's obviously totally unreasonable) and I worry that some institutions will hold onto those objectives for far too long.

    I wouldn't seek to defer in that case but it would be a bummer.
    I'm also worried about schools making fall semester (and definitely math camp) remote. Setting aside personal cost-benefits of whether it would be "worth it" to defer, do you have any impression from schools as to whether they will be flexible about granting deferrals (as they had been for last year)?
    Last edited by eggnogone; 02-21-2021 at 10:45 PM.

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    Re: Deferring to Fall 2022 due to COVID

    IMO if you're serious about doing a PhD, I don't understand why you would waste an entire year just because the classes are remote. PhDs aren't MBAs, the classes aren't big and you don't need to "network" with your classmates. It's quite a lonely experience and it's probably good to get used to that in the first few years. If the concern is only about the learning experience, as someone who grew up learning on YouTube (all the way through high school to undergrad), I actually prefer watching a recorded lecture. I would've done a LOT better during my undergrad if I could pause and rewatch the lectures.

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    Re: Deferring to Fall 2022 due to COVID

    Everyone has different ways of making social connections. "Networking" with your classmates is critically important. For many people that is much easier to do in person. For others, online works fine.

    With any luck, your classmates remain friends and colleagues for the rest of your life.

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    Re: Deferring to Fall 2022 due to COVID

    Quote Originally Posted by cp9290 View Post
    IMO if you're serious about doing a PhD, I don't understand why you would waste an entire year just because the classes are remote. PhDs aren't MBAs, the classes aren't big and you don't need to "network" with your classmates. It's quite a lonely experience and it's probably good to get used to that in the first few years. If the concern is only about the learning experience, as someone who grew up learning on YouTube (all the way through high school to undergrad), I actually prefer watching a recorded lecture. I would've done a LOT better during my undergrad if I could pause and rewatch the lectures.
    If you look at any dissertation (not the person's JMP but the full packet) the author always thank their classmates who have either read over drafts, talked over ideas, or who they worked on problem sets with. Especially as coauthoring papers is taking over, networking and becoming close with your cohort is absolutely crucial.

    That said, I am not planning on deferring because I imagine that it's still possible to meet up with others in your cohort. Even if it's off-campus and at non-department sanctioned events, it should still be possible. Plus, the current vaccination timeline means it's realistic that things could be in-person this fall.

    My current plan is to ask about these issues during visit day(s) to get a better idea of how things are being handled, but it's definitely not worth deferring a year in my opinion.

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