Yes, it’s that time of year again.
- Hide and Seek: Contacts you every day about the status of their application, then goes on radio silence the moment they receive an offer, never to be heard of again.
- The No Chancer: Has an offer from Harvard, Princeton, and MIT, but still plans to attend the prospective student day because they fancy a three day holiday in (wherever your university is located).
- The Copy & Paster: It has always been my dream to attend Michigan University, the best university in the world. Well, good luck with that.
- The Nervous Nellie: Has some questions about the graduate program — a lot of questions. Wants you (that is, me) to answer detailed questions about everything from the reasonable (exact duties of a TA, particulars on graduate student stipend and health insurance) to the less so (graduation statistics and data for the last 10 years of graduates, upcoming schedule of faculty sabbaticals for the next three years, tips on the best place in Evanston to purchase toothpaste, etc.).
- The Surprise: Never responds to any email query about whether they are interested in coming or whether they have offers from somewhere else, is completely discounted by the committee, but then ends up accepting on April 15.
- The Googler: Makes an effort to look at the department website to customize their application, but gets it all wrong: I would really like to work with X, Y, and Z where X is a postdoc, Y has retired, and Z moved to a different institution two years ago.
- The Unicorn: Actually accepts the offer well before April 15.
Tell me if I’ve missed anyone.