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/rec/ - Ex-NEET / Recovery

Board for recovering NEETs and Ex-NEETs who are trying to reintegrate.
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🎉 Happy New Year! 🎉

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Since I graduated from University in June I've been planning on going back to do a Master's or a PhD. For what it's worth, I graduated with (I think) the highest grade of my year from a pretty bad university, but I also did a community-related EC and was the recipient of a research scholarship in my second year.
I spent a few months putting together the best applications I could, but made the mistake of aiming too high and only applying for a few difficult to get in to universities. So far I've heard back from 2 of the places I applied, both were rejections, and I'm not feeling too confident about the other 3.
Right now I'm panicking, because it's become abundantly clear that I've wasted the last 8 months and several hundred dollars doing basically nothing. I told myself I'd get an article written but I've been completely unable to get anything done because of all the uncertainty.
In a last-ditch effort, I'm putting together a PhD application to send to places that are still accepting applicants and might be able to supervise it. But, again, I'm not too hopeful about this.
I really do not know what to do if this doesn't pan out. I can't find any jobs that I'm not either over or under qualified for.
Someone suggested I become an assistant language teacher, but I am not comfortable at all with living alone somewhere where I don't speak the language after being a recluse for over a year.


I also bit more than I could chew at some point, this makes me wonder if it's really that common, I didn't lose as much time but I did lose a lot of money, is there no one supposed to teach us about these things?

I don't know you, but in my case, a good piece of parental advice would've saved me a lot of trouble.


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> I can't find any jobs that I'm not either over or under qualified for.
In that case I would aim for a position, where I was overqualified, but still had the opportunity to learn or get promoted to a better position.

I've studied computer science and all I do now is making corporate websites and interfaces for database maintenance.

Boredom won't kill you.


My parents ended up talking me out of two opportunities that I wanted to apply for because they thought the location would be dangerous, so I think in the future I probably shouldn't listen to them.

It seems like the vast majority of jobs here are either dead-end minimum wage jobs, or ones that require a different degree (engineering or healthcare).

>Boredom won't kill you.

I wish I was joking, because it's absolutely pathetic (and you're more than free to call me a retard), but I did a 5 day data-entry position for "work experience" a few years ago. I hated it and by the second day tried to get into a traffic accidents so I wouldn't have to do it anymore. I would like to stay far, far away from any job like that.


It's looking like I've been rejected by everywhere and to be completely honest I really don't know what to do.
I've missed the deadlines for PhD funding and it looks like most of them want a Master's degree anyway.
While I could still apply for master's degrees, my understanding is that they're generally (in my field) quite useless. The reason I applied for where I did was because they offer a doctorate with a stipend and typically only accept people that did their Master's there. That and they're good names to have on a CV.
At the moment my parents are encouraging me to apply for Master's degrees that, in all likelihood, won't benefit me and don't justify the cost. I just feel a bit overwhelmed, really.
Despite saying that I'm thinking about getting a job and writing articles in my free time so I'll have a better application for next year (and applying for more places, and generally being better off financially) it seems like they don't want me to do that, and I don't really know why.
This whole corona thing hasn't really helped much with the job hunt, so that's probably going to set me back a few months.
On the upside I have an article that's about ready for publication now, and I suppose I could ask my (former) supervisor if she has any advice when I send it off for review.
Thanks for reading my blog.


Reading this I really sympathise with you. I was actually in a Masters program for Mathematics, and I am *so* glad that I went against the advice of my professors and parents and anyone else other than the 2 friends my age I have, and I dropped out of the program. As it happens, the program itself was in a very fluid state and I wasn't getting good research opportunities or even the choice of what to do my thesis on.
Anyways, to make a long story short I decided to get into a community college Network Security program, which might seem like going back down a couple of levels, and it is I guess, but since there are actual tangible certificates you can aim for, it seems more realistic as well to actually land a job afterwards.
I honestly couldn't figure out what job I could do with a Masters in Maths other than maybe Actuarial, and I didn't want to do that (and it doesn't require the Masters Degree anyways)… no one could tell me! So anyways TL;DR certifications and trade schools are actually often better if you want to actually get a job.
As a bonus the teachers and students I have met are mostly nice people as well.


This reply has been on my mind since it was posted, but I've had a hard time coming up with a response. I think what I'd like to say is that while trade school is probably a good idea, it seems a bit weird to go for when I plan on going back into academia as soon as possible.

As an update, one of the universities I applied for got back to me today and I've been waitlisted, and I suspect I stand a decent chance of getting accepted. The only problem is there's no way I could afford it without a (frankly, predatory) loan.
I'm leaning on rejecting it, and sending off stronger applications next year, and hopefully getting some financial aid. I guess the question is if another year is worth $30,000 or so in aid?
Whether I accept the offer or not, it has given me a lot of confidence knowing that I've been considered by the tenth best university in my field. I've had a lot of self-doubt these last few months, but maybe I'm not as bad as I thought. Hopefully this can be the motivation I need to get that second article written, and maybe take some online courses.


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Congratulations OP. School is ridiculously and frighteningly expensive. Well, no matter what you're up to now, I hope you are well.


Thank you. Finance is certainly a big concern, and at this point I'm just banking on the scholarships I applied for.
I'm still a NEET, and ended up not applying for a PhD as I felt I wasn't quite ready. wrote an article and it's due to be published soon, which is more than some of my old lecturers can say, and should help me land a few offers.
My applications seem a lot stronger than last year's, so hopefully something gives. If not, I'll try to get a "normal" job and apply again next year. Maybe it's stupid to keep doing that, but it's what I want to do.

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