It's that time of year: fresh young faces appear on our campus, eager to attend graduate school here. Yes, it's Grad School Interview weekend. The top twenty or so applicants get flown out here and shown a grand old time. Some of the current students are always on hand to answer questions about what the program is *really* like here. I love participating in the whole thing. It reaffirms my love of University City and Pseudonymous U.
My PI says that I'm just getting older, but I truly believe that this crop of potential students is younger than any other year. When I came in three years ago, there were four of us straight from undergrad as the youngsters, out of a total of eighteen. The following years have been quite a mix as well. The incoming class however, is probably 75% direct from undergrad. Smart little buggers too!
I came in from a small liberal arts school with no experience in a Research Institution Lab. I had done a small independent research project in college, but hardly of the type that would get published. I learned to pipette during my first rotation here! I think every single one of these 'kids' already has research experience under their belts. At least one has their very own project in their lab. I must admit being a bit envious.
They are a great bunch, and I'd love to see all of them show up in the fall.