1. I hope, nay, I pray I could submit my thesis by the end of next March, although I guess realistically I will only submit it by end of next June. I am tired of seeing new freshmen coming every year, although I don’t really mind eating Canteen B chinese food for the rest of my life.
2. After submitting my thesis, it is time to prepare for theological study. My journey to Obamaland (echoing Peter) has been wonderful. At least I know what to expect when I submit the application. “Grad school” has its own culture in the States and the journey has been helpful for me to appreciate it better (a.k.a. how to strategize in making your application!).
3. My list of schools? For now: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Duke, Notre Dame, Boston College, and Wheaton. Yes I am in deep trouble (except for the last one). The average acceptance rate for the schools is less than 20%. So I figure if I apply for at least five schools, I will be admitted into one. (I am not a good statistician. Anyway, “gantungkan cita-citamu setinggi langit!”)
4. Another thing to prepare is language study. I am at a serious disadvantage here, as most of the students who are admitted would have a liberal arts degree. Thus, I need to take as many Hebrew and Greek courses as I could before applying for grad school.
5. How will I finance my study? Well, there is a reason why the States become my primary target, as in general they are more generous in funding, if compared to UK. In Notre Dame, for example, the tuition fee is waived for all students. The BIG question is, of course, whether you could get in to Notre Dame. In other schools, from the conversations with various office of admissions, at least you could get half-tuition from the school. Then you try to get fundings from external sources (e.g., church, rich friends, anyone?!) and from your savings at last resort.
6. Two years ago I wondered how to (find and) integrate life partner into all of these, but now let just say that there is no problem about it (thank God).
7. Realistically, if everything goes well, I hope I could apply for Fall 2014 intake. Although I could always wait for Fall 2015 intake. I have no issue with this.
8. The issue now is: to buy HDB or not to buy HDB. I have hoped that the HDB bubble will burst next year, but I guess it won’t be happening any time soon as PM Lee has increased the income ceiling for HDB buyer from $8k/mo to $10k/mo and thus there would still be some people who can afford the current totally insane resale price. This issue could change the entire ballgame, as, you know, you could only sublet or sell your house after five years from your purchase.