Hello! I'm Arcadia, creator and writer of Crowns & Coffees. I'm a second year PhD Student at Boston University studying Developmental Psychology and early life stress. Prior to my studies at Boston University, I received my undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland where I also worked for two years as a full-time research coordinator in the Neurocognitive Development Lab. I also have certificates in Successful Interviewing, Interview and Resume Writing, and Personal Branding from the University of Maryland and the University of Virginia, respectively.
In addition to my work as a student I'm also heavily involved in the Miss America organization, writing a YA fantasy novel, and a professional tv binger. Right now I've been obsessed with "The White Queen" series on Netflix. I also am a self-proclaimed caffeine-addicted queen and love wasting time on Pinterest and Tik Tok! Needless to say, I keep myself pretty busy.
Crowns & Coffees is a PhD and Lifestyle Blog sharing tips for graduate school success, advice on self-care and stress management, and all the latest fashion and beauty trends. As a first-gen college student, I often feel isolated from others in academia so I started Crowns & Coffees as a resource for and a way to connect with other students! Blogs on Crowns & Coffees include grad school tips, self-care, pageant news/updates, fashion, and more!
Q: What made you pursue a Ph.D.?
A: I've known for most of my life that I wanted a career working with people and contributing to make the world a better place. As someone who chronically says yes to new opportunities though, I struggled to commit to one career path and ultimately changed my Major 6 times during my undergrad career!
I cannot express the importance of experience (and well-rounded experience) enough. My experiences working in labs helped me identify that research, and neuroscience research specifically, was what I wanted to be doing. Reading "The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog" by Dr. Bruce Perry is what sparked my interest in early adversity and trauma. And finally, my experience working in a domestic violence shelter cemented my interest in studying the impacts of early adversity on the development of cognitive abilities.
The classes you will take in high school and college are valuable, but they are not a complete substitute for actually getting into the world and seeing what sparks your passion.
Q: Did you go straight into your Ph.D. after college or take time off?
A: Halfway through my sophomore year, I knew that the Ph.D. was my endgame and I became relentless in my pursuit of it. We're talking about working three jobs, volunteering, internships, working in two labs, and taking 20 credits all within one semester. I was determined to make myself the strongest applicant possible.
For context here, when I first decided I wanted to get into a Clinical Ph.D. program I met with one of my professors to ask if I could serve as a TA for his course. When I met him in his office that day, he looked me up and down and very pointedly said "You look different from your picture online." Now, my Facebook profile picture at the time was a professional pageant headshot. I was preparing to compete for the title of Miss Maryland and my social media was littered with pageant pictures and updates. He later went on to tell me that Clinical Ph.D. programs are the hardest programs in the country to get accepted into (rarer even than medical schools), and, with little subtlety, told me that if I wanted to get in I was going to have to focus entirely on my schoolwork and let go of those other things in my life. *insert eye roll emoji*
So yes, after that entirely rude, judgemental, and frankly sexist interaction I was angry and ready to prove him wrong. I applied to only four Ph.D. programs in my senior year and was accepted into a Masters's and a Ph.D. program.
Ultimately, I made the decision to hold off though in favor of more research experience. I spent the next two years working as a full-time research coordinator building my knowledge and skills. Let me be very clear here: I do not regret this decision in any way shape or form. The journey to graduate school is different for everyone, but taking that time off was the best possible decision I could have ever made. I grew SO much during those two years and came into my program much more prepared for success.
P.S. at the end of those two years, that same professor came to me asking for my professional opinion and insight after he read one of my peer-reviewed articles. So, hah.
Q: What's your best advice for someone hoping to get their Ph.D.
A: Learn as much as you possibly can. Meet with as many people and ask as many questions as possible. As a first-generation student, I was so appreciative of simply having the opportunity to attend the University of Maryland and I took advantage of every opportunity for success they provided me with. Had I not, I don't think that I would have started setting myself up for success as early as I did. You need to start planning for your application years in advance. It takes time to build relationships with mentors, craft a resume, and gain experiences to discuss in a personal statement. I recommend learning as much as possible about the application process and how to succeed so that you can put things into motion early
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Crowns & Coffees values its readers and their privacy. I will not sell any of your personal information (for example, when obtained through giveaways). In some cases, Crowns & Coffees uses affiliate programs to monetize content. If you click on a link to make a purchase or get more content, it may result in a commission for the blog. You can always email me with any questions or concerns, and please know that sincere, honest content is paramount. Crowns & Coffees does not give preferential treatment to affiliates when considering items for editorial content. Whenever a post is sponsored by a brand, and I have received compensation, (monetary or otherwise), it will be disclosed in my blog posts and the rest of my social media channels. You can identify a sponsored post when you see the hashtags #spon #sponsored and/ or #ad, in the post. Items that are given to me by a company, PR firm, or brand are labeled as “c/o” which means “courtesy of.” Additionally, the use of affiliate links is announced on my shopping pages.