Your honest opinion on my grad school aspirations?
While I am aware that there is not one definitive list of achievements that can guarantee acceptance into a graduate program, I would still very much appreciate some insight!
I was born and raised in the Philippines, came here at 17 in 2001, attended 2 community colleges and received A's in all courses but 2, where I got a B and a C (I got a C in statistics, and I regret fooling around!). I then attended UCLA where I earned "decent", but perhaps, not competitive enough GPAs: 3.47 cumulative, 3.39 global, and 3.62 major. I always thought about grad school but freaked out about my finances, so I fell into the insurance industry. I needed a job! I'm still here. I'm pushing 30 and extremely unhappy about not going after grad school.
I was a timid student who didn't talk in class but had great writing skills, which were recognized by some of my professors. I didn't do an independent research project but was chosen as a research assistant by 2 sociology professors at UCLA. My job was to transcribe videotaped conversations at pediatric clinics. Even then, I wouldn't say I developed good relationships with professors. I can think of 1, maybe 2, who might be willing to write strong recommendation letters.
I graduated in 2006. It's been a while!
I am quite involved in community organizing and have led a grassroots campaign around healthcare and feminist issues in Seattle. I have been a speaker in a number of events and have written a few community newspaper articles.
I am starting my GRE prep course on Monday, and I am very anxious. Math is not a strength of mine, but I am fairly confident I can do it. I think I am more anxious about the idea that MAYBE this is all a waste of energy because I just don't have enough.
My hope is to get a Ph.D in sociology. I am interested in stratification, Marxist philosophies, gender, feminism, race, and migration, to name a few.
What can I do to be more appealing to admissions committees? Or should I just accept the idea that grad school is just an unrealistic ambition?