I received a great PhD offer from University A (in the US) and after a very hard time making decision, I ended up not accepting it for family reasons and instead I accepted an offer from University B (not in the US) (because if I go to A, I most probably wouldn't be able to visit my family at all for 5 years, whereas I'll have the option to do that with my current choice, B). I explained this reason to the department chair after declining the offer and expressed my regrets for this issue stopping me from doing my PhD at A in a field I always dreamt about.
Now, over a month after April 15, a few things has happened that I regret what I did, and I really want to change my decision and tolerate those years of distance from my family but go to A:
Perhaps most importantly, the 2-body problem: My partner just got an amazing offer near A, and while she may also get an almost equally-amazing offer from somewhere near B, the one near A would be still more tempting for her.
My realization evolved. A is a world top-10 in the field, but that field is a field I have very little background in! I always dreamt about working in that field, but never thought I could actually do that and spent my entire academic life in a different field. So, I think I was still confused about the opportunity I was given, didn't quite appreciate it, and frankly, was very scared. This is while B, a top-tier in the world in my undergrad field, is an institution I always knew and it wasn't hard to fully appreciate the offer from there. In the past month, my understanding about myself and my situation has evolved, and I regret my decision.
- Would it be acceptable if I contact the department at A again and explain these two reasons and ask if they could still take me in?! It's been so long since 4/15, but I think there's a chance they didn't actually fill in all the available spots for the position as I declined on 4/15. Would I destroy my reputation among the academics at A if I do ask if I could reverse my decision now? I'm afraid I may sound immature and unable of making a decision (which is obviously not too wrong, I did have issues, and was indeed too slow in getting to know myself from the time I received the unexpected offer until 4/15).
- If you think I can ask for reconsideration, who should I contact and is it better to emphasize on point 1 or 2?