Not only is it Halloween Eve but also tomorrow marks the first deadline of the application season – Early Decision and Early Action! These deadlines are probably scarier than events this evening around the world where Dias de Muertos is celebrated! For those students in this cycle of the application, dead is right – everything needs to be done today.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, my daughter is in the thick of it. Her early application will go out today to her ED school. In her email to the admission representative this morning, she mentioned being both excited and scared to be submitting her ED application today. To which she received the following – “Don’t be scared- if you feel it’s the best of your work then be proud and know we will enjoy reviewing and reading it. It’s always a pleasure to see a student’s hard work come together!” And that is the truth of it.
Students should be proud! This is the moment they’ve been working toward. They’ve worked hard, focused their attention academically, socially and personally to get the job done. If they have spent their time writing good self-reflective essays and their grades match the schools they are applying for, then they have done all they can do at this time.
Submit and let go. That is the challenge for students. To let go while thinking what else could they have done. Probably not very much. A tweak here and there on the essay won’t change much, really. The fear isn’t really about the application; it is about how the admission committee will vote – Yeah, you’re in! Nay, thanks for trying! Or Let’s wait and see – the deferral to the regular admission pool. (Which is not a bad thing, by the way. Students are still in the running. It’s just that the pressure is not off completely.)
On a scarier note, Common Application, as of right now, is undergoing maintenance striking fear in counselors and students who want to submit applications now. Will they clear up the issues before the clock strikes? Will universities be made aware that the system is down? What will happen? The answers to those questions remain, with the exception that Common App is aware of the problems and deadline issues. But, being aware does not lessen the anxiety imposed on those in the midst of sending their materials.
Let’s jump to the decision process. If one is to take a logical point of view, a student really has a 50/50% chance of getting in. Rather simplified, but yeah – they are either in, or they are not admitted. The things that sway that vote come down to factors beyond a students control – what is the admission office looking for this year and does the student fit the criteria? Well, if a student has done their research well, found schools where they “fit” and addressed their materials appropriately, they stand a better chance than a student who is “just trying.” They also have a better chance than a student who is not honestly looking at who they are, but this comes back to the “just try” applicant. Admission committees can see right through applicants like this, and their chances are less than average.
While I know that Common App will fix whatever issues are plaguing the system, what I do know is that yes, students should be proud of getting to this point. I can speak knowingly, since my daughter is in the mix, that kids grow up through this heart-wrenching process. It is scary to put oneself out to be judged. In the world today where parents are “lawn mowers” mowing the path trying to prevent failure, failure is a part of life. So, while I hope my daughter does not experience a denial, I do know that she will be stronger for the experience.
So, I am sending my Good Luck to all those students who will be sending out their work today. Let it go like the swoosh of witches on a broom but with all the support of good vibes and potions! Happy Halloween!