We’re glad that the schools have moved up their first deadlines again – it seems that every year, they inch further up the calendar. Duke’s Early Action deadline was two weeks ago – now that’s early! We think it’s great – it’s good to get people into panic-mode earlier. Usually people don’t start totally freaking out about deadlines until the Halloween candy shows up in the special display in the grocery store – which, if you’re unfamiliar with American retail, happens in mid-September in the States – which is totally ridiculous. The retailers have bloated the holidays in such an extreme way. In September we should be able to buy a Snickers bar without a ghost on the wrapper. We could do a whole rant on that–
But we won’t. Let’s talk for a minute about deadlines instead.
If you tried to make the deadlines in the past two weeks and for some reason you didn’t have your act together, don’t despair. Round 2 is still an option. Shoot, Duke still has a Round 1 coming up — and guess what? It’ll be here in 4 short weeks!! You will be able to ramp up the panic again in no time! In fact, you probably should just pick up that freak-out that was consuming you all of these past 10 days, the freak-out that you put aside once you decided you weren’t gonna make the deadline – go ahead, it’s right there crumpled up on the floor in the corner. Yes, that one. It’s a little rumpled but no worries, you can slip it back on and voila! It’ll slink itself out and embed itself back into your every thought again in no time.
Deadlines are good. Without them, most of you would NEVER apply to bschool; you just wouldn’t get around to it.
If you tried for one of these deadlines recently and didn’t pull it off, well then, at least you’re further along now than you were the week before. We STRONGLY recommend that you pretend like the deadline is NEXT WEEK and ramp up that level of stress hormone and adrenaline to go at it some more. Take that puppy all the way to completion. Do NOT get lulled into complacency – because you’ll be back to that mandatory freak-out zone again in no time.
Time has this weird habit of continually moving forward.
Just please do not make the mistake we so often see:
DON’T WAIT TILL DECEMBER TO GET STARTED AGAIN.
Yes, most Round 2s are in early January. That does not mean you get till December 15th to start thinking about them again. There’s no rule that says you need to WAIT to write your essays. Just because you blew one deadline by not getting started early enough doesn’t mean you get to coast for the next three months.
It is soooo much harder to pick up the momentum if you let it drop. It’ll be like you’re starting from scratch — and you remember how much fun THAT was. If you’re in essay-mode now, KEEP AT IT. Don’t get complacent. Don’t let the procrastinator in your life (that is, YOURSELF) make your life h3ll — ‘cuz that’s what it’ll be, when you’re facing the gargantuan task of picking up the pieces again and figuring out where you left off.
Even if you’re planning on submitting in a later round — nay, ESPECIALLY if you’re planning on submitting in a later round — the best time to be writing your essays is NOW.
The only possible exception to this is if your every waking moment is consumed by GMAT studying. If that’s the case, then you get a pass on essay work.
But for pretty much everyone else reading this blahg – you need to be knee-deep in essays NOW if you’re planning on applying ANYWHERE in ANY ROUND this admissions cycle.
Essay-writing is a creative task – and if you’re wanting to get help on your stuff, you’ll need time to recover and regroup after getting the ‘Snark’s feedback. No matter what, your essays will benefit from being given more time and space to grow and thrive. You need to nurture those little saplings. You can’t neglect them for three months and then come back and expect that they’ll be in a happy place. They will shrivel and die on the vine if you shut them in the closet today.
Don’t do it. Push through. You made it to a certain point – don’t give up. Your current momentum is your best friend. Let it carry you to the finish line.
If you really want some motivation?
An insurance policy, if there ever was one, against procrastination and I-dont-know-where-to-start-itis?
The Complete Essay Package is a guided tour through the critical steps of creating your essay strategy. If you’re now looking at the daunting task of trying for Round 2 — or even if your school’s first round is later (MIT, NYU) this is an ideal solution to get you from nothing to SUBMITTED with as little pain as possible. You need at least three weeks to go start to finish. Check it out, it might be just what you need to make this happen.
Here's what others have said about this:
Great timely advice.
I was relaxing and taking it easy today after submitting a R1 application.
Congrats on getting your app in, livetorise! You’re allowed to take the rest of the day off. 🙂