So many of you are currently in the exhilaration of deadlines and adrenaline. Push comes to shove, the calendar puts you up against a wall, and YES! You PERFORM! Essays are being written, submit buttons are being clicked. You feel ALIVE, and VIBRANT! You’re GETTING SH*T DONE!
That’s good stuff. We applaud that. Getting any application in is a feat of sheer will; we understand what it takes to get to that stage. You have a right to feel proud of yourself at the moment.
Maybe there’s still a few deadlines you’re targeting; Haas and Yale, and Kellogg was gracious enough to extend theirs till Thursday. A couple other apps may be floating around. You still have plenty a window of opportunity for more essay stress.
But since you stopped by the blahg today, what we’re going to suggest to you now to think beyond all that. We think it’s time to COME UP WITH AN ACTION PLAN FOR WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO DO ON FRIDAY.
For most of you, the flurry of apps will soon subside. You’ll wake up one morning in the very near future with nothing to do. Or at least, no MBA thing to do. You won’t have essays to write or recommendations to track down. You won’t have a deadline staring you in the face.
This is a crucial time.
You have an opportunity here.
When in the superfocused-craziness-mode of trying to get a bunch of really big stuff done in your life, it tends to make you sharp. It focuses the attention. It brings up your power. Your life starts to accelerate when you’re working fast on some massive deliverable. Everything becomes a little more real.
That’s you, isn’t it? How you feel? Right now?
You can do something with that.
The whole point about applying to bschool is, some part of you is not satisfied. Some part of you prompted you to go to all this trouble in the first place. Some part of you wants to do more with your life.
Great! Awesome! Well guess what? You can do something about that! You don’t have to wait for the adcom to wave a magic wand. You can change your life today.
If you’re someone who wants to advance herself – and we know that you do, you’re applying to bschool! If you want to get ahead, not necessarily to be famous, or important, but to be better, to live as fully as possible, in an all-systems-go kind of way – then what you’ll do is TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS MOMENT.
You got some apps done. You’re riled up. Fired up. Jacked up and jazzed. You’ve got the juices flowing, the blood is pumping, you’ve been DOING STUFF lately.
Take that momentum and – right now, while you’re thinking of it, while we’re laying this idea out there – figure out what you’re going to do next.
What’s that big thing you’ve always wanted to tackle? Not the MBA. You’re doing that (or will be soon!). What’s the other project you’ve been toying with and thinking about?
Maybe something in your career, like the CFA.
Maybe something for fitness, like running a marathon.
Maybe something for personal development, like learning a new language.
Right NOW you have opportunity.
Right NOW you have all forces aligned with you.
Right NOW you have pulled up your power to make stuff happen.
This is an IDEAL time to set the next goal and launch yourself towards it.
Our strong recommendation is, don’t just idly muse about some idea you’ve toyed with in the past… but DO IT.
Whatever you told the adcom that you’re so “passionate” about, GET BUSY. GO TO IT.
OK no, first you need to get today’s applications submitted. But as soon as you do that – no later than Friday of this week – put something in motion with this next new project or ambition.
Make it tangible. Set a goal. Make a concrete step towards another new future. Don’t just fall back on your butt and veg out again.
Maybe you want to learn to play guitar. Maybe you want to write a poem.
Go find a class. Go get a teacher.
Maybe you want to fix your credit, so that you’ll be in better shape for getting those student loans you’ll soon be applying for. Go sign up for a credit report and see what you’re facing with such a project.
You’re in an interesting moment right now. Don’t let it slip. Make the most of it.
The standard reaction for most people in your position is, they get the last app submitted, they breathe a big sigh of relief, and they go get drunk. Or whatever ritual represents the rejoining of the land of the living that they’d exited two weeks ago when essay-writing mania took over. They reintroduce themselves to whatever form of wife/boyfriend/partner has been waiting patiently on the sidelines. They celebrate that the crisis is over… and they quickly resume old patterns.
Back on the couch for weekends watching football.
Back to ridiculous hours at work, if that’s your form of escape (it is for some people!).
They drop back to whatever level they were at before – and they quickly become the person they used to be.
The person who, in many of your cases, is a procrastinator. Who doesn’t do stuff until it’s last minute and you’re pushed. The person who got themselves into this pickle of pressure.
(You know who we’re talking to!)
You can choose to be somebody different. You’re in a moment ripe with potential right now. What will you do with it?
For all of you who’ve made it to this point in the journey, CONGRATS! Just getting the darned applications in is a big deal.
And what we suggest to you is, TAKE THIS ENERGY TO THE NEXT LEVEL. You became a new person through this grueling process of writing and introspection. This type of WORK pays off; you may have discovered new things about yourself, and made sense of priorities that you didn’t know you had.
It’s a new year, and you have done something awesome already with it: you’ve applied to business school! Now the best way to make the most of this buzzing momentum that you’ve got going is to apply it immediately into something else. Figure it out. What new project will you embark on? Plan to begin right away. Yes, on FRIDAY. Like, day after tomorrow. START SOMETHING NEW.
(That’s also the very best way you’re going to survive what is known to be the MOST DIFFICULT part of this whole process: THE WAITING! You should be aware that the weeks ahead are going to be the most grueling you’ve gone through yet.)
Brave Supplicant, congrats on your apps – kudos for getting those done – now figure out what mountain to climb next, and go to it!