Many of you are wrapping up your applications for Round 1 or will be doing so soon. Congratulations!!!
Getting even one app done is a massive accomplishment.
You probably didn’t appreciate how much work it would be when you started out! Everyone thinks the GMAT/GRE thing is a big deal — and it is. Once you get through your first application or two, then you also deserve some serious kudos.
And probably some sleep, too!!
You’ve also managed to do this while a global pandemic is still going on, with tremendous uncertainty in the world. You’re taking steps towards building your future, even though the future is so unknown. It was a summer when global warming became much more real than it had seemed, for many of us. It’s been a tough, tough period.
If you still have a couple apps to do for Round 1, then today’s post is to encourage you not to cut corners!! Keep up the momentum, and don’t let your guard down; pesky typos can sneak in when you least expect them, and you’re so, so close to being done! Continue with your steadfast efforts of multiple rounds of proofreading and one last review of everything top to bottom, to make sure you’re putting your strongest effort even on the last project you do, as if it were the first.
After you hit “submit” on the last app of Round 1, you will have time to take a well-deserved break!! Some of you may feel antsy or even a little bit anxious, after that last one is in. You might not know what to do with yourself!! When you’ve been ultra-focused on a goal for a long period of time, where every extra moment of your day is spent working on, or thinking about, or otherwise worrying about a project you’re trying to get done, then it can feel quite strange when the project is actually finished. A lot of people start getting nervous right away, wondering about their chances, feeling that sinking feeling of dread or a heaviness in the chest that they didn’t do a good enough job.
If that happens to you: It’s really normal!!! Lots of people go through that!!! Knowing that may not make the feeling go away, but it could help to realize that it’s kind of the standard cycle that happens for lots of others, too.
What you might do is, after you’ve caught up on some sleep, and cleaned up the apartment that you’ve neglected for the past month, and done the piles of laundry that accumulated in the corner, is you could look around at those hobbies and interests that you told the adcom that you enjoy, and see if you can immerse yourself in something fun again! Don’t worry about trying to do anything to improve yourself. (The main exception is if you happen to be on a “submit then re-test” action plan to bump up your GMAT or GRE, in which case, please move straightaway to that test-prep project!!!)
A key strategy once Round 1 applications are done is to find a way to distract yourself at least for a week or two!
It’s probably too soon to start interview prep, unless you applied to Columbia and you submitted a few weeks ago, OR one of the interview-everyone schools like Kellogg or you managed to hit the Darden or Tuck early rounds. In those cases, yes, interview prep is important. However, interview skills tend to grow stale kinda fast, so there’s no need to cram early for that. You definitely don’t want to OVERprepare for your interview; it can make your performance brittle instead of authentic.
For now, you should be enjoying the fact that you’ve accomplished so much and gotten through these important milestones all month. September can be BRUTAL for those trying for an MBA, and the month is now nearing its end.
And oh hey! It’s officially Fall! Of 2021!!! Look how far we have come!!!
Celebrating these milestones and appreciating the moments is really important. You’ve done good work, Brave Supplicant!!!!
There will be plenty (PLENTY!) of time to worry about how the apps will turn out. For now — at least, until early October when schools like HBS will be announcing interview invites (eek!!!!) — you have a respite where you can feel proud, take a breather, and enjoy these moments of being alive in this crazy and complicated world.