We had a snarky blurb of a post up since Friday and we figured, hey, no need to be snarky!
Because we know a lot of you are not quite where you wanted to be.
Did you not manage to submit the apps you had planned to for Round 1? (Round 1 totally isn’t over, but some BSers may have already decided to push everything out till Round 2.)
If that’s you, we want you to not feel bad about this.
There’s likely only one of these two reasons why this has happened, and neither one of them is your fault.
You either got stung by:
- Procrastination (which may feel like it’s your fault but it’s kind of not)
- Anxiety (ditto)
How are these things not your fault? (Besides the fact that, darn it, there is still a GLOBAL PANDEMIC happening!)
Even besides that, though, as a human entity, living in a physical form, and subject to the DNA of this species, one or possibly both of these things are factors in our lives. They are part of the program.
The trick to living a good life is to not let the program win.
EVERYONE DOES IT.
The only ones who don’t do it are the ones who are so anxious that they know they will stress themselves right out of their gourd if they don’t take action on the thing that they’re scared of. Everyone else, to some degree or another, procrastinates and may even get themselves in real trouble around it. Maybe you’ve borderline-gotten-fired by almost missing a deadline, or you flunked out of a class because you dickered around with the term paper that comprised half the grade, and you couldn’t get the cruel professor to cut you any slack when you went begging at the 11th hour.
EVERYONE HAS IT.
Not everyone has it in equal measure, and some people don’t seem overly affected by it (which is something you can learn if you suffer from anxiety!). For other people though, anxiety really does a number on them, and the experience of all those horribly stressful thoughts and awful emotions create a cocktail of nastiness coursing through the bloodstream, and making the brain kind of eat itself from the inside out. If that’s you, then we understand why Round 1 didn’t happen as you had wanted.
For as long as we’ve been doing this, BSers have always procrastinated. It’s actually one of the things we work hard to try and help with, starting in like April or May, with our regular posts about “The end is near! You don’t have any time! Get started now!!!” We also price our services much cheaper early in the season, to try and get folks to sign up early — and, one of the features of our entire service model is a ticking clock! You buy consulting services from us, it has an EXPIRATION DATE. All of this is by design, because we know you’re going to put things off. We even have our version of surge pricing, where we offer super-rush-lickety-split turnaround of essay reviews for an additional fee for those who put it all off till the end. We needed to find a fair way to still offer support to you folks, so that’s all part of the plan. It’s designed with your own best interests in mind: To try and get you off your duff and working against the programs that would otherwise cobble you.
Because here’s the deal:
The human organism is designed to like comfort. It’s built into the program. When things are comfortable, then that’s what the organism will continue to choose.
You-all are too young to remember the days before remote controls on the TV set, but ask your parents or grandparents about it. You used to have to get up from the couch and walk across the room to change the channel. How many millions of hours of horrible TV shows do you think people sat through because they didn’t want to get their behinds up to go do that? (The invention of children was a beautiful thing — “Hey, Johnny, go change it to channel 2.”)
You somehow in the past year managed to get a test prep schedule together for yourself, and you managed to take and possibly retake the GMAT or GRE enough times, so clearly you’re MOTIVATED.
But then along came the summer, and there were just so many good times to be had! So many picnics and parties. And writing essays…. it’s just like walking into the void. The vast yawning abyss of the unknown.
You never liked writing essays in college; dang, perhaps you even hated it. Maybe that’s the class you failed, it was all because of one stupid essay. And now you have to write essays again?
And the stakes are so high…. and it just seems like so much WORK…
And for all of these reasons, August came around, and then boom, it was over, and you were staring down September, and it was staring right back, and there still weren’t any essays written.
You probably got at least a handful of apps in, but you know in your heart they weren’t as good as they could’ve been.
And then oh mercy me if you had this going on IN ADDITION TO ANXIETY… oh boy.
Procrastination of course breeds anxiety, and anxiety procrastination.
If you’ve got a brain that’s wired in a way that you’re particularly sensitive to those worry-hormones — you know, the opposite of the feel-good hormones. The ones like cortisol especially. Add that to the mix and instead of a fight-or-flight response, you end up with a freeze. Where you’re paralyzed by the inability to act, and each successive day slips on past, and it gets worse and worse, and you just can’t dig out.
We’ve always seen BSers suffer from the procrastination thing. But this anxiety thing?
It is increasing.
We are seeing it more and more in our clients. Maybe it’s the state of the world. There are PLENTY of reasons to be anxious.
However, it also seems like the more people talk about mental health, the more anxious people are getting. Almost like it’s contagious. Dunno. Maybe someone should study it??
What we do know is that there are tools available — and not just medication (though that certainly does bring relief to many people). We’re talking about things like exercise, diet, meditation. Getting out in nature. Playing with puppies. Having a hobby like knitting or whatever. All that stuff you know is good for you, but you probably aren’t doing enough of.
These things are not panaceas; they take time to have an effect.
However they do have a cumulative build, if you’re diligent (and not making yourself more anxious!) about doing them.
You know what else often works?
A good therapist can really provide value.
So. Today’s post is to encourage you to take action — not only on your apps, though we hope you will do that too, and even consider starting your Round 2 strategy today if you have decided that Round 1 definitely won’t happen. (Or, you could decide that maybe Round 1 could!!!! Honestly, there really is still time for Round 1 if you’re up for it!)
But more important, take action for yourself.
It’s very trendy these days to talk about self-care, but it’s a real thing, and if you have a pattern of self-sabotage, where these thoughts get the most of you or you are plowed under by stress or worryworryworry emotions, or you just don’t feel that you’ll ever deserve this kind of success, or that nobody will ever accept you (and we don’t just mean the MBA adcoms) then we hope this post will give you pause, and you’ll consider talking to somebody.
Therapy is not for wusses. You have to be brave to seek out help. It’s a sign of maturity.
It can be truly powerful medicine. For some of you, we’re betting it could change your life.
Anyone have any experiences with therapy they want to share? The comments are open – you can post anonymously, under a pseudonym (log out of your essaysnark.com account first if you don’t want that username to be used).
DISCLAIMER: We’re not saying that everyone who missed Round 1 should have their head examined — even though it probably seems that we’re saying that!! This post is meant as gentle encouragement to not be quite so hard on yourself. And if there’s a pattern there, that help is available. You don’t have to suffer so much.