You know how it feels when you realize that a $20 bill fell out of your pocket?
No? You do remember what cash is, right? From even before the Before Times, like from your childhood or something, before Venmo existed?
Or how about when you mistakenly put the car in reverse when you meant to put it in drive, and you back into the closed garage door?
There’s this feeling associated with these types of events, often a heaviness in the gut, like there’s something inside you that isn’t supposed to be there, maybe it has a slithery thing going on (not the Matrix thing where the Mr. Smiths implant the device into his stomach; not that type of creepy icky feeling; a different one).
We’ll call this a feeling of dread.
Or maybe it’s just another form of regret.
It feels effing awful.
That’s often the feeling that comes over people when their applications to certain schools are rejected.
It’s a feeling of If only… for someone who’s GMAT or GRE is just so-so and not stellar.
It’s a feeling of You loser… for someone who has that script running in their head anyway, and they fell victim of their own procrastination monkey (err, sorry, nope got it wrong, it’s “Instant Gratification Monkey” – though both of those two links are worth reading!).
Sitting here right now, in the month of April before the admissions season even begins, you are in the best position possible to potentially prevent yourself from feeling this feeling of abject awfulness that otherwise could be your fate.
We can’t promise that you’ll avoid it completely. Actually, we can’t promise that at all; applying to bschool is the rollercoaster-of-all-rollercoasters of emotions. It is going to put you through so many ups and downs that you are likely going to come out of it exhausted, wrung out, done — and that’s if you actually get in! If you don’t, then yeah, the repercussions and ramifications may go on for some time. It’s just how the darned process works. Unfortunately.
(Having a solid routine of workouts and healthy eating and positive stress-reduction practices would serve you well for what’s to come. You made it through 2+ years of a pandemic, so possibly you already have built up some positive practices — but if you’ve let the pandemic stressors roll you under and have let such habit slide, it would be excellent to (re)implement some of them now, in preparation for the process ahead!!)
Sometimes people get the nagging one-who-got-away feeling in perpetuity about a school that they didn’t get into. It’s like that one person who you were really crushing on, and you thought they were interested in you — and then you did something foolish like drank too much at happy hour and puked on their shoes or just said something eyebrow-raising or whatever it was that apparently turned them off, and there was no going back, irredeemable, no matter how much you stalked them and tried to get them to give you another chance. (That’s a joke, people. No stalking. Please.)
What you’re facing RIGHT NOW is an opportunity to do this whole application thing right — or at least, do it less wrong, which is really all that’s needed to make it into a very good school. Whether you make it into THE very good school that you have your heart set on or not is not something we can totally predict right now. Much if not all depends on how you position yourself in that application, and that is almost solely dependent on how much time you put into it.
What you don’t want to do is start writing essays yet. It’s too soon for that. You need to instead budget out your time and be realistic about how much effort this is literally going to be, and recognize that the illusion of time is telling you right now that you are in plenty of good shape and have all the time in the world… But these days of summer are going to fast be upon us, and then they will slip by sooooooo quickly.
Today is where you have an opportunity to make a real difference in the eventual outcomes that you’ll be experiencing, based on the work you put into the apps starting in the coming weeks. Not starting in August, which is when most people get the heavy lifting underway, but starting as early as late May or early June. There’s no guarantees, of course, but our highest correlations with admissions success come with clients who begin earlier in the season. Like, maybe not exactly NOW, but SOON.
That pang of loss is so hard to experience. We’re going to do all in our power to help prevent you from experiencing it, based on laying out reality-check statements and reminders about what’s ahead as you move along.
We’re happy you’re here, Brave Supplicant! You don’t have to get to work yet, but don’t let too much time slip away before you decide to get started on these apps!