I’d like to share an experience from a few days ago. I was staring at the “SUBMIT” button on the computer. Months of work had led up to this moment. I hovered over the button for a moment, started to click, and then moved away. I looked over the entire form one more time, making sure everything was spelled correctly, and that I’d selected the all the right options, checked all the right boxes, and so on. I read my essays one more time, making sure the all the grammar was right. I took out a comma, wavered for a moment, and then put it back. And then, I was right back to that big, inviting “SUBMIT” button. I took a deep breath and clicked it.
And there it went. My applications for a few choice schools were sent.
Here’s my story up to this point. Back in September, I applied to a scholarship program, QuestBridge, designed for low-income students, which promises to cover 100% of demonstrated financial need. A couple weeks ago, I was notified that I was being considered as a finalist for the program. (And yes, the skies cleared, the birds sang, and a heavenly choir ascended me to the heavens … Or at least, that’s how it seemed.) In order to receive a scholarship, I have to send my own materials to the colleges I chose from QuestBridge’s partner universities when I applied, sometimes including the Common Application. In brief, it was an alternate early action option, though the requirements were much higher than normal.
But even after clicking that final submit button, there wasn’t the wave of relief that I expected. There was still that little worry in the back of my mind: did everything go through all right? Was there some mistake that I missed?
Here’s what I say. (And this’ll apply again in another two months, after regular decision closes.) You’ve spent weeks, even months, on that application — it’s certainly as good as you could have made it in that period of time. Take your mind entirely off of that application for a few hours. Walk around for a bit. Step outside for a few minutes. Recall that there is, indeed, a life outside the process; maybe it’s taken a back seat in the past week or so, but it’s still there. Maybe go to bed early, since that’s always a problem for us students.
And as for regular decision? Two months can either seem really long or really short, depending on how you think of it, but it’s definitely more than enough time to get everything in order. Now definitely isn’t the time to be stressing out about that — wait about a month and a half for that. Take a couple days to relax a little, before you dive back into your applications. It’s not wrong to take it easy for a day or two, especially after all the work we’ve put in so far; anything to keep us from feeling totally overloaded. We might be working for our futures, but don’t forget that we still live in the present.