It's that time of year for seniors. Not only are we faced with the prospect of leaving the best years, and friends, of our lives, but we're expected to be adults, too. For some, that means gainful (or not) employment, and for others it means more school. There's law school, med school, MBA., MFA., PhD., M-DGAF., and a list of others. Sometimes it feels like it's too much.
But, we managed to collect ourselves for five seconds to settle on something, anything. You register and take the appropriate admissions exam that on its own made you question whether or not you should just quit while you're ahead and go live among the indigenous peoples of Mongolia; you write a personal statement, aka humble-brag about your entire life in 500 words or less of beautifully crafted narrative; and, finally, you press send on your applications before forwarding your mom the bill for approximately $3000, because she's the one making you do it at this point anyways. Now, go chug that bottle of wine and cry because that's all that's left, right? Wrong.
Now comes the hard part, kiddos. Now, you wait. I am currently waiting for admissions decisions from the approximately 500 law schools I applied to, and I swear it is like having teeth pulled while giving birth to a baby cow with full-grown horns. Some programs have mass decision dates — which could be good and bad because you know for sure when you're going to know your fate, but they're often really late in the year, and patience is not a young man's virtue.
Law school — and I'm sure some other programs too — practice rolling admissions, which is this sadistic little game they play involving telling you whether or not you got in literally whenever they want. Two days after you apply? Why not. Seven weeks? Hells yeah. 16 years later while you're at your firstborn's soccer game drinking vodka out of a water bottle? Probably.
Now, if you can't tell, I'm struggling. But, one person seems to really get me. He expresses the emotions I am no longer sure if I really feel, and maybe Dwight will help you through this 8th ring of hell, too.
1. Sending the applications.
2. Instant regret.
3. Mild irritation.
4. When people ask about your score/application/plans.
You have to answer these questions because that's life. But when people ask your application or test score or where you're going, you die a little. At this point your applications are all you think about and you wish conversations with others could serve as solace from the inner monologue torturing you 24/7. But instead, you play nice while you imagine throwing a slushy in their face for bringing it up.
5. Positive vibes.
Desperation sets in and you begin begging and bargaining, doing pretty much anything just to hear something. You get a little sassy and think that you can tell them (the admissions board) they have to send you a decision, and again, immediately regret it.
6. Facebook is the enemy.
Checking social media at this point is pretty much about the worst thing you can do because you see people posting about their job offers, engagements, acceptances, and puppies. Meanwhile, you're just thankful you splurged at World Market on the $10 wine glass that holds an entire bottle so you don’t have to fool with getting up for refills.
7. Still waiting...
At this point you're convinced that someone powerful has it in for you and enjoys making you miserable. You haven’t slept, can't feel a normal range of human emotion, and even wine and cat videos don’t mean what they used to. If you have to go even one more day not knowing, you just might lose it. So things just get weird...
Let's face it, no one's perfect. Does it suck to be told no? Absolutely, but they weren’t your top choice anyways, so you move on and thank god there are still 499 letters to come. Their loss.
9. Absolute meltdown.
It happens. You knew it was coming, your mom knew it was coming. They guy living downstairs that listens to you pace and/or hears you crying collapsed on the floor knew it was coming. You lose your mind. Anger, fear, sadness. All the negative emotions come boiling to the surface and you don't see the point in fighting them anymore, so you explode.
10. Acceptance day.
Getting ready to apply to grad school is hard, but waiting to learn whether or not you got in might just be harder. There's nothing left in your control, and it's enough to send you home to mom for a hug and some ice cream. But the good news is that you're smart, qualified, and determined. You've come this far and the hard work is over, even if patience feels more difficult. So instead of freaking out, keep your clothes on and turn on "The Office," because Dwight gets you, I promise.