The Student Experience
Again, I officially apologize that we on the college side are not smart enough to hit our targets dead on right out of the gate. As we established earlier, if we could do that, there would be no waitlists, anywhere!
Waitlists suck for students for several reasons, but here are a couple of specific examples:
If the school that waitlists you is your top choice, it just means more waiting.
You’ve already done this for a few months since applying, and you may have already been deferred from an earlier round (putting you in a special level of admission purgatory). That’s rough–I get it. You’re a senior. You want to simply enjoy the final weeks or months of high school, and knowing definitively where you are going would really help. Worse still: none of us can bend space and time, so there is literally nothing you can do here.
Honestly, I don’t have a good tip for you. Waiting is hard. Uncertainty is frustrating and unsettling. I don’t have a solution. The only thing I can tell you is that life is full of situations like this. Will I get a new job and when? Will a house come on the market that we can afford in the area we want to live in? Will the results of this test come back from the doctor with life-changing implications? For some students, this is the first of many big processes or situations that mean waiting, hoping, praying, and learning to be content and joyful in the present, regardless of your circumstances. No matter how old you are, I think that’s always a challenge and something we all have to work on to thrive in life.
It’s an ego hit.
We talked about this along with the Deferral process, specifically in “The Other D Word.”
“What’s wrong with me? Why did that other kid get in and not me? How is my 3.8 and 1520 not good enough?” Please, hear me screaming: This is not a value judgment! Yesterday, we talked about “institutional priorities” and “shaping a class,” neither of which has anything to do with YOU. YOU are amazing! YOU are talented. Yes. I am talking to you. YOU- with the iPad out or scanning phone, or reading this while you’re pretending to listen in class or to someone else who’s talking (stop that and actually listen– it’s a life lesson). The tough spot you’re in is tied up in supply and demand, institutional priorities, and demographic shaping of the class.
Ironically, at the end of the day, the waitlist exposes the fatigue of students as well as admission officers. We are both ready to be done. To have things settled. To know what “next year is going to look like.” And similarly with pride, it has us questioning our skills, potential, and future. So we are effectively in this together.
But it still sucks.
Next week we’ll wrap up our series with Part 3… No easy solutions or quick fixes, but some tips and insight for the weeks ahead.
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