The Waiting Game

Those of you who have gone through the business school application process will identify with this article and those of you who haven’t should pay attention because this is a good description of what you can expect when you apply.

As I sit here at my laptop on the night of January 20, 2004, I can’t help but feel a sense of dread coming over me. In a little more than twelve hours, Harvard Business School will release its first round admissions decisions. Eight hours later, the Stanford Graduate School of Business will do the same. I applied to both schools in Round 1, so my stress level is doubled. I haven’t slept for more than three hours in any of the past four nights and this will probably be another night that adds to this streak. My friends keep telling me that I shouldn’t be too worried because I had interviews at both schools, but the Harvard one didn’t go too well  and the Stanford one probably went too well. There is nothing I can do to change my fate now, but I just can’t prevent myself from concerned in anticipation of the news I’ll soon receive.

One of the many ideas that has flown around in my mind during this few days of Hell is whether Harvard and Stanford scheduled their first round admissions notification dates on the same day on purpose. Or, maybe the admissions folks from the two schools were busy making cross-country phone calls to barter on which applicants each one would accept. What about the off chance that there is an alum of Harvard or Stanford who works for a pharmaceutical company that is waiting to give a huge contribution to their alma mater once the sales of antacids and headache medicines go through the roof as applicants try to cure the symptoms of the stress that they are experiencing right about now. Perhaps this is all simply the random ranting of a tired and worried soul, but what do you expect from a guy who is operating on two and a half hours of sleep and can barely see straight?

My clock has passed 12:00am, so it is officially January 21. I’ll learning my fate at these schools in a few hours and those hours will not pass fast enough for my tastes. I have no idea what kind of news I’ll get, but at least I’ll be able to sleep tonight…because, later tonight, I’ll either be drinking myself silly to celebrate good news or drinking myself silly to mourn the double dose of DING!!!

Applying to business school is DEFINITELY not for people who cannot deal with stress…