This is the most difficult time of the year for MBA/grad school applicants. They’ve taken their tests, submitted their applications, and conducted their interviews. Some candidates have received some good results but are still waiting to hear from their dream schools. Others haven’t received any good news at all. Now, all they can do is wait. But is that really all they can do? Even though this period may be giving you the blues, that doesn’t mean it can’t be productive.
Legendary rocker Tom Petty may been right when he sang the iconic words, “The waiting is the hardest part.” Or, as one of my clients told me, “All I want to do is sleep. Let someone wake me up when my result comes in!”
Sounds nice, but unfortunately humans can’t hibernate like bears. However, there are other ways to recharge your batteries. Use this time to reconnect with friends. Take up the art or exercise classes you gave up during your months (or years) spent preparing your applications. Expand your cooking skills beyond putting hot water in a bowl of noodles. Keep working on your English. Start reading up on the subjects that might be most challenging to you. Most importantly, be kind to yourself. You’ve worked very hard for a very long time.
That brings me to another of Tom Petty’s classic songs: “Runnin’ Down a Dream.” That’s exactly what all applicants (and those preparing to apply) have been doing. You’re not just dreaming about studying abroad. You’ve made tremendous sacrifices of time, money, and effort, with a relentless focus on turning your dreams into reality*.
So, to everyone out there waiting for decisions, I wish you all good luck. My wish is that you will soon receive an email that starts with, “Congratulations!” But remember this: even if you don’t get the result you were hoping for, please be proud of your effort. And mark that moment as the starting point of your new dream. Or, to quote Tom Petty one more time, when it comes to pursuing your dreams, tell yourself the following: “I won’t back down!”
*Roah Consulting: Turning Dream Schools into Reality since 2009.