Application Panic

Two years working with at-risk adolescents around suicide and another two years working with adults treating substance abuse and addiction, has come to be just enough experience in effectively handling the non-stop phone calls, emails and on a few occasions, walk-ins of panicked applicants.  Whether the culprit is a misplaced GRE report, or a missing transcript, the message that I impart is usually the same.  “It’ll be okay.  Read your emails and give it time for the mail to arrive and let the pieces fall where they’re supposed to.” 

Of course, I can’t make the claim that I wasn’t overly concerned after receiving an email detailing a missing GRE score report during my application process.  At that point I was certain about entering a doctorate program and even more certain that William and Mary was the right the school for me.  I wanted so badly to start on this chapter of my life, and I didn’t want to be denied over some technicality that could have been avoided if I had only paid more attention.  When I called to speak to the graduate student, who was in the role I am in now, I was told the very same words that I have repeated countless times.  “It’ll be okay, at the very worst, we’ll just call and confirm the scores that you put on your application.”

After months of securing letters of recommendation, preparing for the GRE and the other hoops that need to be jumped through for completing the application process, it seemed weird not having anything else to do.  However, once I gave myself permission to just breathe, the relief set in and within a few weeks I received an invitation to be interviewed.  Now, having been admitted and working in the admissions office, it’s gratifying to be in the position to help other prospective students with their own application process, as a student who has been through it.  Hopefully, I’ve been able to offer the relief that Deneen offered me those few years ago.  In her defense, it turned out much better than “okay.”