Students in Waiting: What to Do After You Press that “Submit” Button

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Where do we go from here…

Where do we go?

And is it real or just

Something we think we know?

 

It is actually a song by Fink that I heard in one of the episodes in Suits. The melody all of a sudden lingers in my mind as I start thinking about this writing. Well, neither Harvey Spector nor Jessica Pearson, nor Mike Ross is obviously what I am going to discuss this time. This particular melody and lyric faithfully accompanied me as I was contemplating on what do people do after submitting an application? Where do we go after submitting an application for admission or scholarships?

 

There are many layers that we have to unveil before getting to the core that we desire, just like peeling onions. The same goes in a similar way as enrolling in a university for a program that we really really want to study. First things first, we have to decide which program from which university. Then we have to know the deadline to complete all the requirements in a timely manner. Afterwards, we need to put an outstanding effort to make the best applications beating thousands other applications for the same limited offer by the university. Some of us might even need to go the extra mile to get scholarships or financial aid from various sources. This means there is usually an additional application to be submitted.

 

Slowly but surely, we will check off the to do list for submitting the application. Once we hit that magic button, submit, we are in a time capsule where we do not have control at the selection process. Let alone having control, we do not even have any idea who will be reviewing our essays, or what if the way we tell our experiences is misunderstood? There are always that one figure, or probably a certain group of people, who will decide whether our stacks of paper, or I guess the megabytes that we submitted in e-files will pass to the next stage or not. There might even be some people who could override the decisions, or there might not be anyone in that capacity.

 

What actually happens there…..

Admission Office
Admission Office

In general, there is a committee or an office whose job is to get, to review, and to decide the applications for a specific program. This could be an admission office or a selection committee for a program. All of those sweat, tears and hard work that we put in a couple of pages for the application will be reviewed and eventually selected by them. There are obviously many considerations that the committee takes into account. Some of the primary ones are whether we fit for the program or not and whether we can flourish by joining the program. Then there are other derivative factors that must be considered. For instance, the class profile that includes the diversity of the incoming applications, either by nationality, by gender, by local geographic representations, or family backgrounds. Money is also a tricky one. The available funding for any scholarship program that is being offered will definitely take into account on the number of offers. This is very crucial in determining the sustainability of the program and for the benefits of those who will be enrolled. At the end of the day, education is a long term investment. We have to be very thoughtful for the program that we want to enroll as much as the selection committee in choosing the applicants. At the end of the day, we all want to make sure that the investment will generate higher returns for the society.

 

So, should we just sit back and relax?

Going back to the initial question, what do we do after submitting our application. The wisest answer is probably to take a deep breath, trust in the work that we already put in before, and exhale. We can go about our daily life as we have now freed a couple extra hours that were occupied for getting the application done. If we met the representative of the institution, it is never harmful to follow up and send a thank you email for letting us know about that opportunity. We can also start being proactive by researching about other opportunities for our next submission. We can also talk to those who are already enrolled in the program, so we will have more information when we get to the interview round or the next stage. It never hurts to have more information.

 

At this point, there are only two possibilities. Either we get to the next round, or we get to learn about their application program by doing it. In most cases, most of the applicants will not make it to the next round, but that does not mean it is the end of the day. It is actually a useful experience as we must have had the time to reflect on our past experiences thus far. A few of the applicants, hopefully it will be YOU, will make it to the next round. This means it is another chapter where YOU can prepare and kill it for either a Psychotest, a Skype interview or other electronic version of interviews, a one-on-one or a group interview.

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In the past four years, I must have submitted hundreds of applications for various purposes. Some of them were for continuing my education, applying for school trips over break, internships applications and job applications too. At first, filling out an application for a big program was daunting. But then, after having submitted many applications, I could position myself better and tailor my experiences for the objective of the program that I want to participate. It would surely take a lot of my time, therefore it would be a relief once I submit it before the deadline. Instead of worrying about what I have written, I would go about my daily life and reconnect with my friends again. Not only would I feel better catching up with friends again, but they often give me other resources that I can use in case I make it to the next round.

 

If you are in this stage of harap-harap cemas, then it is a good timing to cross your fingers and the best thing will surely come to you. If you plan to apply for any program in the near future, do your best in every single stage you are in. Ultimately, the only purpose for each selection process is to get to the next one, and eventually land your feet in the program. So now, let us take a deep breath, and exhale. We will definitely be going somewhere from here. To those who are waiting, best of luck my friends!

Photos from Flickr

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Christian Limawan
A traveler who happens to harbor in Jakarta since September 2016 for a startup world. Prior to this, his educational boat anchored him at the UWC Adriatic in Italy before sailing to the rolling hills of Pennsylvania where he landed for awhile at Bucknell University. All of this voyage was made possible due to the generous support from various invisible angelic donors that he has yet to meet and thank. In the meantime, he hopes to serve you through the upcoming posts via this site :)