For those of you who, like me, have submitted all of your grad school applications, congratulations! Unfortunately, now we have to play the waiting game while each school picks apart the personal essay that we proofread and rewrote for months, evaluate the kind words our recommenders had for us, and compare our GPAs and test scores to those of the, perhaps, hundreds of other applicants. If you are anything like me, sitting here waiting and not knowing where you will be next year is driving you insane. So I thought I might do a little research on what we can do while we attempt to wait patiently to hear from our schools.
1) Contact your recommenders: Let them know that you have completed your applications and are waiting to hear back and once you do hear from your schools, let them know. Good or bad, they will have words of advice or congratulations to dole out. Be sure to thank them for taking time out of their days to write that recommendation for you. That is a lot of pressure to put on someone. Also they were willing to deal with the slightly crazy version of you that was compiling all of your applications while balancing a million other things.
2) Be patient: I know this may seem obvious, but you have to try. Resist that urge to call the schools every other day. It’s all right to call soon after you have sent your application to ensure that you have turned in all of the required materials, but other than that you just have to wait to hear from them.
3) Research faculty and staff: Get to know the people that you may be learning from in the future. This information may help you make your decision in the end. There are, most likely, a few who have a passion for the same thing that you do and knowing who those people are when you are in an interview could make you stand out.
4) Practice interviewing: If any of the schools you have applied to conduct interviews it is important that you are prepared for them. Contact your school’s career services office as they will have tips for you and may also offer practice interviews. Use the resources that they offer so that when your interview comes around you will be a pro.
5) Relax and focus on graduating: If you are still in college then use that as a distraction from the pins and needles you are currently sitting on. Use your time to study, do homework, or earn some extra dough. Be productive and keep busy if that works for you or take the time to relax, once you start grad school the opportunity to relax may not come along very often so enjoy it while you still can.
Hopefully these tips will help you while you play the waiting game. Good luck!