The 99 Days of Nonsense!

nablo13dayeightHere at the hovel, we are in the midst of college application season or, as I’ve come to think of it, “The 99 Days of Nonsense”. This whole process sure is different from when I went through it. It puts me in mind of the differences between how television seasons used to be and what they are now.

It used to be that come that second week of September all of the old shows had returned and the new ones were premiering. Boom! That was it. College application deadlines worked the same way. They were all due some time in January, if I remember correctly, with the exception of the early decision deadline — early decision wasn’t something most of us were interested in back in my day. Some kids were, the ones who had their hearts set on going to Cornell or Notre Dame, or some such place. But, for most of us, we went the traditional route.

Early decision was binding, still is, which meant that if you got in, that’s where you had to go. So, you had to be pretty confident in your choice. Never having been a “confident in my choice” kind of person, I did not go the early decision route. I wanted to weigh my options. So, I applied, like the rest of the world, in January. And, like the rest of the world, spent the next two months waiting for the mail.

The mailbox began, around mid-March, to be something that you approached warily — like the lion circling the hyena that may or may not, in fact, be dead — possibly he was just playing dead, waiting to tear through the lion’s carotid. The big, fat envelope was what you were hoping for — like the lion who discovers the truly dead hyena — the large, manila envelope allowed one to breath a sigh of relief. The thin letter? That was like the hyena “playing possum” and was to be avoided at all costs. It was a sure sign of rejection or, worse, it carried the news that you had been wait listed.

Things sure are different now. Now, there are numerous application options, like “early admission”, “immediate admission”, and “rolling admission”. “Early admission” is a lot like “early decision”, except that it is non-binding, meaning if you get in, you don’t have to go there.

“Immediate admission” is usually done in person or sometimes even on-line and, as its name implies, the decision is immediate. Certain days are set aside for students who wish to use this application process. In most cases, specific criteria must be met in order to qualify for this type of admission. It is also non-binding and, usually, if you qualify to use this method, there’s a good chance that you will be admitted.

Finally, there’s the “rolling admission”. This means that from a specified date up until another specified date, applications will be accepted. The earlier one applies, the earlier one is notified of the institution’s decision to admit, reject, or wait list you.

So, really, what prospective college freshmen are dealing with is a 99-day window for submitting college applications. It’s sort of like having a tooth pulled little by little, appointment by appointment — the pain, the anxiety spread out over the course of three months.

Colleges and universities, at least the ones that use The Common Application — an on-line generic application — also notify applicants differently than they did in my day. It’s now done via e-mail. No more waiting around the mailbox! You can now discover whether your dreams will be fulfilled through acceptance or whether you’ve been dealt the crushing blow of rejection in the midst of your morning toilette. A psychological link between tooth brushing and Stanford may, for better or for worse, be forged not far from where you learned to use the potty.

We’ve been at this for a little over a week now. Fangette has already received an acceptance e-mail from The University of Vermont. So, that’s a good thing. She hasn’t heard from either of the other two schools where she applied for early admission yet. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

Every time her phone buzzes we listen for the telltale signs of success or failure. We’ve begun to station ourselves outside the bathroom door so that we may hear either the hooting and hollering or the crying and sniffling that is sure to follow the news that she had been admitted or rejected by some of her other choices.

I’m not really looking forward to the next 90 days. I’m hoping for a lot of dead hyenas, but you never know with hyenas, do you?

photo credit: mailbox

19 thoughts on “The 99 Days of Nonsense!

  1. […] it offensive to have masticated food shoved at me, how I’m not trying to kill my husband, why I’ll be grateful when the whole college application process is behind us, and how it was decided that humane traps were a better option for ridding the hovel of a mouse […]


  2. shalilah2002 says:

    I’m waiting to hear from my daughter about what her daughter needs for the second semester. It’s exciting for me to.


  3. Are you available for hire? I’ve got one more to go. The older girl had only one school she wanted and it was the only one she applied to. I held my breath until her acceptance letter arrived. The younger one is bag of indecision. Heaven help us both!


    • javaj240 says:

      Trust me. You would NOT want to hire me, LOL! I wake up every day in constant fear that I have forgotten some important deadline.


  4. Never has it been so difficult to get an education. Here’s hoping this passes quickly!


  5. Oh this fraught and laborious process lays in wait for us in six more years. Where can I hide? How can I stop the hands of time.


    • javaj240 says:

      I would recommend the Bahamas. If you can stop the hands of time, let me know how you manage it, LOL!

      It is a laborious process, fraught with difficulty, but, in the end, it’s something most of us will have to endure!

      Thanks for reading. And for commenting. I love your blog!


  6. Jake says:

    Ugh, I did this not too long ago for undergrad, and then very recently for Graduate school. You’re right about it being all on email now – I got into Graduate School via email, but they also sent a printed letter as well that was delivered maybe a week later. But I remember waking up every morning and quickly grabbing my phone to look through my email, hoping that one of the schools I applied to had emailed me about being accepted. I don’t think I slept for about a month because I was so anxious.


    • javaj240 says:

      Oh, you poor thing! I can sympathize. I’m assuming that you got into a program — either that or you are writing this between taking drive-up orders at the local fast food establishment. Either way, so long as you’re happy!


  7. janieemaus says:

    I’m glad I’m through with all this. It sounds too confusing.


  8. Paula Cavalier says:

    I’ve already gone through this with my son and my daughter has 2 years before we have to go throught this again.. Never the less, I’m still sweating profusely reading this post. Good luck to Fangette.


    • javaj240 says:

      Hopefully all of the knowledge you gained about the process when your son went through it will still be pertinent in a year or two. Like Oz, “things seem to change so quickly here”!


  9. elinwaldal says:

    We are leading parallel lives, over here one of the Backyard Playgroup, specifically, middle child, is in the thick of college app hell too. Between that and, last but not least, with her driver’s permit, it’s a wonder we sleep at all. Good luck to Fangette.


    • javaj240 says:

      Luckily, because my daughter is a March baby, we were able to tackle the driving thing and all that entailed earlier — I cannot even imagine them happening simultaneously. Good luck!!!


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