"That means you didn't plan it well," my younger brother said to me last night, when I was discussing about not-so-good shape of my applications.
"Didn't I plan well?" this question stood straight on my face many times, but I never thought it would again haunt me this time. I started working on my applications in May, and was (am) very sure of R1, but things didn't happen the way I expected. So, what went wrong?
1. Yeah this sounds impossible, still give it a try - It's not bad to give a try, but everything comes with a cost, and sometimes the high priorities suffer. Reliance-Stanford scholarship essay was one such try. Though I knew it was next to impossible to get that scholarship given the seats available, I devoted complete May to it. You see, my high priorities i.e. my shortlisted schools applications were just not started.
2. Too many things on the platter - To improve my academic qualification, I enrolled in CABM course. Though I knew it was a very demanding course and I would have just 3 months for its exam, I thought I would manage. I studied every night 2-3 hours after my busy office hours. Then did it affect my essays? Well, yes. I did split my weekend time in essays and CABM and NGO work - needless to say that wasn't enough. By June end, I was done with 40 of 120 CABM chapters, but just 1 or 2 rough drafts of my essays. Clear compromise on essays, right? To write CABM in August end, I'd to comprise like that till August. Not affordable, so in mid-July I postponed CABM exam for December or later. But by then, my applications were already affected by 1.5 months.
3. Reviewers, would they gonna help on time - You always need some good trusted people to review your essays. You plan that you give complete your essays draft 1 or 2 months in advance and would send them for review. Awesome plan! But what if your reviewers won't have time to review when you want their comments. Your planning flops. My friend and I sent our essays to around 7 people who know us personally, but it took 4 weeks for the first reviewer to respond, and finally he didn't like our essays. The August was over.
4. Unforeseen unavoidable stuff, phew! - My first cousin getting engaged and I have to fly there; 3-4 days gone. My best friend has his first anniversary and his vacation plane goes over my city, so he planned to extend his holidays and will stay with me for 5-6 days. I mean this is my peak time, but all these things has to happen now.
5. Admission consultants, do i need them - No one would know your stories better than you. But a good admission consultant would plan it better, explore it better, and write it better. I decided to write my essays on my own and I didn't hire anyone. Was I wrong?
So, sometimes when you start things much in advance and work really hard on them, still due to many reasons your planning failed. My brother was not right when he said "That means you didn't plan it well," but he was not wrong either. Whatsoever, planning is one skill I would surely hone during my MBA!
Breaking down, but still on with R1!