So you've finished your college applications, huh? Congratulations! You are an efficiency monster who is altogether too wonderfully talented at everything you do. You are probably the sort of person who always remembers to carry an umbrella, and brings a fresh pair of socks with them wherever you go "just in case". I stand in awe of your insane ability to be awesome at life. I never have to buy a Tide stick, because you always have one. So thanks for that.
As a reward for being ridiculously on the ball, you will now get to go pass through the 11 tumultuous stages of emotional insanity that we call, "waiting to hear back from college." That's what we cal it, but you're more astute than us plebes. You know that this trying time could more accurately be described as "waiting for an institution to decide whether or not you have value as a person." The brutal part? You're PAYING them for the privilege. Oy. How did we even get to this point, you know, as a society? Regardless, we're ass-deep in this horror show now, so might as well see it through to the end. Let's walk through exactly what levels of psychological ups and downs you're in for, shall we?
1. Initial relief
Application is in! Now instead of waking up screaming in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, you can take a Tylenol PM and sleep until at least 6:45am. Dayum, that feels good.
2. Indulging the fantasy
In your mind, you're basically already in. They would idiots not to take you! They should be so lucky as to have you. To that end, you'll spend your first post-application hours shopping for dorm room decorations and fantasizing about what your first college boyfriend will be like. That husband pillow you're eyeing? It will be the only solace when that loser with the Top Hat you thought was "charmingly eccentric" leaves you for the woman who mans the omelet station in the cafeteria.
3. Doubt begins to creep in
But wait. What if you don't get in? What happens then? Should you start eye-balling cardboard boxes in case you have to move into one? Why is it suddenly hard to breathe? Why is everyone speaking in slow-motion?
4. Straight up denial
There's no way they couldn't pick you. It could literally never happen. NO, YOU AREN'T LISTENING, IT WILL NOT OCCUR.
5. Feeble attempts at distracting yourself
All of the sudden you have taken up knitting (even though you hate crafts.) You're memorizing large chunks of medieval verse, teaching yourself maj jong, going to foam parties, helping old people (and a few, very confused not-old people) cross the street – in short, you are doing everything possible not to have to think about when your fate will be determined.
6. Pretending to be Happy For Your Friends
Your friends have all started hearing back from their schools. But you haven't. You're happy for them, really, you are – you just can't seem to convince your face that this is true.
7. Frantically Coming Up With Other Plans
Travel Abroad! Become a chef! Apply to the police force! Secret agent! ASSASSIN! None of these things require a college degree! Maybe I'll become a Sherpa! GOOGLE TAKE ME AWAY!
8. Total inbox obsession
Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. Still no acceptance email? Repeat this process. Keep repeating it. When you are done, repeat it some more.
9. Convincing yourself you are actually in love with your mail delivery person
He's just like your inbox – except with a penis. You might not even be typically attracted to people with penises, but this person. They are your soulmate. You just know it. (Pro tip: Do not be that person trying to seduce your mailman into bringing you the mail early. Mail does not work that way.)
10. Getting emotionally burned out
YOU DON'T EVEN CARE ANYMORE! Light a pizza on fire, dance madly around your kitchen, body-paint strangers, or your cat! Life has no meaning and you've embraced the maddening absurdity of existence.
11. It's HERE!
You're in! And you're ecstatic! And puh-lease, the wait wasn't even a big deal. This stage is usually followed by a complete amnesia as to the entire waiting process.