Wednesday, November 25, 2009

it's graceful to be thankful

Given that I am sick and sitting on the couch all day watching top chef, hoping that my painful throat and low fever would go away soon so that I can start being productive again, I decided to write this post in the spirit of Thanksgiving.

Since Thanksgiving is an American holiday, and I had never celebrated it for the first 17 years of my life, I do not have the sentimental attachment some of my American friends might have to the mash potato, cranberry source and the football game on TV in a buzzing Thursday afternoon. However, I always thought that it was nice to be thankful (although the European settlers did kill the Indians after all), to be with family (mine is too far away, but will be thinking of them), to be with people you love.

I came across the ClearAdmit's poll (which was always a fun distraction from all the tough application work) about "What are you thankful in regards to your admissions process". I have too many people to thank honest speaking. My boss and my boss' boss who tailored 6 recommendation for me, each carefully written and long (according to one of them); my boyfriend, who is my editor in chief, my psychiatrist, my cheer-leader, my care taker, my best best supporter in all ways; my dearest mom and dad, who do not understand the process that much but still sent me ideas on how to put my best foot forward and who would without a word, donate all their life time savings towards my bschool account; my friends, old or new, familiar or just acquainted, who took in my essays despite their super busy schedules and edit them without any complains; my co-workers, who would check on me from time to time and give me those supportive words to brighten my days....the list goes on.

But then here I am, totally surprised by the result of the Clear Admit poll. Close to half (42%!) of the poll takers actually answered "I'll only be thankful when I know the results." That is just not right! As an applicant, I know fully how stressful this process is and how one might want to pull one's hair out when waiting for the results from schools. But dear applicants, are you so absorbed in yourself that you cannot be thankful for all the work others have put in for you only because you haven't heard back from the schools? For one thing, I would still feel thankful towards all those who helped me throughout the process EVEN IF I didn't get into any school. And honestly, as an applicant, I knew, nobody, nobody, can achieve b-school acceptance alone. You have someone to be thankful for.

Maybe I am over-reacting, after all, it's just a 52 people poll and those applicants who are enjoying family and friends time probably don't even check blogs these days. But still, it's dis-heartening to think that b-school applicants MIGHT just be a group of typical type-A and only care about self people.

One certain part of my brain, however, does sympathize with that mentality. I myself, almost lost it through the process. It's so easy to only be thinking about yourself, your application, your interviews, your essays, you, you, you in this highly competitive process. When you focused too much on yourself, that's when you lose others, and in a sense that you lose the real you, who cares about other human beings.

So to those 12 people who read my blog, please, please, don't lose perspective in this process. After all, an acceptance or a deny does not define you. And you are much much more than just an application.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, be thankful. Sending a thank you note to your interviewer or to your host at school visit is not just tactics to kiss up but to show you really felt thankful for their time. It's graceful to be thankful. And grace, is such a rarely seen but highly needed quality, especially in today's world.

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