Being deferred is like holding your breath for more than three months. Ending up on a waitlist is like going to purgatory. Nevertheless, you do have some active marketing options available to you, which I’ll explain in a moment. These can accomplish two things. First, this structured approach to promoting yourself and your position will help time seem to pass more quickly. In the case of deferrals, you’ll be waiting up to three-and-a-half months to find out your fate. If you’re just going to sit and wait, doing nothing, these months can seem endless, especially if you live in a cold and snowy climate where there’s a conspicuous lack of sunshine. Snowy weather sometimes seems to hang on until July.
If you are waitlisted, you’ll have to make a fundamental decision: Do you want to stay on the waitlist or pursue other options and enroll elsewhere? Since, in most cases, there’s no concrete termination point for your waitlist uncertainty, the lack of closure can be maddening. Your self-marketing actions to get off the waitlist and onto the rolls of accepted applicants will help you in another crucial psychological way. Once you’ve followed this self-marketing plan and you’re still on the waitlist, you can then withdraw and look elsewhere with peace of mind. Why? Well, if the actions I’m about to describe don’t have any positive effect on your status, I can almost guarantee you that-barring a miracle-you wouldn’t have been accepted anyway. It’s important to bring closure to your college process within a reasonable amount of time-for everyone’s sake: yours and your parents’.