The Hold

7 Jan

The BlackBerry buzzed. I glanced at it nonchalantly, expecting more Kerasotes Five Buck Club reminders (No, thank you, Kerasotes. You drive a hard bargain, but New Moon once at full price was enough.). I saw, instead, an email from Harvard. A quick skim resigned me to my waitlist status–but wait! File updates and supplements? Additional LORs? Not a waitlist–merely a hold! A chance to redeem my whimpering application, terrorized into quiet submission and acceptance of its mediocrity by the hoards of Admits’ sparkling resumes and witty, yet on-message, personal statements!

Yes, I have been held for re-consideration until Harvard reviews more of its applicant pool, at which point I will be admitted only if no one better comes along. I will play the game, submitting an updated resume (that is still lackluster), updated grades (honestly, one of the strongest parts of my initial application in the first place, so little bump to be had here), and perhaps an additional LOR or two. To not do these things would be foolish.

I do not have great hopes for a Harvard admit this year. However, this year’s hold gives me reason to hope for next year’s cycle. My numbers will be the same, my GPA possibly even on the other side of 4.0. I know that my numbers are not holding me back; it is, instead, my lack of “soft” factors. Harvard’s willingness to hold my application now, with my less-than-stellar softs, suggests to me that a beefed up resume and improved personal statement may land me a coveted spot in the Class of 2014.

This hold, rather than disappointing or saddening me, makes several decisions that I have been struggling with much easier to make. Because I’ve firmly decided against attending law school in the fall, rather than be forced into picking a school now and deferring, I have the confidence to withdraw my applications, re-apply next year, and believe that I have a fighting chance at HLS.

This is the best thing that has happened to me all year (one week in)!

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