The 5:01 Special is one of those things that sounds good rolling off the tongue, but not so much after digesting what it really means. And what it really means is that Stanford’s deadline was at 5:00 p.m. last Wednesday and one of my recommendations arrived sixty seconds late. Not exactly the kind of special I was hoping for.
Alas, my recommender assured me the next morning, after speaking with the admissions office, that this would have no material consequence on my application. In [the eighteen hours] between, he apologized profusely for the irreparable harm done — which I might have felt, had I not been so exhausted.
The 5:01 Special was, of course, not the only debacle to take place on deadline day. Speaking of deadline days, MBA Mama has been greatly distressed and exasperated by my flirtatious relationships with each deadline (all two so far). And she does have a point, because maybe these debacles never happen if I would just extricate myself from these flings. But oh. They are so tantalizing. And really, were they to cease, what would I write about here? In any case, I digress.
The 5:01 Special was, of course, not the only debacle to take place on deadline day. In fact, it paled in comparison to The Last-Minute Special Conviction. See, The 5:01 Special only nips at your sanity, but The Last-Minute Special Conviction is not so kind — it tugs at your heart.
My application was finished and all when the Last-Minute Special Conviction quietly emerged. I found myself unsettled and continually going back and glancing through Essay 1: What matters most to you, and why? I had written a nice little essay about how my faith was shaped but, at the risk of offending the reader, left out all mention of the shaper of my faith, Christ.
But maybe the reader had a bad experience with Christianity and will misinterpret what I’m trying to say. Maybe the reader doesn’t like religion in general. Maybe the reader will think I’m preaching.
Hmm. All compelling reasons, but apparently not compelling enough to allow me to proceed in peace. I messaged my good friend, whom we shall call Barney, and asked him to read it. He immediately called me out: “If you’re legitimately trying to convey your faith, you might as well do it — without beating around the bush and being overly PC. Speak whatever you feel is the truth and it will be honored.” Everyone needs a friend like Barney.
An hour later, The Last-Minute Special Conviction had subsided. Or been satisfied. I told my good friend Barney, “I feel much better; I feel like I’m conveying what’s on my heart.” Barney smiled sheepishly and danced a little jig.
With Debacle One resolved and without foresight of the upcoming Debacle Two, I submitted my application in peace. Maybe Essay 1 will offend the reader, maybe not. But at least it won’t offend myself. Oh, and that last part about Barney — while it would have been high comedy — unfortunately did not happen.
This post is adapted from MBABoy, a blog written by an investment banker and anonymous MBA applicant who has a GMAT score of 760 and is targeting Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT Sloan, Tuck, Columbia, and Chicago Booth.
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