Wait Lists Are a Drag

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If you were hoping The New York Times would halt its parade of college admissions coverage now that it's April, you're out of luck. On Thursday, an op-ed from a high school student reminds readers of what many might have thought was pretty well-established: getting wait-listed is no fun.

After nearly 12 years of school, hours of SAT prep and tutoring and $70 per college application, I thought I would finally get some relief this month. I thought I’d get a straight answer from colleges at least — a yes or no. But instead I got on the wait list.

After arousing readers' sympathy for this common plight, the author draws back to meditate on the college-bound class, trotting out a series of generational near-clichés:
My generation happens to excel at waiting. We've gotten used to it. Waiting for the economy and our parents to recover from the global meltdown, waiting for the Internet to get faster and Apple to unveil its next product, waiting for the wars to end, for health care reform to happen or not happen ... and now, waiting for colleges to make up their minds ... The wait list also prolongs the holding pattern of teenage life. To many of us, rejection is a foreign concept, and colleges seem to think that our tender egos prefer a maybe to a flat-out no ... Whether we like it or not, rejection is a reality--and we should learn to live with it before graduating into the working world.
To conclude the paragraph of widely-acknowledged truth, the student brings it back to the personal: "I, for one, am tired of waiting."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.