As Fall is slowly coming upon us and summer is fading away with our long days, the pressures of the application cycle increases. At this point, to do lists are getting long and it becomes so easy to put a few things off until tomorrow. If there is anything that we learned from the handful of cycles we went through is this: procrastination is the demise of an application. No matter how amazing of a candidate your husband, wife, or you are, when your application falls to the bottom of the pile because of time, your chances of interviewing and being admitted fall as well.
As your husband or wife is putting together their lists of requirements and you see him or her begin procrastinating, do your best to identify why they’re putting things off. Is it because of fear that they’ll be rejected? Is he or she worried about bothering former teachers for recommendation letters? Is he or she genuinely too busy to sit down and write their application out? The sooner that we figure out the reason why they’re procrastinating, the sooner we can help. In the case of my husband, it was a mix of all these reasons, he had already completed one cycle so he was afraid to be rejected a second time and he was worried that he was pushing his teachers too much for his letters of recommendation. I did my best to be his rock and encourage him. Here are a few things you can do as a wife to encourage your spouse to work through procrastination during their application cycle.
Identify Why Procrastination is Happening
Is it because of fear of rejection? Is prioritizing a long to do list overwhelming? Once you find out why he or she is procrastinating, the sooner you both will be able to come up with a solution.
If you see him or her procrastinating, let them know. Be honest with them about how time sensitive this application is. They know this, but you might need to have a heart to heart to gently push them in the right direction. Let them know what you can do to help but again, be honest in what you’re able to take on.
Deadlines & Goals
Help them make deadlines and goals for each portion of the application. This includes when they’ll be following up with the people that are writing his or her letter of recommendations. The worst thing that could happen is that a letter of rec writer stalls your application and you have no idea for how long. We went out and bought a white board just for setting deadlines and goals so once one was complete, he was able to physically cross things off. It really helped to make the process seem less daunting.
Help him or her manage their time better. It’s so easy to waste time with Netflix, video games, and the internet in general. If you see that they’re spending a little too much time away from the application, let them know. But be mindful, (s)he might need a little break because (s)he’s stressed. There’s a fine line. At the time my husband was submitting his second cycle of applications, I was a student as well so I did my best to pick up his chores. Less time that he’s spending cleaning, is more time on the application. Just do what you can to help.
Help with the Application
After looking at anything for a long time can get to you quickly. Take their essay from them and read it over to yourself and give them some suggestions. Some guys may not be into this but we really walked through the application together. He often talked through his ideas and thoughts with me, trying to help him structure his thoughts. If (s)he doesn’t want that much help maybe you can just help proofread once or twice.
I think I might have drove my husband a little crazy with this one but if I knew he had a goal or deadline coming up I would always ask about his progress. You don’t have to do it in a way that seems like you’re just bothering them to get it done, ask them about their thoughts on it or how (s)he’s feeling about it. It’s stressful and deadlines will be changed but just make sure that (s)he’s okay and is in a place where (s)he’s comfortable. If (s)he’s not, what can be done to get there?
Don’t let the fear of rejection keep you and your spouse from putting out the best application out early in the cycle.