Bad Idea Jeans: Calling for a Status Update
So it's that time of year when I casually troll through some of the discussion boards out there, just to see what you guys are chatting about. I'm usually amused by some of the "facts" circulating out there -- "Yale has already admitted 80% of its class!!!" "There hasn't been anyone admitted since Dec. 23!!" "Yale is only accepting math majors who play intramural softball!!"-- as though LSN is the representative universe of all of our admits (it is not). Please do not fret. We have not filled our class (or come close to it) and we are admitting students weekly. I am hoping that this assurance will stop a decidely unamusing trend that seems to have begun earlier than usual this year: calling the Admissions Office, or me personally, to find out the status of your application. I feel like it's my duty, at this point, to step in and let you know: DON'T DO IT. This is an example of what those of us from the previous SNL generation would refer to as Bad Idea Jeans, and I've decided to make B.I.J. a regular column in this blog to help guide applicants through proper admissions etiquette.
Before you read further, please repeat after me: "My application is under active review and Yale will notify me as soon as there is a final decision." Again. Good. Now you can keep going.
Full disclosure: I am 5 months pregnant, which means I am fat, exhausted, and pretty cranky most of the time. That's reason numero uno for not calling to ask about your status. But there are other reasons as well. First, calling about your status tells me that you are either not a regular reader of 203 or don't read the blog very carefully -- for if you had, you would know from previous posts that we send out decisions much later than most schools. Second, your call tells me that you are unaware of the fact that there are roughly 2,000 other people in your same position, but who are waiting patiently in line to hear from us. "I've heard from some other schools, and it would really help me in the planning process if I could know where I stand with Yale." We know. (P.S. -- telling a pregnant woman that you need predictability is more like a bad idea tuxedo.) Finally, I generally have a meeting, a food craving, or a bathroom run every 30 minutes or so, so my stretches of uninterrupted time are precious to me. If you are calling to find out your status, there had better be a VERY good reason.
What might such a reason look like? Oh, I don't know. I can see an appropriate phone call going something like this:
Me: "Hello, this is Asha."
Caller: "Please hold for the President."
Me: "Uh, OK."
2 minutes of The Pointer Sisters, in musak.
The President: "Hello Asha. This is the President. I'm calling to find out about the status of [your name]'s application. I have just offered [your name] a sensitive position in my cabinet, but s/he tells me that s/he cannot commit until there is a final decision from Yale."
At this point, I would have to explain awkwardly to the President that for privacy reasons, I can neither confirm nor deny that such an applicant has applied to Yale, but if that person would like to call me directly, I would be glad to speak with him/her. You could then very legitimately call me and ask about your status. My answer would still be (repeat after me), "Your application is under active review and we will notify you as soon as we have a final decision." But at least I wouldn't be P.O.'d at you. In fact, I might think you're kinda cool.
So that is my B.I.J. lesson for the day. Please be patient. We are working very hard to read your applications thoroughly and we promise to get you an answer as soon as we can. OK, gotta run -- I'm about to eat this keyboard!