Play-Doh for The Soul

If you're at all in touch with the college admission scene, you'll know that this is the week when many colleges come out with their decisions for their Early Decision (ED) and Early Action (EA) applicants. The anticipation level reaches its peak this time every year for all those who have submitted their applications to a first-choice college back around November 1.

This anticipation level that rises also includes a large dose of pending hair-trigger depression, held in reserve in case the outcome of those decisions is anything less than “Congratulations!" There are two lesser outcomes: (1) Deferred, which means that the applicant's case has not yet been decided and will be bumped into consideration with those of the RD pool and judged in March or April. This is the more agonizing of the two outcomes because there is no closure one way or the other. Outcome #2, of course, contains a ton of closure: “Denied," or in more common parlance, “Rejected." This result, much more than the first, can open the floodgates of depression and despair, although being deferred can effect a kind of exquisite torture that leaves a high school senior dangling, twisting slowly in the winds of uncertainty.

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