"WHY WON'T YOU JUST EMAIL BACK?!"

Because I have been there (we all have) and because I spend hours a week discussing this singular topic -- I'd like to breakdown what if means when you email an admissions office (or hiring partner for that matter) and they do not respond.

Before I do, let's set the backdrop. If you were to email me and I were not to respond, you likely wouldn't notice or care. Or, you would assume I am on vacation (if only), or very busy (bingo!). What you wouldn't do is re-read your sent email 100 times, and slowly become more paranoid that some benign thing you stated was misinterpreted by me, and now I hate you, a stranger.

All makes sense.

BUT, if you email an admissions decision-maker and you get no response, paranoia ensues. Have you been there yet? It happens with job searches. Sincerely, I have seen deans of law schools and high-profile lawyers in near meltdown state in similar situations about jobs they covet. When the stakes are very high to us, we internalize worst case scenarios.

So, for the sake of parsimony, please just know this. If you email an admissions officer, and you do not hear back, my best guess for a breakdown of possible reasons why would be as follows:

95% They are very busy and just do not get to it

3% They are waiting on more info (on you or overall class data) before responding

1% It is in either your or their spam box

1% You annoyed them. Likely because you have already freaked out, acted entitled, or have been way overly persistent.

Stop freaking out. Most admissions decisions-makers, or hiring partners, did not grow up in the world of spontaneous feedback and responsivity. And almost all get incredibly busy. It is as simple as that.

Again, this sounds easy enough if you are reading this in a fair mood with nothing at stake. But, come back to it. Because we all will, again, highly likely be in this situation. And what is more likely...it just means someone is busy.