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Snowballing application panic


socaljournalist
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I posted yesterday about concern that my recommender was not going to mail the letter in time for the school to which I'm applying by the early notification deadline of Nov. 15. I had asked her to FedEx her letter to my letter service by YESTERDAY, and FedEx now tells me the letter is not in their system. After initially agreeing to update the letter she wrote for me last year, she has been unresponsive to my emails and phone message yesterday.

I know intellectually that this is not the end of the world, because the letter she wrote for me last year (which I still have on file) is intended for the same graduate programs and I can easily use it.

But I feel hurt that she - for whatever reason - is not able/willing to help me out this year. It's leading me to have snowball negative thinking about the entire application.

Rationally, I know my admission does not hinge on my thesis adviser submitting a letter she wrote in 2008 versus an updated one (I have been out of school for 4 years), but it's hard not to freak out.

Can anyone offer some consoling advice?

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This may not be about you. The recommender might be dealing with some kind of illness or family situation. Try to stay calm - this isn't a reflection on the quality of your application or your potential.

That said, I hope things work out well for you. Good luck :-)

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If you do have to send the other letter, the schools will probably just assume there was a typo in the date or they won't look at the date at all. They will probably just assume it was written recently and it won't affect you at all.

Edited by acup313
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I posted yesterday about concern that my recommender was not going to mail the letter in time for the school to which I'm applying by the early notification deadline of Nov. 15. I had asked her to FedEx her letter to my letter service by YESTERDAY, and FedEx now tells me the letter is not in their system. After initially agreeing to update the letter she wrote for me last year, she has been unresponsive to my emails and phone message yesterday.

I know intellectually that this is not the end of the world, because the letter she wrote for me last year (which I still have on file) is intended for the same graduate programs and I can easily use it.

But I feel hurt that she - for whatever reason - is not able/willing to help me out this year. It's leading me to have snowball negative thinking about the entire application.

Rationally, I know my admission does not hinge on my thesis adviser submitting a letter she wrote in 2008 versus an updated one (I have been out of school for 4 years), but it's hard not to freak out.

Can anyone offer some consoling advice?

I understand. I err on this side of drama, too. How good at you at deluding yourself? If you can manage it just pretend that she is on safari in the outback or something. LOL Seriously, make it not about you because, in reality, it probably isn't at ALL about you.

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I had the same panic about one of my recommenders missing the approaching deadline but I finally got a response from her this morning after sending her another email beseeching her to submit the LoR online this week. This morning she promptly submitted all the letters! I was so relieved! I don't know what to advise here but I do hope things work out for you. I totally understand how stressful it is for you.

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I'm certainly no expert, but I can't imagine that that would hurt you at all. From everything I've heard, LoR's generally are to distinguish between candidates that are otherwise identically qualified--so your admission will probably not hinge on those recommendations anyway. And since this is only one of 3 or 4 letters, and it's a very MINOR thing within that letter (one that no one will notice, most likely), I can't see how it would affect you.

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