Guest Blogger Samantha: Waiting and Obsessing Over THE Private School Admissions Letters

Waiting For Letters: Time Drags On



It’s the worst.  It’s a little mini-hell.  The minutes pass like hours, the days like years.


And now, as most of you wait for admission letters from the various schools you’ve applied to, you have an intimacy with waiting that you could have done without.  But here you are, waiting nonetheless.




So, as you sit, trying to fill the time, it’s only natural that you start thinking about things…  And then, because you’re only human, doubt creeps in and starts playing games with your mind.


You think about that interview at that school you love.  You know, the school that is PERFECT for your kid.  Like, if you get into that school you’ll never have any problems in your life again.  Ever.  Really.  The interview there was great.  You really felt comfortable with the Admissions Director, like you were long lost sisters, or BFF’s or whatever.  You were wearing the same shoes, which was so funny, because when you commented on that she chuckled and mentioned being like-minded.




You’re like-minded.


Do you think she was just saying that?


Do you think she thought the shoe comment was weird?


Oh my God, I commented on her shoes.  I’m such a moron!  She probably thinks I have a shoe fetish or something.  Like I’m Imelda Marcos.  Oh shoot — she might have family in the Philippines, or maybe she once knew someone from the Philippines.  Now she probably thinks I was saying something bigoted and awful.  Oh God, we’re never getting in – I’ve ruined my child’s life forever!


Sound familiar?  Let me make you feel better.  The Admissions Director is definitely not admitting you because you made a comment about shoes, or because you shook her hand too hard or not hard enough.  Neither is she wondering about whether your outfit matched at the coffee or if your kid’s clothes looked too small.  Even the spinach you are convinced was in your teeth the day of your interview will NOT be the deciding factor in your child’s admission.


If only it were that easy…


See, there’s gender and birthdate, legacy and siblings, personality and diversity.  Those things make random shoe selection look simple!


Now, assuming you didn’t talk on your cell phone throughout the tour, or check your Blackberry twenty times during your interview, I can pretty much give you a free pass on the small transgressions that you are now sure are the death knell for admittance.


You are ok.  You are just powerless.


So, acknowledge all the things that there are to obsess about, from your tone of voice to wearing white before Memorial Day, and then let it go.


And try to remember that obsessing is Mom 101, but surrendering is an AP class.


Good luck!

Samantha Goodman is the mom of a First Grader at Wildwood School and a preschooler at 10th St. Preschool in Santa Monica. Samantha’s son also attended 10th St. Preschool. Before her current parenting hiatus she was a screenwriter in Hollywood.

Samantha’s previous guest blog pieces: Previous posts: “Wait-Listed At Wildwood” and “What Its Really Like At Wildwood School”



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Christina Simon: Los Angeles, California, United States I'm the mom of two kids who attended The Willows School in Culver City and Viewpoint School in Calabasas. My daughter is a graduate of Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism ('23) and my son is a sophomore at UPenn/Wharton ('26). I live in Coldwater Canyon with my husband, Barry, and our dogs. Contact me at

12 thoughts to “Guest Blogger Samantha: Waiting and Obsessing Over THE Private School Admissions Letters”

  1. I love this post (and I love Samantha)! As a mom in this month of waiting “hell” I totally relate to this. This period is really an exercise in patience and surrender. There is nothing to do and obsessing only makes the time drag on interminably. Thanks for the reminder, Christina & Samantha! I am putting prayers out in to the universe & then just letting things be….

  2. The challenge of waiting can apply to many things we do as parents. I can relate to your stress and anxiety, but I’ve never been through the rigors of private school admissions. I will have to remember Samantha’s last comment (before she wished us luck) about “surrendering being an AP class.” It’s so true, yet so hard to do!

  3. Thank you for making me feel 4 BILLION TIMES BETTER about being incredibly lazy. My girls are at TIOH pre-school, and I decided NOT to look at other places for my oldest when she starts K in the fall, mostly because a) I have four kids and can’t bear the thought of driving them around to different campuses until I absolutely have to and b) kinda figured if it ain’t broke yet, why try to pre-fix it. Ooh. Pre-fix(e). Now I’m hungry. BUT ANYWAY: I totally get how awful it must be waiting for these letters and feeling completely helpless. It’s impossible being a MOM and not having a PLAN OF ACTION. (That’s why that White Men Can’t Jump scene with what’s-her-face yelling at what’s-his-face about the glass of water cracks me up to this day — I used to think it was about a chick just wanting the dude to feel her “thewst” but now that I’m a Mom I get what really pisses her off is his belief HE can fix it. F*** that! I CAN FIX IT. Except when I can’t.) The whole school acceptance thing is an “I can’t” sitch — and oh does that suck.

    1. I actually am kinda enjoying the process, it’s exciting but leaves me anxious at the same time. Reminds me of my last year of highschool, waiting to see what colleges I got in. It was exciting tearing open those envelopes, and yes I was disappointed when I didn’t get into my top choice, but it all worked itself out in the long run. I would do the college app thing all over if I could. If the fear of rejection keeps you from applying to private school, then you may have more serious problems.
      I really can’t wait for the letters to come, I’m cautiously optimistic. I like the fact there is nothing left for me to do besides sit back and obsess over March 23. I like to think I’ve done all I can, so now it’s out of my hands. I’m excited, relieved, and anxious to know the outcome of my hard work, Everyone should be. I like to think about what would I have been doing wih myself right now if I hadn’t applied to private schools this year, sitting back and just waiting for my local public school to start the school year?
      I think not, right now, I feel like I do have control, control over what type of education my daughter gets, and that her educational fate is not just in the hands of my local public school education system. So parents, enjoy this time, I sure am… No more interviews, yay!

    1. Ok. I definately will. Thanks. And thanks for this blog, great place to go to see other parents going through the same thing.

  4. I love this post, thanks! I feel like I’ve been “letting go” lately, but now find myself thinking about the mail, and will they hit my mailbox on the 24th or the 26th or the 27th? Do I need to take a vacation day from work on Monday so that I can wait for the postman to arrive and deal with the emotional aftermath (good or bad)? Since we applied to five schools, which letters will arrive on which days? Ugh, so much for letting it go for real. We’ve got a trip to Legoland planned for next Sunday, so we may be headed to Carlsbad with some news…. maybe not…. depends on the speed of the U.S. Mail. Either way, fun awaits! Thanks for the emotional support, ladies.

    By the way, if the letters don’t arrive by Monday, is it okay to call and ask what kind of letter is on it’s way? Oh my….

    1. Yes, Samantha wrote a great post about obsessing about the letters because she had to deal with it too. My letters came om Sat. But, some friends got their on Monday. Yes, the US Mail hold the answers–literally. But, I think some schools now email families and follow up with a letter. Stay sane!

      1. Goodness! i am hoping for some e-mails. good ones, that is.
        Take care!

  5. Yes, we’re all for the good emails and US Post Office that gets the job done right. Also, most of the schools go on spring break the Monday after letters go out, but admissions directors are checking voicemail and email.

  6. I noticed you mentioned that some schools email. One of the schools I applied to specifically said they email also, not sure about the others. I’m just curious as I sit over here anxiously awaiting. The schools have all chosen march 23rd as the date that admission letters are going out. If a school is also emailing, would the email go out on the 23rd also, or do they have to wait until saturday when letters would arrive to send emails out? Also, are emails only sent when you are accepted, or could they send an Unfortunatley you were denied email, or a wait list email? That seems kinda mean, Lol.
    I am going to stop obsessing now because now I’m thinking, if I don’t get an email, maybe I wasn’t accepted???
    Any thoughts? Thanks

  7. Hi Jenn, great question! The schools who use email to notify families about admissions decisions only use email to send ACCEPTANCE notifications, according to my co-author, Porcha Dodson (she works in admissions at St. James School). The emails generally go out on Friday, but if the staff is running behind schedule, emails could be sent out late Friday night or even Saturday. Letters can tell families they have been accepted, wait-listed or declined admission. Good luck! Please keep us posted!

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