As I hear back from clients getting good news from Early Applicant attempts, I am also reminded of the throngs of others who have submitted for first round at various schools, and now find themselves playing the tortuous waiting game for decision day. I always encourage applicants to focus on the achievement of being done with first round applications rather than to vex over what they think the admissions outcome will be. Applying to b-school as you know is a lot of work, so at the very least, you can feel good about the "heavy lifting" you have already done to get to this first of many finish lines ahead. If you find yourself uneasy during this period, however, there are several things you can do to ease the waiting pain:
1) reflect on your career and life in preparation for any interview opportunities that could pop up. Many schools offer an interview slot with very little warning, so to be ready to relate your experiences, especially as they pertain to achievements in leadership and teamwork, for example, is a worthy use of time. Remember, it' always better to have examples and stories than a list of attributes about yourself.
2) line up your "backup plan." There is no better way to prepare your mind for a potential disappointment than to have a clear idea of your next move if things don't work out like you hope. That way, your b-school journey will feel more like business, and less like gambling!
3)Volunteer! not only will it keep you busy and help distract your worrying about the admissions decision, it could also help bolster evidence that you are someone who remains involved and engaged. What better thing to talk about how you have spent your time than to say you use volunteer opportunities to relieve stress! Plus around the holidays, it will keep you engaged in a worthy cause, give you perspective and just make you feel good.
4) For those who just can't leave well enough alone, you can always circle back over your notes and contacts at the various schools to which you applied and see if there are any thank you notes or acknowledgements you missed. I wouldn't do this arbitrarily, but if there are bona-fide touches that you somehow failed to return, it's the proberbial now or never.
Hope this helps, and as always, let us know if we can be of assistance!