You’ve applied to your flavorite colleges and universities, and now you’re starting to hear back. The first letter arrives, you tear it open and see these five fatal words: “We regret to inform you…”
First there’s shock. Then there’s nothing. And suddenly you’re overcome with urgent emotions of every kind, including these five classics…
You just got rejected from something. That sucks! It’s okay to feel bad about it sucking, because it sucking suck sucks.
For a lot of people, this is the first time in life where they’ve definitively been rejected from something in life. Especially by adults. So please, if your friend is acting pretty dramatic about being rejected from a college, don’t roll your eyes at them. You have no idea how much they are reeling right there.
2. “I’m never going to get into anywhere!!”
Ahh, the cascading effects of failing. You’ve failed at one thing, so obviously you’re going to fail at everything else ever. Ever.
No and no, you sweet little thing. One rejection doesn’t mean that you’re going to be rejected for everything ever. It just means that you weren’t meant to go to that one place. Something else will come around, even if you don’t expect it.
There’s also a big chance you were rejected from that particular school because of something you couldn’t have controlled. Maybe they had a bunch of applicants from your area and could only choose a few. Maybe it came down to you and someone else who had family connections to the school. Don’t blame yourself immediately. There may be no need!
3. An unbearable craving for quesadillas.
Being upset doesn’t manifest itself the same way across multiple people. Some folks cry. Some folks sigh. Some suddenly need all the cheesy goodness that they can stuff into their faces in a 10-minute period with a side of aguacate.
PASS THE TAPATIO, WE WILL ALL GET THROUGH THIS. Crappy odds of admission are the reason you applied to multiple colleges. Ten years later, you will barely remember where else you even applied.
4. Secret relief.
My dad wanted me to go to Stanford University. I didn’t want to go to Stanford University (for various reasons). So I didn’t really try my hardest on the essay portion of the application. Lo and behold, I was rejected.
My dad was upset, and you’d think I would be too. But I really wasn’t. Yeah, I was rejected from one of the best universities in the land. But my heart wasn’t really in going to begin with. I wanted to go to the University of Oregon, where I ended up going. There were more degree options, interesting student clubs and a great journalism school. That’s where I wanted to be. So I put my energy there.
5. Nothing (still).
You may just feel nothing at the end of it all. That’s okay, too. On to the next thing.
What’s your typical reaction to heart-rending disappointment? How have you handled rejection?