Most people have their own dream university. To get in, they must have worked hard to achieve outstanding GPAs and SAT scores, and they also might have spent uncountable hours on their essays and extracurricular activities. At this point, most students have already received their ultimatums. If you’ve been accepted to your college of choice, congratulations! If you’ve been rejected, we offer our sincerest condolences: These tips below are for those who haven’t received positive news from their dream college.
1) “Everything (sort of) happens for a reason.”
You’ll hear this phrase often when receiving college rejections, and while trite, it’s also true. Not only are there many other universities you could now choose to attend, a rejection may be a wake up call to go off and do something else with your life – consider taking a gap year or traveling to some foreign country to help others. While being rejected from one college may be the closing of one door, it’s also the opening of many others. It’s entirely possible that your rejection will result in you attending another school that suits you better.
Don’t let a rejection from your dream college deter you from enjoying your time at the school you do attend. Pessimism was for the college application process: optimism is for afterwards.
2) Share it with others
You never need to feel ashamed of being rejected. Students with perfect SAT scores, laundry lists of extracurriculars, and tear-jerking application essays are rejected every year. Instead of hiding your rejection letters or pretending that you never applied in the first place (what, Harvard? No, much too mainstream for me), share your rejection with others.
While it may seem that all of your friends have gotten into their dream schools, keep in mind that it’s only the acceptances that see the light of day. Most of your classmates will be keeping their rejections to themselves. Sharing your rejection letters will not only make you feel better, it will also invite your friends to be more open with their rejections.
3) You are not your application
Your college application does not paint a complete depiction of who you are. While high GPAs and SAT scores denote that you may be academically inclined, they offer no indication of your work ethic, talents, or personality. If a college rejects you, they are rejecting an application, not a person. Don’t take rejections personally: college rejection never indicates that you are a failure. In fact, it’s their loss, and you now have the ability and freedom to do what you choose.
This article originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of UNIT-E. It was written by Terry Nam, a student at Yew Chung International School of Beijing.
UNIT-E was founded in the spring of 2010 with the aim of establishing a non-profit, student-run magazine for international students in Beijing. Staffed by current students from a range of international schools, the magazine provides an amalgam of cultural tidbits, fragments of Beijing student life, and a broad spectrum of unique perspectives from a diverse group of young adults.
Graphic courtesy of UNIT-E