So, you got that thin envelope, huh? Or maybe you received a pretty standard and stale email? A quick scan of the note goes directly to “sorry,” “unfortunately” or “regret” or other similar synonyms. You toss it in the trash and try to throw your feelings out along with it. Rejection feels like betrayal. This institution you’ve placed so much faith in, this institution you’ve dreamed of, this institution you’ve loved for so long doesn’t feel the same way. It’s an unrequited love, and you now feel like the scorned lover. Whatever do you do? Just keep swimming!
Yes, you read that right: just keep swimming. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been rejected from your top choice school, ideal job, or dream girl. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter your age or background, rejection is not fun, but it’s also not the end of the world (though I’m sure it might feel like it). During times of great difficulty and adversity, you have to learn how to cope with rejection and bounce back from what can feel like a set-back. How?
Breathe. Acknowledge your feelings. Are you angry? Sad? Scream it out. Talk it out. Work it out. Whatever you do, don’t let your feelings bottle up.
Reflect. What was it about that school you loved and valued? Determine whether or not those same traits can be found in other schools. Talking to your college counselor or teacher might be helpful here.
Focus. Think of the possibilities that will unfold. This is the start of a new adventure, and whether you realize it or not, the timing could not have been more perfect. Relish in it.
No matter what happens or where you end up, this next phase of your life is going to be amazing, and the people who matter most and recognize how awesome and talented you are are the only ones who truly matter. At the end of the day, you’re not missing out on anything. On the contrary, those schools, those employers, those potential partners are missing out on you! Like Kanye West said, “my presence is a present.” Truer words were never spoken, Kanye…truer words were never spoken. So just keep swimming.