How To Deal With Getting Rejected From Your Favorite College

If you’re a high school senior, you probably have some big plans and dreams for the future.  As your teachers have probably said to you 10,000 times, this is a major year for you with lots of decisions to make. If you applied to college, you’re probably hard at work planning a future. And it’s likely your plans involve a favorite school.

If you now find yourself with a rejection letter from that school, it can be a devastating blow. It might seem like the future you had been working towards has been suddenly snatched away thanks to one crummy sheet of paper. It sucks. I know that it might seem like your world is crumbling, but you can get through this, girl. Here’s how to deal with getting rejected from your favorite college.

I am so upset. How could this happen and how do I deal?

I truly am sorry that you have to go through this. It stinks. It might not seem like it now, but you will get over it. You’re a strong girl. Just take things one day at a time. If that’s too much, take it one hour at a time. You have every right to be upset and it’s okay to say that you’re not okay. While you’re hurting, I still want you to focus on getting over this in your time.

It’s a crap moment for this to happen, but it’s a big life lesson that we all have to learn eventually. Sometimes, no matter how much we plan and work towards something, it just doesn’t work out. Sometimes, we can do things to change the outcome while other times we can’t.

What can I do?

Rather than crying and eating a bucket of ice cream, try to focus on the positives. You can absolutely still have that bucket of ice cream but think about what actions you can take. Have you been accepted to other colleges? Would you be interested in going to one of those? Is there someone from your favorite school you could speak to and get feedback on your application? Are there other courses you can take at the school online or part-time? Could you get waitlisted? It might not seem like it at the moment, but chances are you have a lot of options on the table.

How do I stop feeling like such a failure?

First of all, you’re not a failure. You might feel like one at the moment, but you’re not actually one. There’s a big difference. If you’re proactive and are working on ways you can turn the situation around, those are qualities that failures don’t have. It’s also times like this when it can be helpful to think of your other amazing qualities. If you’re struggling to think about them, ask your friends, family, or bae. They will be able to give you a long list of your best traits.

How do I deal with my friends and family?

I know where you’re coming from. It’s bad enough that you have to deal with your emotions. Now, you have to re-open the wound and tell your friends and family about the college rejection. Do it at your own time. Focus on your feelings first. When you feel that you’re ready, speak to them about it. You’ll likely have to tell your parents sooner or later, and you’ll probably want to inform your friends, but don’t feel you need to tell everyone. If you’ve been accepted to other schools, you can focus on talking about those. Whoever you tell, be aware that if they love you, they will support you. They will likely know that you’re hurting and they will feel sad to see you like that, but they won’t think any less of you because you didn’t get into a particular school. I guarantee that they’ll still think you’re amazing.

Is my future ruined?

Absolutely not. Everyone has their own journey and not all of them involve going to their #1 college. Some people go to their third, fourth, or even eighth school. Some don’t even go to college. Some people take another year of high school or have a gap year before going to college. Some become apprentices. Every single path has plenty of opportunities for success and it’s what you make of it.

Any other words of wisdom?

Try to keep things in perspective. This moment might be a downer, but you have your whole life ahead of you and it will be filled with amazing things. What’s more, this might seem like a terrible thing now, but it might take you in a really exciting direction. Who knows, you might go to a different school and discover something about yourself you never would have found out. Maybe you’ll meet some awesome people or you’ll try a course you never would have considered. It might take a few years to realize this, but hopefully you will eventually be able to look back and see things might have happened for a reason.

If you’re still feeling down and overwhelmed, speak up. It could be to your BFF, parents, a guidance counselor or a therapist. Remember, there’s no shame in getting help and there’s never anything wrong with being in touch with your emotions and helping to overcome them.

How do you deal with rejection in general? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Heather Cichowski, on Twitter.


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