Updated: Apr 23, 2019
Rejections, acceptances, waitlists - it's all normal! Here's my story and the lessons I've learned. I hope this sheds some light on how it's impacted my life and how it can impact yours.
The beauty of applying for college: compiling your accomplishments, goals, future major, potential schools, personal statements, and where you'll be for years to come. Even now, I'm applying for graduate schools and slowly anticipating that feeling of where I'll be in a few months.
However, I know so many teens and young adults who dwell on these emails and letters that say "We are unable to provide you a spot at this time." I've faced this many times already.
In high school, I really wanted to attend a UC. And I mean, I really wanted to attend a UC. I studied hard, took all Honors and AP Courses, held various leadership positions, participated in several organizations - all to build myself as a top candidate. SATs were okay, I wasn't the best, extensive test taker, but I was decently average. I ended up with a 4.20+ GPA, many cords and honors, and everything you can think of to be 'the absolute best.' After submitting my applications in November, I waited until March. How exciting! Right? Wrong.
Out of the 7 schools I applied to (I don't remember the names), I was only accepted to 1. That's right, I was rejected from 6 out of the 7 schools I applied to. I was devastated, heartbroken. I hated my life. I felt unworthy of these 'great' schools. I questioned my worth and my intellectual and academic abilities. I also hated the fact I was attending a state school, "only Sac State," because I thought that it was lesser than a UC.
Even now, I face numerous rejections as I apply for graduate schools. Rejections feel like a stab to the heart, without the residual flow of bodily fluids. That emotional wound stings, and makes you question everything you know about your life, your work, and your goals.
Here I am, at 24 years old, sharing with you, my fellow viewer, that this is normal. Rejection is normal. And this is not a reflection of you, your hard work, or your self-worth.
1. Rejection is normal
As the saying goes, 'when one door closes, another one opens.' Or 'every no is a step closer to yes.' This is so true! Honestly, looking back at it now, I'm okay with being rejected from the schools I thought I wanted to attend. I love Sac State! I loved being near home, helping my family, participating in local community and service events, traveling to different cities, states and countries, and growing up in the right environment.
Colleges are extremely competitive, especially graduate schools. Some get in the first time, some don't. In fact, I've learned that graduate schools love that you continue to apply and bring something new to the table each time. Waiting sucks, and makes you anxious, but there's so much to be excited about in the process.
2. Rejection humbles you
Kendrick Lamar said it best - "sit down, be humble." I was definitely on a high horse, thinking I deserved to be accepted into a program or college. It's normal to feel this way - you worked hard, you put in the time, the money, and everything you had to offer. And for what? A REJECTION? It's not a pleasant feeling. But it's a possible sign that right now it's not your time. Maybe it's the universe giving you a glimpse of what's in store for you, but right now you need to continue growing.
Whatever the case may be, it's important to accept that right now is not the best time, but it's a step towards the path you're meant to be on.
3. Responsibility and Adulthood
At 18, I don't think I would have made the greatest choices. Learning about finances, loans, debt, and other fiscal responsibilities. Yes, you learn by making mistakes, but with student debt on the rise, it's harder for young adults to make the right educated decisions or gain which career choice suits best. I'm thankful and blessed that I learned what I wanted from my college experience, from my parents and other mentors. They gave me the right tools to be educated and learn what I wanted in life.
Even now, life is still a learning process. I'm growing to be the best version of myself, making the best decisions that fit my future goals, and thankful and fortunate for where I am.
4. There's something great planned
As I do my best to stay hopeful and optimistic, I know that this is only a bump in the grand master plan. I'm learning and accepting to #TrustTheProcess. Everything will work out the way it ought to. I can only control what's in front of me. Sadly time is the only missing ingredient. I wish I could rush into my work field with ease and not endure the application process.
But life is a journey and I am doing my best to enjoy every moment of it. I like and dislike things that go on, but I wouldn't trade my experiences for something better.
I can write more about my experiences, but these are the main things I've gained from my 6 years of higher education. Although I still have more to learn, I hope this brings some encouragement and hope to you my fellow viewer. You're capable and destined for greater things. So remember that the #WorkGrindNeverStops and you are on the path you are meant to be on.
April 23rd, 2019