How To Deal With College Rejections

By Maddy Boezinger

 Maddy is Collegewise alumna and works with our mighty Collegewise Marketing team. She is a student at University of Southern California in the Marshall School of Business. She believes in the power of uncommon kindness, the influence of sharing knowledge, and the truth that success is on the horizon. 

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My dream school is dreaming about me, too.

Imagine if this was your mindset when you woke up at 6 a.m. for a standardized test.
Or when you were writing yet another application essay.
Or even when you received another college letter turning you down.

Ok. I get it. It’s difficult to see yourself thinking something hopeful and positive when it seems like there are mountains of work in front of you and rejection just keeps coming.

Don’t fret. Eleanor Roosevelt once said something will make you feel better, I promise (because it really made me feel a whole lot better after receiving a few college rejections myself):

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

At first, I read this and I thought, “Boy, Eleanor Roosevelt must not have received any rejection letters."

And yet, through hot tears, after feeling rejected a few times in my life, I looked up at these words, framed in my room on the wall. There are few things in life that can prepare you for a rejection letter from a college. You spent years building up to this moment. You took challenging courses to separate yourself from the pack, invested time and money in standardized tests, and shared some of the most personal parts of your 18-year-old life with people you have never met.

Odds are, most people who apply to college will get rejected from at least one—or many times—by many schools. Keep in mind that there are A LOT more people applying to college each year—and the competition can be tough. In an age of unlimited information and unparalleled quantifiers, change your mindset. Focus on you. One rejection letter doesn’t define your future. Getting a “no” from someone else is actually getting you one step closer to where you are supposed to be.

A year from now, you’ll be sitting in your dorm room and you’ll realize Ms. Roosevelt’s words: it’s up to you—your consent—how you view this experience. You can chalk it up to “maybe this school isn’t the one for me” and that’s perfectly ok.

Keep an open mind and say it out loud: My dream school is dreaming about me, too. 

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