I’ve had a pretty rough week. I know this blog post is late, but hear me out! I have been going nonstop for a few days now, and it’s all beginning to calm down. Unfortunately, I was not accepted to any of the schools I applied to. I read a blog post similar to this one, but struggled to understand how I could just move on when my future had been turned upside down. Many tears and conversations later, I’ve come to accept my circumstance. It wasn’t easy hearing “no” after “no”, but I’ve grown even in the past few days. Below I’ll share some of the lessons I learned.
1. You are only told no if you ask
It’s so so difficult to repeatedly be rejected. However, I realized I’m only being told no because I applied to difficult schools. I could’ve gone the easier route and only tried for schools I knew I’d get in to, but that’s not who I am. I love a good challenge, and I don’t settle. With this in mind, it’s a little easier to accept rejection from such selective schools. I’ll never stop fighting for my chance to shine, even if it means being told no time and time again.
2. Not a good fit
When I wasn’t accepted to MIT, I was honestly relieved. I knew if I went there, I’d constantly be stressed and anxious. I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my education. Rather than trying to fight their decision, I accepted it with grace. I wasn’t accepted, not because I wasn’t good enough, but because I wouldn’t have done well there. The admissions counselors were crafting the class of 2023 with care, and I merely wouldn’t have fit in. With highly selective schools, it’s important to realize that nearly everyone who applies is qualified. When you aren’t chosen to attend, it’s not because your test scores weren’t perfect, but because maybe you wouldn’t feel at home there. Maybe you would’ve been too stressed out about your exams to call your mom. Maybe you wouldn’t be able to participate in meaningful extracurriculars. Not only does a school have to be a good fit for you, but you have to be a good fit for a school. It’s a two way street, and understanding this is relieving.
3. God’s plan
It’s so cliche, I know. It’s also probably the most used excuse for something not working out. Rather than using it as a cop out to make me feel better, I’ve deepened my understanding of how God works in my life. In the case of Princeton, I probably wasn’t a strong applicant. My SATs could’ve been higher, and my essays a little better. I’ve accepted that I didn’t do everything within my power to get in there, and that falls on me! However, with CMU, I’m quite literally baffled. My scores are well above their range, I know a professor there, and my essays were spot on. Kids from my school with worse grades and scores have gotten in before. I attempted to appeal my rejection, but was greeted by an annoyed receptionist who disconnected me. I’ve taken this to mean that I’m really not meant to go to Carnegie Mellon. I belong elsewhere. I may not see it today or tomorrow, but I know that one day I’ll look back and be absolutely perplexed at how every little thing added up to bring me somewhere wonderful – somewhere I’ve always wanted to be.
I know that eventually I’ll be grateful for the five rejection letters I received. I also know that it’s ok that today is not that day. After I cried for a bit, I picked myself up and got back to college applications. I could choose to get down on myself, but I’m deciding to accept my rejections with grace and learn the hard lesson of being told no. Quite honestly, it’s been a great experience. Have you experienced a lot of rejection lately? Share the lessons in the comments below!