A Project for Better Journalism chapter

How to cope with rejection from your dream school.

Rejection letter submitted by an anonymous senior.

Dreaming of attending a particular college after finishing high school is common for many people. Many hopeful applicants are accepted into their top school and feel on top of the world however many people are rejected to their top choice and will be just fine. Although success stories are nice to hear, they often making coping with rejection harder for students. Celebration videos of seniors being accepted into their dream school tend to go viral during this time of year and motivate but for others they deepen the depression of dealing with rejection. As one’s peers start to celebrate their acceptances to the schools they’ve applied to rejection only becomes harder to deal with. By no means should one hold back their celebration after being accepted but they should try to consider the feelings of others. If you or anyone you know is dealing with rejection from their dream school, it’s important to remember that the pain won’t last forever and until the pain goes away, there are ways to make the pain easier to manage.

Treating a college rejection seems like a breakup seems to be the best way to deal with it. It’s completely okay to grieve over a rejection as long as it only lasts a few days. It’s important for someone to fully let out their emotions rather than try and hold them back because holding them back will only cause more trauma and potentially cause hatred towards that school forever. Remember that it’s okay to cry and no one is going to think less of you. Eat all the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream attainable because it will never taste as good as it does when you’re heartbroken.

A former Penn State student shared with Huffpost that, “I didn’t get into NYU (my top school) and everyone kept trying to console me, but the truth is, not getting into the school you had your heart set on is like going through a rough break-up with a guy – you might need a mourning period. During that period, there should probably be a lot of Nutella and Netflix. It’s the first step to the healing process. Allow yourself a little sadness, then realize how amazingly lucky you are to have the opportunity to go to the great colleges you got into!”

Although grieving may seem like the best method for dealing with rejection for some people, others deal better with working out their emotions. Go to the gym, go on runs, sign up for a workout class, sometimes all you need is endorphins to be released to start feeling good about yourself again. However, if you’re not the biggest fan of physical activity there is other ways to work out your anger. Try getting rid of all distractions and consume yourself in your school work or applying to a ton of scholarships because to many people (including myself) who feel no better satisfaction than being able to check things off of my to-do list.

A recent Perry Hall High School graduate who prefers to remain anonymous said, “Although I was gutted I didn’t get into my dream school, I got over it by realizing live will go on and working out whenever I would get sad because it took my mind off of the rejection.”

Dealing with a college rejection but it’s important to remember that there is a lot important issues in the world although it may not feel like it at the time. You are not defined by the school you attend and there are a lot more factors that go into hiring employees than the name of the school on your diploma. Relax seniors, it might hurt now but even if you end up at your safety school or enrolled at community college you’ll be fine and if you still make the most of your opportunities you will still succeed.