They might be your worst nightmare, but chances are you will receive at least one rejection letter when you are applying to colleges. This can be (and often is) heartbreaking news. Sometimes it’s your dream school that delivers the bad news, and sometimes it is some school you weren’t actually interested in, but for some reason it still hurts. No matter who rejects you, getting that letter stings.
Luckily, there is one truth about rejections: you will get over them. It may take a long time, but one day you will realize that you might not have belonged at that college or you may find that the college you end up going to is a much better fit than you originally thought. Unfortunately, in the moment, those rejections still hurt. So, here are some items you should have on hand to deal with those painful letters.
1. A Paper Shredder
It may sound silly, but sometimes just getting rid of the letter itself can be therapeutic. Take the letter (or if it was an online notification take stuff they have sent you) and destroy it. Put it through a paper shredder, write all over it, cut it up with scissors, set it on fire. The method doesn’t really matter, just get it out of your life. It’s no permanent solution, but it can help you feel better momentarily.
You may cry–and that is completely normal and understandable. Cry if you need to, but know that eventually you need to stop. Wipe your tears and start to look forward.
3. Candy/Chocolate/Any Comfort Food
Food makes everything better. After you get a rejection letter, indulge. Eat your favorite comfort foods to cheer yourself up. Chocolate is a wonderful thing when you are upset and if you put in all of the effort to apply to a college, you deserve to have some.
4. A Happy Movie
Pop in your favorite (feel-good) movie. Do you have a movie you love about someone overcoming rejection of any kind or making it through a hardship? Perfect. Watch it and realize that if that fictional character can overcome some ridiculously over the top tragedy, you can overcome one college rejecting you.
5. A Con List
Forget the pros. Why didn’t you want to go to that school? Maybe you were just hyping it up in your mind. It might not be (and probably isn’t) as great as you thought it was. Especially because they won’t have you. Make a list of all the reasons why you didn’t want to go there or why other schools you applied to are better. You may realize that you didn’t actually want to go there as much as you thought you did.
6. A Friend
Go to someone you can trust for support–whether that be a friend, a parent, a sibling, or whoever. Having someone else to talk to through this painful moment is crucial. They can calm you down and tell you that it’s going to be all right (because it is, and because they have an outside look). Also, sometimes you just need someone to talk out your feelings with or maybe take your mind off of the rejection. Often, friends will be able to make you feel better about what is going on and can help you make it through.
7. A Positive Outlook
It’s super cheesy, but it’s the truth. Nothing is going to help you get over a rejection more than thinking about what good will come from this decision. You will end up somewhere and that place will probably be better for you than whichever school rejected you, even if only for one reason: they want you. You can cry over the rejection all you want, but it’s not going to change the fact that you aren’t going to be able to go there, so start looking at the positives, like what schools you still could go to and what is great about them.