Feeling alone as you swim through the terrifying waters known as the college admission process? Have no fear! We have five seniors blogging about ups, downs, and random in-betweens of their college process for the next 12 months (from June 2013 to June 2014!). Sit back, relax, and get that “OMG I totally get you, bro” feeling. Information for how to contact a blogger will be at the bottom of his/her posts.
Sometimes in life we are given the opportunity to slow down steadily, coming to a reasonable speed after going the proverbial “mile a minute”. There are other times, however, where the brake is slammed down hard for us involuntarily. We are subjected to stopping power beyond our control, and can only become impressed with the sheer power that the world has on us. Getting rejected was for me, and certainly for many fellow ED applicants, one of those times.
I had not had high hopes for my admissions decision, as my former article suggested; but in truth, deferral seemed as good a hope to me. In some ways I consider myself fortunate, as the school I chose was both one that one picked just days prior to the deadline, unlike many who had kept their schools in mind for much longer, and one who I recognized to be far out of reach. Even still, just after several of my friends who were also finding out on the 15th and I finished bouncing around on trampolines, getting rid of decision day nerves, the moment came and I was unprepared. They were too. If I were to make a broad generalization, as I am so clearly about to, I’d say nobody ever really is. But I was even more unprepared to see the “After careful review…regretfully…” that flashed upon my screen.
A good part of me knew it was coming, but even still, the sliver that I held onto kept me in pursuit of a goal I was ultimately to fail to attain. The feeling that I felt thereafter was strange. Unlike many of my peers, I was not despondent. I did not sink into a place that made me want to grab the cookies, run to the couch and watch a melodramatic hero save beautiful woman, all the while defeating a man with a twisted mustache. I simply nodded my head and while it sunk in, my head began to whir, but it stopped suddenly. Whereas I began to ask, “Well, what now?”, I allowed myself the moment of understanding and sadness to realize that I was not chosen, and gave myself a few minutes to breath. My brother, anxiously awaiting outside the door upon my request to leave me just looked more sad than I was, but yet told me I could have done nothing more, to be proud of myself.
That week, all week, I was deflated. Effort put into contacting professors, emailing staff, calling the admissions office, they were all for naught. It wasn’t sadness so much as disappointment in the lack of achievement I felt. But over winter break, I was given the time to let all advice (what seemed like cliche proverbs) that my counselor, college friends, even my school psychologist had told me for months, sink in. “You will end up where you belong.” They did not ignore that there was a rejection, the ones I listened to at least; but neither did they reject the notion that each person creates the environment they wish to belong to, that such an important aspect of the college experience was not solely decided by the school you attend. You shall decide the fate of your future.
Look, you got rejected. It’s not an enjoyable experience, not one you will look back upon with much of a positive light, but as most of us rejects have learned or are learning, it’s time now to step forward. Whether you believe in fate or not, there is a reason you’re not at the school you dreamed about, so you can learn from the unfortunate experience, or be mired in the muck of ‘what could have been’. I wanted to go to UPenn, but as I sit now, not a bone in my body thinks about why I’m not going, not one thinks of the glory that could have been had by attending such a prestigious school. Nor does a bone in my body really think, but you get me. My mind is in the schools I have been accepted in, the one’s I eagerly await as much as I did that so-out-of-my-reach school. I think forward.
I congratulate all those who do not share my fate, friends, fellow prospies (nod here to my fellow writer, Celeste, who wrote a wonderful article about the flip side of the ED coin), and anyone else who had such success. But for my fellow rejects, bask in the notion that you have yet some excitement to look forward to in the next few months, with a certain thrill of unknowing yet to be had, a thrill that will turn into eventual success and unlitmately, happiness.
You didn’t get in, no. But you gained some perspective.
Until next time, y’all.
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