Lessons Learned From Rejection

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I didn’t know until I read at Mark Mongtgomery’s Great College Advice blog that today is the last day for colleges and universities to let their applicants know whether or not they’ve been accepted to the school of their dreams. I did, however, hear about the 28,000 applicants to the University of California, San Diego who were mistakenly led to believe they had been accepted, when in reality, it was really a computer error that caused them to receive an acceptance email. Ouch, what a blow to later find they had not been accepted at all!

What would you tell these students whose hopes were dashed? Mark Montgomery posted a video interview with a student who gave very enlightened and encouraging advice to those who may not receive acceptance to their top pick school. I think this advice is fabulous, and I’d like to echo some of this young man’s sentiments and add some advice of my own.

Get Involved

It’s been proven in research that students who are involved in their schools feel a sense of ownership and belonging and, therefore, tend to be retained until graduation. Getting involved in activities, clubs, or sports will help you to make friends and to like your school, regardless of whether it was your first choice.

Open Your Mind

Open your mind to the possibilities other schools may offer. Look at the colleges and universities you did receive acceptance letters from. What are their strengths? In what way will each school fulfill your needs and desires? I often find that things really do happen for a reason. It’s likely you’ll soon discover why your ultimate choice is just right for you.

Keep Your Focus

It’s likely that you’re pursuing a college education because you know that’s what is needed to achieve your dreams. Even if you haven’t nailed down your choice of future career, you realize a college education provides students with critical thinking and interpersonal skills that are needed in all professions and will likely lead you closer to your dreams. Focus on your goals and consider how your second-choice school will help you to fulfill them.

So what would your advice be to the University of California, San Diego applicants be? Do you have a personal experience you’d share with them to let them know it’s okay they didn’t get into their top choice school? How can they move on and focus positively on their college career? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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