how to handle college rejection

Posted : March 10, 2008
Last Updated : March 29, 2016

how to handle college rejection

A rejection is never easy — whether it comes from a friend, a potential employer, or your number one college choice. Here are some ideas to help you work through and overcome the disappointment of being rejected by your college of choice:

  • Don't take it personally. While dealing with rejection is difficult, remember that receiving a denial from your preferred college does not make you a failure. You may have been rejected simply because the college had many similar applicants, and there just wasn't enough room for all the qualified applicants.
  • Reaffirm your strengths. Remind yourself that you have many fine qualifications for college. An acceptance notification will come.
  • Remember that you aren't alone. Almost everyone gets one (or more) rejection notification. College rejection can happen to even the best and brightest students. Find support in your classmates who are experiencing the same feelings.
  • Recognize that brand name doesn't equal success. There are many paths to a successful career, and no college leads to a sure thing in job placement.
  • Don't spend a lot of time agonizing about the rejection. Instead, use the time and energy finding another school that you will like as much or more.
  • Be positive about other institutions. You are sure to find several colleges where you could be happy and receive a great education. Celebrate your acceptances!
  • Consider that maybe the rejection isn't such a bad thing. Sometimes rejections end up being blessings in disguise; something you realize down the road. Maybe the admissions officer saw something that signaled the college would not be a good match for your skills, interests, and dislikes, and thereby saved you from a disappointing experience.
  • Remember this motto: If at first you don't succeed, try again. If you are dead set on a given school, start at another school and reapply later as a transfer student.

Adult life will deliver some bumps and bruises, such as getting rejected when applying for jobs or being passed over for a promotion. Take a little time to feel disappointed about not getting admitted to your preferred school(s), but don't dwell on it. If you can learn to handle rejection now, you'll be better prepared for adult life. Just remember: college rejections happen, but they don't have to define the rest of your life.

Source: ACT's News You Can Use USA, LLC

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