Rejection Sucks, But…


At one time or another, we all experience rejection which can result in disappointment. Throughout the college admissions process and scholarship search there is a 50/50 chance of each application being rejected. Either you are accepted to a college or rejected. You are a recipient of a scholarship or the committee found your accomplishments impressive, but selected another candidate. I have been rejected from institutions, scholarships, jobs, and so much more. But, I have learned that although rejection has been upsetting, it has helped me build resiliency and explore alternative paths to reach my goals.

One of my first experiences with rejection in my educational career happened when I was transitioning to high school. I wanted to go to one of the honors magnet schools in my hometown. After completing competitive applications and taking entrance exams, my applications were rejected from both high schools. As a result, my parents decided to send me to a local parochial school so that I would not have to go to the neighborhood high school that I was zoned to attend.

Being rejected from those two high schools was a huge let down, especially since I had done well academically and had strong letters of recommendation. I began to question my intellect and ability to learn. While my friends were excited about going to high school, I was sad throughout the summer following my 8th grade year.

My entree into high school was not going the way that I had expected since I was slated to attend a school that I knew nothing about-including its location. But, thankfully, my mother did her research on this school and it ended up being a great place that offered very small class sizes, Advanced Placement courses, Regents Diplomas, and college-level distance learning courses. This high school ended up being the best option for me! In this case, as in many others throughout my life, rejection directed me to a better choice.

Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.– Steve Maraboli, Author of Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

As a student at my alma mater, I had access to various scholarships, fee-waived college applications, free advanced placement courses, and college courses. My high school provided me with several educational opportunities that supported my successful transition to college. In retrospect, I am deeply grateful for those high schools rejecting my applications. I have learned that there are some rejections in my life that happened to redirect me from what I wanted to what I needed. Rejection sucks, but it can be a launching pad to success!

For those of you who are applying for scholarships, don’t give up. Someone once told me that each “no” will get me closer to my “yes”.  Believe me, I know it is not easy and rejection can be hurtful, but do not take rejection as a personal attack.

If you need assistance with searching and applying to colleges and/or funding opportunities, please contact us. We specialize in helping students and families navigate this difficult process.

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~Dr. O


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