By Ziv C is, a BodiMojo contributor from the Boston area who enjoys writing.
Every teenager dreads that time of year when high school seniors rush to the mailbox in anticipation of mail (or nowadays, e-mail.) That means it’s the season of college decisions, when one click or ripped open envelope can cause a flood of emotions to break loose. It’s enough to drive any teen crazy.
Accepted to your top choice? Great! But don’t brag too much, because a lot of people in the hallways at school are moping about because they didn’t get into their number 1 choice. Receiving any news from a college is tough; if you’re accepted you have to decide if it’s the right school for you and if you can afford it, on the other hand if you’re rejected you wonder what you could have done differently and most importantly why?
It’s impossible for us teens not to stress out, especially when our friends got into their top choice and we didn’t, or if we were put on the dreaded waitlist.
Throughout this whole process, you just have to keep reminding myself: a college rejection is not a reflection on who you are. An admission committee sees your credentials and some writing samples, but that’s it. So if they reject you, they’re rejecting you’re resume, not who you are as a person. A personal essay and a transcript can only reveal so much about a person.
We are more than our applications- and so is the college decision process. As Amy Belstra, a post-graduate counselor in Denver, explained to USAToday, “Schools where good, solid kids were a sure admit a few years ago, now are places where they find themselves wait-listed or denied” because of the increase in students applying and pressure to go to top schools. So to some degree, college admissions are kind of random.
And just because you didn’t get into the college you thought you wanted doesn’t mean you won’t love school! Most people end up loving wherever it is they end up, and even if you don’t, transferring is not the end of the world. In fact, a 2010 study shows that 1 in every 3 people transfer colleges- that’s a pretty big number, so even if you do switch schools, you won’t be alone.
Likewise, a degree doesn’t make a person. Wherever you may end up you’ll be exposed to new people and new experiences that shape who you become. Ultimately, you can still achieve your dreams and get where you want to go even if you take a round-about path to get there. In the words of John Lennon, “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”
So you didn’t get into your top choice? Honestly, it’s not the end of the world. Even though that rejection feels like a closed door, it’s actually a new beginning. Rejection is a natural and necessary part of growing up, and although it’s uncomfortable, it makes you stronger.
Good luck, take a deep breath, and best wishes for your plans after high school
Last reviewed Nov 24., 2014.