It can be a painful day when you get rejected from one of your top college choices.
When you open the email or envelope and confirm that you weren’t accepted, it can be crushing.
I applied to a whopping 16 schools, and I certainly got a lot of rejection letters. The most painful came from Brown, where my dad had gone to school. It hurt.
While it’s never fun to get a rejection, it’s not the end of the world either. Here’s what you should do when you get this bad news.
1. Don’t freak out or get depressed.
Feeling terrible may happen naturally and it may be impossible to “stop feeling bad” on command. That said, it’s good to know that you don’t need to feel depressed. It’s OK to let the feelings pass through you.
Getting rejected from anything, whether it be a group of friends, a sports team, or a college, will hurt. It’s human to feel this way. Just realize that getting rejected from one school isn’t the end of the world.
Many times students end up loving a school they initially had as a secondary choice on their list. Keep an open mind. There are nice people everywhere and great programs at almost all colleges.
2. Talk with someone about it.
If your friend just got into her dream school, then she probably isn’t the right person to share your experience with right now. Your parents, on the other hand, will always be curious to learn more about how you’re feeling.
Most likely, they’ll be able to put the entire situation in perspective for you. Having left college years ago, they can explain that while the rejection may feel terrible now, but it won’t to drag you down for the rest of your life.
They may even have a similar story from their own experience. I’m sure their college search didn’t go exactly as planned either.
3. Rethink the schools remaining on your list.
OK, so you didn’t get into the school you were hoping for. You’ve got to look at the options you have left and decide if you’d be happy attending any one of them for the next four years. Often it’s easy to get so set on one school that you see all the rest as bad options, but this just isn’t always true.
Give the other schools you applied to a chance. Look at their websites and see if any offer programs that you’re interested in. Most importantly, look at the schools that already have accepted you! You might discover something you like and your college search could be over more quickly than you had planned!