How to Handle a College Rejection Letter

August 23, 2021
Posted in Student Tips
August 23, 2021 ACS

Rejection happens, and it stings. It’s no fun, but it’s a fact of life that we must all face at some point. When it’s one of your top-choice colleges, though, it might feel as though your future is now uncertain. Your plans aren’t working out, so what do you do now?

Remember, it’s not personal. Each school only has so many spots to fill in their freshman class. Often, a rejection has nothing to do with your grades, test scores, or anything personal about you. It’s a numbers game, first and foremost. In many cases a college simply receives too many applications from perfectly outstanding applicants.

Avoid oversharing. It’s normal to feel disappointed, but resist the urge to “overshare” on social media. Keep your disappointment private for now. In time, you will find reasons to be excited about the school you do end up attending, and you don’t want a dark cloud hanging over that accomplishment. Wait a bit, and then post happily about the in which you do enroll.

Look at the situation as a valuable lesson. This is an opportunity to learn how to handle rejection. Unfortunately, we all face quite a bit of it in our lifetimes. Staying positive now will help you to develop a long-term attitude that will carry over into your college experiences, your first post-college job, and beyond.

Remember, it’s not the only great school in the world. You applied to more than one school, and you found good reasons for applying to each of them. When those acceptance letters start rolling in, shift your focus to identifying positive qualities of those schools.

Set your sights on the future. You wouldn’t be the first person who was rejected from a school’s freshman class, only to return years later as a graduate student applicant. If you really want to call this school home, remember that you could attend a Masters or PhD program there in the future.

Talk to your mentors. Discuss the situation with your parents, guidance counselor, tutor, or mentor. They can help you process your feelings and move forward.



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