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Reminder: Rejections are a Normal Part of This Process

Part of why the college admissions process is so difficult is because colleges are making business decisions about who they accept, but the development of your application package is incredibly personal – making the rejection feel super personal. Trust us – it’s not.


When a college chooses to not admit you as a student, it typically has very little to do with you and much more to do with the school’s institutional priorities for that year. Every year we see incredible applicants turned down from schools they apply to. We’re talking about situations where there was literally nothing more the student could have done in high school to improve their chances. For some of you, this will be the first experience in your life where you’ve done everything asked of you and you still don’t obtain the outcome you expected. It’s painful, but it’s also going to be a valuable experience in the long run.

 

It’s completely normal and acceptable to feel sad, frustrated, angry, or anything else in response to not being admitted. If it was a college high on your list, it’s even normal to feel some grief over the loss of an idea you had in your head about what your college experience was going to look and feel like.

 

But just remember, much like choosing someone to date or marry, you deserve to be at a college that is crazy about you and excited to have you as a member of their campus community. So while you pause to absorb the setback, I hope you can also open your mind to opportunities and possibilities about college experiences you might not have envisioned. I’m not someone who strongly subscribes to the idea that “everything happens for a reason,” but when it comes to college admissions, I’ve seen repeatedly that this cliché phrase rings true.

 

And if you are feeling especially upset over a rejection, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’ve experienced my own college rejections and I’m happy to talk about those (and how grateful I am that they happened!).

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