Dealing with the College Rejection Letter

JMJ133  *Rejection while in high school can be especially hard.  It may be one of the first times that a young person puts themselves out there, presenting their unique and personal self to the “dream school” of their choosing, only to find out that they were not among the selected.  At the very least, a rejection letter is disappointing.

Ring the School Bell 133/180 Days

Today, Sabrina found out that she was not among the chosen, not to be a UCLA Bruin.  Previously, she had received a rejection from their music department, and now their College of Letters and Science was also informing her that basically they did not choose her to be in the freshman class.

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With a California resident freshman admit rate of approximately only 15%, it felt more like a lottery to get in, so Sabrina took it reasonably well.

Rejection while in high school can be especially hard.  It may be one of the first times that a young person puts themselves out there, presenting their unique and and personal self, to the “dream school” of their choosing, only to find out that they were not among the selected. At the very least, a rejection letter is disappointing.

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Sabrina summed up her reaction with these words, “I am okay, but it would have been nice for my self-esteem to be admitted.”

Thankfully the eggs were not all in that one basket; we applied to several other institutions.

A few things to remind your teens, if they receive that dreaded rejection letter…

  • It is perfectly normal to be upset.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  It is okay to be upset a bit, but then move on.
  • Your application may be stellar, but to think that a university can accept all of the stellar applications that they receive is unrealistic.  Not getting accepted does not necessarily mean that you wouldn’t have thrived there academically.  There may simply not be enough room for all of the highly-qualified applicants.  And don’t think for one minute, that you are the only one getting rejected!
  • Think about each of the schools that you have applied to.  There must be something special and unique about each school, otherwise, chances are that you wouldn’t have applied to that school.  When talking to friends or posting on social media, discuss what you like about each school.  That way, if you are like most of us and receive a rejection letter or two, you can focus on the positive.
  • Remember that those who truly care about you, will support you wherever you end up going to university.  Also, future employers may not really care too much whether you graduated from school “A”, “B” or “C”.
  • Whatever university you end up at, you have the choice of making those years in college some of the best years of your life.  Get involved, be a school ambassador, volunteer at the food pantry, join a sport, a bible study, or the Disney club.  Make memories that will last a lifetime, wherever you end up going.
  • One last piece of advice.  Celebrate your acceptance letters instead of dwelling on the rejection letters!

Some advice for you, the parent…

  • Remain calm.  Do not overreact to the rejection letter.  It does not help the situation to go ballistic in front of your teen!  Be there for your child and reassure them that this is not the end of the world.  This is what they need from you, the parent.
  • Be a good listener and allow the child to be upset.  Sabrina, my daughter, was so distraught at one point, that to deal with it, she had to be reassured that there might be a possibility in the future to transfer to her top choice.  Of course, she ended up ultimately loving the university she ended up at, and never even brought up the option of transferring after the first couple of semesters.
  • Focus on the fact that this is such an exciting time in your child’s life.  They have their whole future ahead of them, and many adventures await them right around the bend.

Okay, I will say it.  There is also the possibility that your child will not get admitted to any schools they applied to.  Life is not over, even still!  There are many other options to consider.  Emphasize to your child that they are still in control of their future.  One great option is community college, a place to work on general education credits, until transferring to a university.  Trade school, internships, a gap year, travel might all be possibilities to move forward on their grand adventure of life!

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** Note to the Reader- Today’s narrative is an excerpt of our family’s school journey from a few years ago, during my eldest daughter’s senior year in high school, a rather emotional year, with its many ups and downs.

May God shower blessings on your family as he has on mine.    Annette

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Sarah

 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. I enjoyed the post. We had just the opposite problems he need to choose from the college he got accepted too. We discussed size & curriculum to make a finale choice

    1. Annette Marie says:

      That’s great! What an exciting time for your son. Best wishes to you all!

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