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Rejected by Your Dream School

DormEssentials January 6, 2019
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You’ve had your mind set since childhood. It is the school your parents and grandparents and great-grandparents went to. You were practically raised wearing the team colors, and you had envisioned where you’d live, what you’d study, and who else from your high school you’d see there. But you got rejected by your dream school.

First thing, before you let go of your dream school, make sure to look into their appeals process. Make sure you have conveyed how much this school means to you, and how you are confident that you would attend if accepted—and not just dedicated in the way that you are with every school you applied to, but this school in particular. Put in the extra effort to demonstrate how much that program in particular means to you, and do so by expressing why that college of all colleges is the one for you.

But if appeals don’t turn out favorably (which in most cases, will happen), face it—you will be attending another school. Well, it’s tough, but you still have a lot to look forward to regardless. If anything, this is a time for self-reflection and an opportunity for some growth. You may even find that a few other schools you applied to accepted you.

Why were you tied to one school in particular? It is not a bad thing to be selective or to have high hopes, but were you expecting a life to come with your attendance at this particular university? Were you maybe channeling your anxiety about the uncertainty of your future by micro-planning what each step of your life was going to look like? Were you trying to give yourself a sense of expectation because you are concerned with trying new things? In any case, question why you feel the way you feel.

You are eventually going to have to overcome the fact that you will not be attending your top choice in the fall, so maybe take the time now to learn about yourself as you enter this next stage in your life. Word to the wise: getting to know yourself as you are exposed to new situations will be the norm for the next several years, and getting a head start on learning to adapt to unexpected circumstances will make you much happier in the long run. Life from here on out will start hitting you with the unexpected, and it’s going to be the type of changes that will change the course of your own destiny forever.

So, start looking forward. Where did you get accepted? What are the great things about these places? Learn more about them. Get excited. It is hard to believe that each and every school where you were accepted is not someone’s dream school. Why did they love it so much? Take the time to appreciate it all. Learn how to make the best of the situation at hand.

And, more-so, be open-minded: you are going to learn a lot, meet lots of people, and have plenty of opportunity anywhere you go. Try new things. Explore new places. Discover more about yourself. In a few months from now, once you are situated around friends at your university, or taking a moment away from your studies to reflect, you will probably laugh at the situation—“remember when I wanted to go somewhere else?”

In the next four years you will be exposed to many people and ideas and experiences that will shape you and your future ambitions. Maybe you will discover a career field you had never considered. Maybe you will meet the love of your life. Maybe you will make life-long friendships which you could not imagine living without. The point being: look forward to the place you go and put your energy into making the best of it. What you get out of the college experience will be a factor of what you put in- regardless of where you go.

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