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Service Journalism: How to deal with college rejections

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When March comes around, many seniors will receive decision letters from colleges all over the country. Throughout this time, you will get either letters of acceptance, waitlist, or rejection. When you get a rejection letter, often you have no idea how to react. Here are some ideas on how to deal with receiving college rejection letters.

Take time to get away from it all

Receiving a rejection email from a college for the first time will make you feel bad. You will experience a wave of different emotions, ranging from anger to sadness. Often many have no idea how to handle the news.

The best thing to do in times like this is to take a break. Do activities that will get your mind away from thinking about college. For example, listen to music, go out with friends, write, or even sleep are good ways of releasing the wave of emotions. It is a way to relax your mind from the negative energy of college rejections.

It is okay to feel bad

When you get disappointed by the final decision, either rejected or waitlisted, from a college, feeling heartbreak and sadness is common. “It’s perfectly natural to feel bad,” according to“Take a little time to feel disappointed about not getting into your most-desired school(s).”  

Although it is good to have a little time to yourself; however, College Confidential also suggests that you cannot dwell on the decision too much. Developing an obsession and sense of hate towards a school because they rejected or waitlisted you, will not improve the situation. In fact, it makes you look selfish and self-centered.

Rejections happen all the time

Put yourself into the mind of an admissions officer. You have to read thousands of admissions applications from students all over the country and be critical with your selections, knowing that there is a limited number of students that you can pick.    

High school seniors have to understand that colleges cannot accept everyone and  rejection letters as a result of this. Maybe you had everything they were looking for in terms of grades, extracurriculars, and test scores; however, you have to understand that they simply might have not had enough room for you. You are not the only one who got rejected.

According to, Stanford University rejected over 95 percent of their applicants last year. By knowing that you are not the only one with a good profile that has been rejected, you can develop a better understanding of why you got rejected: there is simply not enough room or you were not the right fit from the eyes of admissions officers.

Sometimes you aren’t going to go where you want to go

When you get rejected or waitlisted by your top-choice school, understand that you will not always go where you dreamed to be. Many select colleges based on three categories: safety schools (schools that you know will accept you), 50/50 schools (schools where you have a 50 percent chance of acceptance, and a 50 percent chance of rejection), and reach schools (schools where you have a low chance of acceptance).

If you get rejected by one of your top schools, realize that you are encouraged to a variety of different colleges in event that a situation like that happens. It is okay to go to a community college, a California State University (CSU), a University of California (UC) school, or a private school. In the end, the one thing you are getting in all cases is a good education. Don’t be afraid to go to a college that you never planned on going to. You never know, you might have a great experience.

Accept it and move on

Just like dealing with rejections with relationships in real life, sometimes you have to accept the reality and move on. Rather than overthinking about the negative, focus on the positive. Celebrate those college acceptance letters you have already received. Feel good about yourself and be proud of your accomplishments.    

Realize that getting into any college is hard enough, regardless of merit. Be glad that you are getting a good education and move on. Don’t think about the past, think about your future. It does not matter whether or not you get accepted or rejected by a college, in the end, it’s about what you do to get that degree and succeed in the future.

About the Writer
Devin Whatley, Social Media Director

Grade: 12

Most passionate about: My hair and posting some A1 content on social media

Teletubby that relates to you most: Tinky Winky


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