Hey guys, It's Ivy here - or what is left of Ivy after the catastrophic event of finding three rejection letters in my portals after getting home from work. *Side Note: it's like these rejection letters have separation anxiety! I swear they always have to come together!* Anyways, all jokes aside, I would like to share some of my thoughts to the rest of you.
Survivors, if you've gotten into your dream school - great! I'm so happy for you! All of you are such hard-working and unique individuals. I'm sure schools have seen your drive and commitment through your scholarly achievements, extra-curriculars, personal essays, and/or other dedications you have made. Amongst what seems to be billions of applicants, you guys are the chosen ones, and I'm sure you deserve it! :)
Now, for those of us who did not get into our top choice of college, take a deep breath, cry or watch a movie, just let it out. I know how personal these rejection letter can feel, so I'm writing this mainly for you guys. College rejection sucks, I know. "Thank you for submitting..." "I regret to inform you..." "After careful consideration..." AH, these are like bullets to the heart! On the other hand, it's important for us to remember that nothing about college rejections is personal. Here's an article post I thought we should all read. It's written by a guy named Ben Jones who was the Director of Communications for the MIT Office of Admissions. Here's a glimpse of the article:
"I read about your triumphs, I read about your dreams, I read about the tragedies that define you. I read about your passions, your inventions, your obsession with video games, dance, Mozart, Monet... I read about your parents getting divorced, your house burning down, your girlfriend cheating on you...
I come home each night and tell my wife over dinner how lucky I am, because I never seem to pick boring applications out of the pile. In fact, I tell her, I'm inspired enough by the stories I read to think that the world might actually turn out to be okay after all.
In March I go into committee with my colleagues, having narrowed down my top picks to a few hundred people. My colleagues have all done the same. Then the numbers come in: this year's admit rate will be 13%. For every student you admit, you need to let go of seven others.
What? But I have so many who... But...
When it's all over, about 13% of my top picks are offered admission. I beg, I plead, I make ridiculous promises (just ask the senior staff) but at the end of the day, a committee decision is a committee decision...To the 87% of you who have shared your lives with us and trusted us with your stories over the last four months, please know that they meant something to me, and I won't forget you. When I say that I share the pain of these decisions with you, I'm not lying. I'm really not lying."
However meaningless the opinion of an admission officer might feel to you (I mean, he isn't the one who got rejected!), we should understand that rejections are never personal; college decisions in no way reflect how we are as people. Maybe we made an admission officer shred some tears during a family dinner because he/she likes us so much! Who knows! I think it's crucial that we don't lose perspective on things. We are still who we were before the rejection letters came in. We are still able to accomplish whatever our heart desires. Here's a quote I stole from Reddit which origins from the movie Ratatouille, "Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere."
One thing I hold true to my heart is that, personally, I see colleges as big fat hammers. Yes, some hammers are more well-done than others. Yet, what matters more is the person using that hammer. Most people in the world don't even know how to hold their hammer correctly, and most people in the world never use their hammer to the full potential. Also, an important consideration of colleges is about fit; a great hammer for another person may plainly create scratches and bruises on your hands. Maybe you didn't get into your dream college, so what? Everything passes through, and this rejection will just be a tiny sentence in the novel of your life.
Aye, so, guys, go chase after your passions and dreams. College is only a tool we can use in our lives after all (If you're still bitter, go do great things and prove those colleges wrong haha).
P.S. Isn't one of the main strengths of Breakthrough the way it teaches us how to succeed in life regardless of where we end up in college? Let's use that to the full potential!
Ivy Chung is a student at Breakthrough who took a gap year after her senior year, She had the unique pleasure of going through undergrad admissions twice. In her spare time she dedicates herself to working, learning, and having fun,