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How to Bounce Back and Move Forward When You Get Rejected from College



In high school, you worked really hard to take the hardest classes you could. You stayed up late to maintain your high GPA. You spent months studying for the SATs and ACTs and engaging in activities that were meaningful to you. But then, the college acceptance letters came in and you were rejected from the college you most wanted to attend. Perhaps you were denied by more than one college.

It feels like a huge blow to your self-confidence. You may feel dejected or embarrassed about not being accepted, especially if your peers were accepted. It's important to remember that there is a college for everyone and being denied from a college is not a reflection of you and your potential. Here are some ways to bounce back and move forward when you get rejected from college.


Take time to be upset

The process of getting rejected from college can be devastating. You need to give yourself time to grieve the loss. It's natural to feel disappointed, frustrated, or angry. You may also feel like you are not good enough and that you are a failure. Accepting those feelings is important.

It's okay to take some time to allow yourself time to be upset about the situation. You can talk to your family or friends about it. If you don’t feel like talking to others, perhaps try writing your thoughts and feelings down. Many people find that journaling can help with the grieving process because it allows them an outlet for their emotions and thoughts without anyone judging them.


Do something that makes you feel good

As hard as it is to get rejected from a college you wanted, you have to keep in mind that there are plenty of other colleges out there. After taking time to be upset, take the first step forward by engaging or indulging in some activities that make you feel good and distract your mind from the pain of being denied by a college. Here are some ideas:

- Make yourself an ice cream sundae

- Watch a comedy on Netflix

- Sing your favorite song

- Spend time with friends


Maintain your grades and activities

Just because you didn't get accepted to the college of your choice doesn't mean that you should stop trying. In fact, it's important to keep pushing yourself and strive for excellence in all areas, especially if you may want to apply as a transfer student to your dream college in the future.

Keep up your grades. I know that it can be especially hard as senioritis sets in, but if you want to give yourself as many options for the future, try to strengthen your high school transcript as much as possible, since it’ll still be required if applying to transfer to your dream college in the future.

In addition to strengthening your academics, continue engaging in the activities that mean most to you. Pursuing these activities can not only help increase your self-confidence and sense of purpose, but can also be included in future applications.


Focus on colleges that want you

It's important to remember that not all colleges are the right fit for you. You want to pick and attend a school in which you’ll have opportunities to thrive both in the classroom and outside of it. More importantly, you want to pick a school that wants you and is excited to have you in their community. Research your options and consider how you might be happy at each of them. If you don’t have enough options, consider applying to colleges that have rolling deadlines.

College admissions is often the first major disappointment students face in their lives. While it can seem incredibly difficult to handle the results right now, know that this will also pass. You will still be successful in life – just like the many other successful people in the world who were also denied by their top schools. This is but a blip in the awesome life you have ahead of you.


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