So You Received a Rejection Letter From School

Any way you put it, rejection hurts.

Whether you receive rejection from a sports team, a club, a date or school — it doesn’t feel good. In this case specifically, let’s focus on school rejection letters.

You’ve put a lot of time and effort into crafting your school applications with the anticipation of receiving acceptances. Even more, the anticipation of one school’s acceptance letter in particular. You’ve (possibly) toured the campus, you may have even purchased something with the school logo on it. But then “the worst” happens…you receive a rejection letter (or email). You likely get an unsettling feeling in your tummy, possibly a little teary-eyed and, well, you’re sad. Maybe you’re in complete despair and feel like your future is now unclear.

If this happens to you, don’t take it so hard. This is simply a minor setback, if that. Many people receive rejection letters to their top schools and still achieve success. It’s normal to be upset, however here are some tips to consider.

You are not alone

Just like the heading says, you are not alone. There are many other individuals who have received rejection letters to their dream school. Especially schools that only accept one or two students from certain schools or have very competitive requirements. Consider just how many students are applying to the same program you are, and how much space the school has. You are not the only one receiving a school rejection letter.

A rejection doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough

Not being accepted to a school does not in any way mean you are not good enough. Receiving a rejection letter to your dream school doesn’t even mean you aren’t qualified or that you wouldn’t succeed. Rather, it’s possible many highly qualified students applied for this school. In which case, school admission offices must consider something beyond just academic marks. Rather, they must consider extracurricular activities, volunteer or job experiences, etc.

[Read “6 Common IELTS mistakes and how to avoid them.”]

Don’t read into it

It’s important not to overthink your school rejection letter. Don’t wonder about what would happen if you had better marks or applied sooner. The “what-ifs” don’t matter because they’re in the past and you can’t change that, so why dwell on it? We’re sure you’ll find the perfect fit without changing anything about your application.

Acknowledge your acceptances (and be happy)

Forget about the rejection letter, think about your acceptances! This is an exciting time. Think about the positives and embrace those acceptance letters. Consider it this way — you have been accepted to certain schools other students were unable to get into. The school welcomes you to join — that’s an incredible accomplishment. Be proud!

Consider your options

To add onto the last point, consider your acceptances. You have much to choose from. No, it may not be number one on your list, however you did apply to them for a reason. Consider these other options and see which school best fits your wants and needs. Another consideration may even be to take a gap year. A gap year is when a student chooses to take a break between secondary and postsecondary education. This could be for various reasons including uncertainty, finances, and more. A gap year can be used to work, travel, take single courses, volunteer, etc. It can ultimately benefit you and your future. Finally, you may choose to apply for a different school at a later time. Options, options, options.

[If finances are stopping you from studying abroad, read “How to budget as an international student” for great tips!]

Parents: Be supportive and remain calm

Now, this one if for the parents, and we cannot stress this enough. Be supportive and remain calm. The last thing your child needs is for you to get upset over the rejection when they already are. What they need is for you to tell them it’s okay, and to focus on how exciting this time in life is. Added stress is absolutely unnecessary. The school does not determine the student’s future, rather the student determines it by using the proper resources and gaining knowledge.

Life goes on

Remember, life goes on. Put a time limit on your mourning and determine what your next steps will be. Will it be choosing another school? Taking a gap year? Re-applying in the next academic intake? You have many options to choose from and once it’s all said and done, you will look back and realize it all happened for a reason. If you’re thinking of other options, why not see which schools and programs meet all your wants and needs by using ApplyBoard‘s platform?