Written by Elizabeth Fu
If you are a high school senior, have been a high school senior, or have been around high school seniors, you know the hectic emotional rollercoaster of college applications. For some high schoolers, college is the end goal. Applications can be overwhelming and it’s easy to get tunnel vision on a specific school and envision your next four years there. Recently, many decisions from the early application round have been released. But for every celebration and acceptance, there is a letter of rejection.
Rejection is an inevitable part of the human experience. Rejection takes many forms ranging from everyday occurrences to large-scale events. While rejection at the moment can often feel world-ending, rejection of all forms happens all the time to everyone and doesn’t determine your personal worth.
Responding to Rejection in a Healthy Way
Of course, rejection is a painful experience. Moving on with your life after a major rejection can be very difficult. Here are some tips for dealing with rejection:
Be Honest with Yourself: Acknowledge your rejection and how you feel. Don’t try to suppress your emotions or downplay how they are affecting you. Find a healthy way to express your emotions, which includes telling someone you trust how you’re feeling or performing self-reflection through journaling. In order to move on, you must identify and acknowledge your feelings to be able to process them.
Be Positive: It’s easy to dwell on negatives after rejection, but instead focus on the positives. Think positively and approach the rejection with a “glass half full” mindset. Don’t spend too much time focusing on the negatives of the rejection. Lingering on negatives will prevent you from moving on from rejection. Additionally, focusing on negatives may cause you to develop a victimized mindset, that places the blame of rejection solely onto circumstances. This mindset will prevent you from being able to improve, learn, and move on from rejection.
Remember the Whole Picture: Don’t let rejection influence your self-worth. Look back on all of your achievements to remind yourself that this one rejection does not define you. Additionally, remember that everyone gets rejected sometimes, and your own rejection does not make you less than anyone else.
Use Rejection for Self Improvement: Rejection is a great opportunity to identify areas you need to work on. Use this information to improve yourself and prepare yourself to continue forward after rejection.
Additionally, there are many ways one can take their mind off rejection such as:
Engage in your hobbies: Do activities that bring you joy and relaxation. This can include things like exercise, reading, listening to music, or spending time with loved ones. These activities can help to lift your mood and provide a sense of accomplishment.
Seek support from others: Talking to friends and family about your feelings of rejection can provide a sense of validation and understanding. They can offer words of encouragement and remind you of your strengths and accomplishments.
It is important to remember that rejection is a normal part of life. Everyone experiences rejection at some point, and it is not unique to you. Keep your mind open and remember that rejection often leads to new opportunities. One door may close, but another may open.
Rejection is a difficult and painful experience, but it does not define who you are as a person. By practicing self-care and seeking support from others, you can manage the feelings of rejection and move forward with hope and resilience. Rejection is a normal part of life, and sometimes it leads to new and better opportunities. Most importantly, remember never to give up.