On College Rejection

E. Barrett '18, Editor

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I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, to the point where, when I die, I fully expect my epitaph to be embossed that exact cliche. And I believe that whatever puts me under that tombstone will have happened for a reason as well. However, this outlook is sometimes difficult to have, as is the case with my recent college denial. Since I was little I have pictured myself at Brown University, and as of 6:00 on December 14th, that dream died and was buried under a toumbstone saying “Everything Happens for a Reason 10/26/200 – 12/14/2017”. This is something I’m handling surprisingly well. There are a million and a half reasons why I would love attending Brown, but as I take a step back I can see that it’s possible those dreams might not have been everything I need. That being said, I cannot deny that those dreams also might have been fulfilled. But that’s the point. I cannot foretell the future, nor can you. In theory, I could have gone to Brown university, paid an exorbitant amount of money, and had a fantastic time. But it’s possible I would be missing something or someone I need in order to move my life along and find what I am fated to do. Maybe I would be missing the chance to be a part of something fantastic, like a play that will change my life. It’s possible I would miss meeting the person who wants to finance my writing in a Romanesque style (For those of you who are unaware, roman poets would be paid by rich and fancy sponsor so writing could be their main occupation). My point in writing this article is not, however, to inform you of Roman writing practices. It’s merely to suggest a train of thought which I think might benefit others to read as much as it benefits me to write.

Part of me expected that after my foreshadowed denial I would be crushed. I would think that the world had ended and I would never want to speak the words “Brown University” again; however, I’m finding myself in the exact opposite situation. I want to talk about my rejection. I want to give my rejection purpose. I want to stand on top of Nardin Academy and scream to all of my classmates that “I WAS REJECTED FROM MY TOP CHOICE COLLEGE AND IT IS PERFECTLY OKAY!” And honestly, if I knew how to get onto the roof I might consider that exact possibility. I think this article is important for me to write because, in the Nardin culture, we’re expected to surpass greatness. But sometimes, it’s not only good but necessary to experience mediocrity. I did not get into one of the best colleges in the country. And that’s what we’re told we go to Nardin for. But maybe it’s not. Maybe there’s a greater purpose, and it might not be obvious right now as we all see rejections as well as acceptances roll in. I’ve decided in this process I won’t be looking to other students for validation, and comparing myself to others at this point is only unhealthy. So this is my suggestion to anyone reading this; focus on you. I know this is easier said than done, but it’s with a shot. And even though this isn’t what we like to talk about here at the Academy, people get rejected! And it sucks! But it’s also so perfectly human and okay. And yes maybe you were rejected from the University of Wherever, but Emma Barrett was rejected from Brown and so-and-so was rejected from somewhere too! You’re not alone in this, and I hope in someway I can make college rejection easier for myself and others by talking about it.

       In finality, it’s possible you just received a rejection that you might not have handled in stride. Honestly, I struggle to understand how I haven’t lost all of the sanity I have left.  But that’s okay. Another slogan I live by is that problems are relative. This might very well be the worst thing that has ever happened to you, even though it wouldn’t be the worst thing happening to someone else. You’re allowed to experience the sadness and confusion we’re all subject to at some time or another. You’re not alone. Everyone gets rejected, and quite honestly I experienced a heartbreaking rejection earlier this year. Regardless, it took me a long time to get over it. I still might not even be over it. But time heals, even when it needs a LOT of time. In this moment, try to believe in fate as much as you can, because sometimes a belief in fate or a superior being can be an amazing crutch when we need it. And there’s no shame in using a crutch when a part of you is broken, even if the break isn’t literal.

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