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The Gaucho Gazette

Rejection

Annie Gallo

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Someday in the coming months when the mail arrives, or when you receive a notification on your phone, or when your friend excitedly announces that decisions for a university are out and accessible, you will hurriedly open that envelope or web portal only to find some disappointing news: you were rejected.

Well, maybe not for a select few seniors, but for the rest of us it’s just a part of the process. Yet, each year more and more high school seniors feel as if getting rejected represents some sort of failure on their behalf; it feels like a slap in the face to the years of hard work and effort that goes into maintaining good grades, extracurriculars, and community service essential for college consideration. Rejection stings, and it feels like a comment not only on your worthiness as a college student, but as a person. Here you are, pouring your life story into essays and recounting every accomplishment or act of service you’ve ever done, and you still fail to make the cut. But I’m here to tell you something shocking — something that might change your life.

Rejection sucks. I can’t sugarcoat not getting into your dream college. At the time of this opinion I have yet to be rejected from any colleges, but I know I will be. And that’s at the core of my message for my fellow seniors: rejection is inevitable! It will happen to you countless times throughout your life — in jobs, in relationships, in business ventures — and it’s unavoidable. Even the most driven and persistent among us can’t escape it forever.

In regards to college rejections specifically, the relative subjectivity of the admissions process coupled with overqualified applicant pools means that universities could potentially have picked an entirely different freshman class of similarly qualified applicants. Rejection in this case is just proof of a widespread, extremely competitive college mindset which results in a cutthroat race for acceptances to top colleges and institutions. This pervasive notion of “the best or bust” isn’t always the key to success, however. CEOs of Fortune 500 companies attended over 220 different colleges; while several went to prestigious Ivies and private colleges, many others attended universities not typically associated with success. For example, the top company in the Fortune 500 (Walmart) is helmed by Doug McMillon, who attended the University of Arkansas for his undergraduate education. Only 30% of those in the Fortune 500 attended elite colleges, illustrating the idea that college — and life — is what you make of it.

No matter where we end up, college can offer some of the best educational experiences of our lives. But I firmly believe that more important than the college you attend is your ability to seize the opportunities given to you. A college rejection shouldn’t determine your view of yourself, and it shouldn’t limit your capability of taking advantage of a fabulous education at a different university. Whatever your path, college (or no college!) is only a small part of your life; it has the potential to be amazing or lackluster, depending on your approach.

Good luck, class of 2017!

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Rejection