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by Liz Jackson

The college application process can feel like an emotional rollercoaster, and one of its toughest components is getting disappointing news from a college you really hoped to attend. If that’s the situation you are facing now, know that you are not alone, and take a look below at some of Galin’s college counseling team’s best tips for what to do next:

  • As quickly as you can, try to shift the focus from the school where you weren’t admitted, to the ones where you were. If you had a balanced college list, then it’s likely you have several terrific options of schools that want to welcome you to their campuses, and that is a good thing!
  • Rejection is an inevitable part of life, and while it isn’t anyone’s favorite experience, it can be a tremendous opportunity for growth. One of my favorite resources is “Reflections on Rejections,” a publication from Harvard Bureau of Study Counsel which put together a series of essays from highly successful people, who describe a time they failed, and how it shaped their experience. Take a look here: https://successfailureproject.bsc.harvard.edu/files/success/files/reflections_on_rejections_2ed.pdf
  • You can cry, dramatically throw yourself down on your bed and wallow for up to 48 hours.  Two days max.  After that, it’s time to move on and begin getting excited about your other options. Be grateful for what choices you have.  And remember that, even though it feels personal, rejection isn’t personal. Decisions are shaped by institutional needs as much as other factors, and that is something totally out of your control. 
  • It can certainly feel a bit ego-bruising to receive a rejection notice from a college you’ve applied to. Maybe you even know of students from your school who were accepted, and secretly you think you’re a better student than them! Don’t try to second-guess your application, or the college’s decision. The college had its reasons, and now you’re free to pursue the doors that have opened up to you. If you pour your energy into the colleges that accepted you, within a few days you won’t even remember that other place. 


One thing we all agree is true: there are so many places where you can have a great college experience, and we are excited for you to take the next step in your educational journey!

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