From Disappointment to Optimism: Why Rejection Can Be A Good Thing

Academic Life

It’s that time of the year again y’all: it’s rejection season. It’s the time of year when people are hearing back from colleges, institutions, and internships they’ve applied to and may or may not be getting news worth sharing on Facebook. Rejection happens at any time and to everybody, but for many people this time of year in particular consists of back to back “no’s” from many different sources, and because it all happens in such a short span of time it’s one of the most discouraging things in the world. You start to wonder what’s wrong with you and blame yourself for every little mistake you’ve made that could or could not have contributed to your rejection; I’ve been there. I’ve felt like every effort I ever made turned out to be for nothing and I’ve felt like no matter how hard I push myself I wasn’t good enough, yet in changing my outlook on these significant moments I realize just how grateful I am for having been denied certain job positions or opportunities.

When Things Don’t Go As Planned…

Breathe. It is not the end of the world. Now breathe deeper. Remember that you have been in this position before: you have felt the whole world’s weight on your shoulders and yet you’re still here today, pushing through just as whole as you’ve always been. Breathe. It’s okay to feel the way that you’re feeling right now, whether that is angry or sad or panicked, and it’s also okay to just not feel anything at all. Plenty of times you’ve beat yourself up over a mistake or felt hurt by the words of others, but just as you wouldn’t yell at a child you shouldn’t punish yourself for things outside your control. Allow yourself to fully feel the world outside of you and the emotions within you, but be aware of how you choose to react to people and circumstances when you’re experiencing such a wide range of emotions. This will pass and tomorrow will bring new opportunities, but for now focus on seeing this change of course through a different perspective.

There’s Something Better in Store…

Most of the times I’ve had a door shut right in front of my face just to have another one open up and exposing better path with a brighter outcome. It’s so easy to get tunnel vision when chasing after a dream that we completely forget there are other ways of achieving it, or even just a different result altogether. Trust the process and know that you’ll get to where you need to be eventually even if it’s not what you had in mind. Have hope that there is something better coming along that will lift you up from the disappointment you feel right now. If you don’t achieve the objective we deserve it’s because you might have been potentially settling for less, so keep your head up and your arms out ready to receive the blessing that’s about to come along.

It Wasn’t Meant to Be…

Don’t look at a rejection as a reflection of your skills and competence; instead think about how that opportunity’s role fits into the scheme of your own life. No matter how bad you want something it isn’t always in your best interest that it comes true: maybe the timing just isn’t right or you needed to mature more career-wise. Maybe you weren’t ready for the aftermath that would’ve come with your goals or for the responsibilities that that the role you were aiming for entailed, and this was life’s way of giving you more time to think your decisions through and gain more life experience. Another option to consider is that maybe it just really wasn’t meant for you. Just like with friendships and relationships you shouldn’t force things that are not supposed to be in your future. Like I said, it’s not because you weren’t worthy but because you were meant for something different, and that’s not bad. Take it as a sign and keep hustling because eventually you will stumble upon the path that’s meant for you and you’ll be grateful that you did.

It’s A Learning Experience

Whether it was a bad interview or a mediocre essay you now have a new objective: to improve. Learn from your mistakes and take action on whatever needs enhancements because doing the same old thing will more than likely get you the same old “no“. This is your chance to reflect on the steps you’re taking that will lead you to your goals and execute a better plan to following them. Did you miss something? Did you only give half the effort? Did you not do enough research? You might not be in full control of the future but you’re in control of today and the actions you take that will form tomorrow.

Drop a comment below if you think I missed anything! How do you cope with rejection? I want to hear from y’all!


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