How to Survive Getting Rejected by Your First Choice College

British Council

Not getting into your first choice school can be a huge bummer. You’ve worked so hard to achieve your goals in school, and not getting into your dream college can make it all feel like a wasted effort. However, just because you didn’t make it in this time doesn’t mean that all your hard work hasn’t made a difference. Wherever you end up going to school, you’ll be able to take the drive and initiative you showed in pursuing your top choice and apply to other opportunities.

Realize It’s Not About You

The most important thing to understand about college rejections is that it’s not personal. Thousands of kids apply to schools every year and are rejected for many reasons that have nothing to do with their grade point average or how hard they worked. Especially when it comes to top tier schools like Hofstra University, there are many factors that go into the decision. Colleges operate on a political basis, and a lot of times it’s simply the luck of the draw. Not getting into your dream school doesn’t mean you’re not worthy, or that you won’t have better luck next time.

Make New Plans

It’s okay to feel sad about not getting into your top pick, but it also helps to be realistic about your future plans. Chances are that you’ve applied to more than one school that you’re really excited about. Try and think about the positive aspects of other schools that you might have missed out on had you gone to your first choice. If you allow yourself to see the benefits of your second or third choices, you might realize that those schools are actually a better fit after all.

Think Big

In the grand scheme of things, where you go to college is less important than what you make of your time there. If you’re someone who’s passionate about learning, focused, and intensely goal-oriented, you’re going to get a lot out of whatever school you attend. If you’re someone who is curious and driven, you’ll find something to get excited about in any number of other schools, whether they were your first choice or not. It’s all about perspective, and allowing yourself to see that you have options goes a long way toward getting over this first loss.

Realize It’s Going to Be Okay

It might sound clichéd, but it really is going to be okay. Even if you end up going to your second choice and still wishing you could have attended your first, there will be plenty of time to apply for a transfer later on. It’s also possible that you’ll end up really loving your second choice school. The important thing to remember is that you don’t know yet. Only time will tell, and if you give your other choices the benefit of the doubt, they might just end up surprising you.

Sarah Harris

Sarah Harris: A passionate educator dedicated to inspiring learning through creativity and technology. Making education engaging and accessible for all.

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