Today I got my first college rejection letter.
Everything was going great; I had heard back from six schools and hadn’t gotten rejected anywhere. But then I opened the email and read the five words no senior wants to see: “we regret to inform you.”
It wasn’t my top school, but nevertheless when I read it I was a little disappointed. I’m sure every senior applying to college can relate to what I’m feeling. It doesn’t matter whether we really want to go to the school or not, the word ‘no’ is a hard pill to swallow.
It’s like all those corny movies or TV shows when the guy says to the girl, “It’s not you, it’s me,” and then they awkwardly break up. Except this time it really is you. You’ve put everything out on the table for the college, spent months taking SATs and writing essays about your life, and then they decide that there’s still something missing. You show them your best and your best just isn’t good enough. That stings.
This is what I kept thinking to myself as I was eating ‘Coffee Toffee Crunch’ and binge-watching old TV shows. Then I suddenly realized that I had become a big ball of disgusting energy and that I needed to stop this pity-party so I could realize what’s really important.
Getting rejected from a college that I will probably forget all about in the next month or so is not what’s important. Getting accepted into all the colleges I applied to is not what’s important. But taking risks, that is what’s important. Nobody successful got to where they are today by playing it safe. Playing it safe is boring.
Chris Dixon, CEO of Hunch, said, “If you aren’t getting rejected on a daily basis, then your goals aren’t ambitious enough.”
I think that the worst thing someone can do is ignore an opportunity for greatness just because of fear of failure. When my family went skiing, my dad used to always say,”If you’re not falling, you’re not trying hard enough.”
So whether it’s trying out for a sports team or applying to a selective college, don’t let the fear of rejection stop you. If you continue to shoot for mediocrity, you will continue to live an average and comfortable life, and where’s the fun in that? Shoot for as high as you can go, and if you get rejected, well, that’s just a part of life.