Expect the Unexpected

by Rachel Klein

The feeling of rejection is already painful as is, but becomes so much worse when it’s unexpected. The college application process is possibly one of the most degrading experiences that teenagers have to go through, but for most it is rewarding in the end. However, this does not change the fact that you may not have gotten into your first choice, or even your second. Yes, this hurts but that’s why our first choices are sometimes called ‘reach schools.’ This essentially means that you can only get in if you started a multi-million dollar company when you were 15, saved a third world country at 16, or your last name is on a residence hall. At least that’s what it seems like.

Getting rejected from these prestigious schools does feel like a punch in the face, but also isn’t completely unexpected. What’s unexpected is getting rejected from a safety school, not getting any scholarship money or financial aid, or not getting into your preferred program of interest. It’s hard to understand why something like this would happen, and it’s difficult to accept that you won’t be going where you had been imagining yourself going.

In my case, I got into my dream school. I was so excited for approximately five seconds until I realized I had gotten into my second choice of campus, when the main campus was one of the most appealing aspects of the school. My excitement quickly became disappointment, then sadness, then anger, and any other emotion you feel in the five stages of grief. I didn’t want to go to that campus, so it felt like my acceptance turned into a rejection. I didn’t expect to get in at all, but it hurt knowing that I got so close but couldn’t quite get there.

When something like this happens, it feels like your world is crashing down around you but in reality it’s not. It’s important to remember that you can be happy wherever you end up, and that your college experience is what you make of it. Although the application process was nothing short of brutal at times, I found my way through it and I have a feeling I’m going to love college, although I’m not going where I thought I’d be.