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College Corner: Rejection letters

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Your heart races as you scan through the maze of words searching for the answer to your college fate. Then you see them, those awful words, “We regret to inform you . . .” Life stops for a moment as you are hit with the shock of rejection. It doesn’t matter how confident you were that you would be accepted, rejection is still difficult to process.

However, the encouraging news is you are not alone. Getting into college is harder than ever and schools all over the country sent out thousands of rejection letters just like yours to equally qualified students.

Your initial reaction may be to question your admissions essay, test scores and GPA, but in reality these may not be the reason for rejection. National Association for College´┐╝ Admission Counseling published an article that goes on to explain that seniors are applying to the same 25 to 30 schools due to their popularity and accessibility of online applications.

“It’s not about merit, but math, experts say. The number of students who applied to seven or more schools has risen steadily during the past 20 years, reaching 29 percent in 2011. In 2000 the number was 13 percent. In 1991 it was 8 percent,” according to the National Association for College´┐╝ Admission Counseling.

Although these statistics may provide some ease in coping, receiving a rejection letter is never easy. Understand that you have a right to be upset and deal with these emotions before moving on. Give yourself a few days to refocus your thoughts on the next steps in this process. What colleges were you accepted to? Start weighing out your other choices to see which campus will be the best fit for you. If you were not accepted to any colleges you will need to research the available options (small liberal arts college, community college, etc.).

I am a firm believer that the Lord places us where we need to be, which is not always the place we had in mind. Although students often get rejected to their first-choice school, the vast majority end up loving the college they end up at. The Huffington Post also gives encouragement to students who don’t end up at their dream school

“Your dream school may be the most prestigious on your list (and the most fun to name-drop), but that doesn’t mean it’s where you’ll be happiest,” the Huffington Post reported.

Sometimes students set their sites on a dream college because of its reputation and don’t consider all the little things that make for a great college experience.

Another important lesson to take away from this experience is how you deal with rejection. Is it something that weakens your spirit or do you allow it to mold your character? This reminds me of the following verse:

“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,” (Romans 5:3-4). This setback is going to define you into the person you become.

Any successful person you can think of had to overcome significant failures and rejection to get where they are today. “J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was reportedly rejected 12 times before becoming the best-selling book series in history,” The Huffington Post reported. If she had given up after the first failure think of everything she would have missed out on.

My hope is that you can take comfort in the hope of what the Lord has in store for your life and know that there is more than one road to success. Just because you are not going down the path you had planned for yourself does not make the one you will take is any less valuable. Make the most of the opportunities that come your way and be confident in the gifts and abilities you possess.

This concludes the College Corner Column for the Class of 2013. You are amazing and I have been blessed by my interactions with each one of you. Great adventures are in store for you.

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the April 19 article, Tower Classic Car Show provides flashback to past. For the previous College Corner, read the March 20 article, College Corner: Choosing the right college.

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