As college decisions are released, many applicants who have spent months, if not years, preparing for this moment, may experience a range of emotions. This season of rolling decisions can be a particularly challenging time for applicants who may not have received the news they were hoping for from their top-choice schools. Upon receiving a rejection letter, feeling disappointed is understandable. However, rejection has a way of redirecting us, ultimately improving our lives for the better.
Application inflation has been prevalent in recent years as colleges have seen a rise in the number of applicants, a trend expected to continue in the upcoming years. According to Common App reports, the proportion of students applying to more than 10 colleges has nearly doubled from 8% to 17% between 2014 and 2022. Additionally, for the second straight year, the University of California received a record-breaking number of applications in 2022. Despite a 2.2% decline in applicants for the 2023 admission cycle, the competition for seats remains intense.
Each applicant usually has their mind set on a certain pathway. Sometimes, that pathway is not meant to be. We may find ourselves holding onto beliefs about what we think we need in order to be happy, successful, or fulfilled. If necessary, applicants may find acknowledging that these ideas may not be serving them in the way they had hoped can be a liberating experience. In fact, they may be holding them back from experiencing the full range of possibilities and opportunities that life has to offer.
By letting go of our conceived notions about what is best for us, we open ourselves to the natural unfolding of events in the present moment. We can learn to accept and embrace our current circumstances, recognizing that they are not obstacles to overcome, but rather opportunities for growth. Furthermore, we can assert the view that we are exactly where we should be, and that in due course, we will find ourselves in a place we are meant to be.
Adopting the mindset that "rejection is redirection" helps in viewing the experience as an opportunity rather than a loss. Although rejection may seem like a negative experience, the ultimate outcome of this encounter can have a positive impact on our lives. Such an experience can teach us valuable lessons, redirect us towards better paths, and ultimately makes us stronger. The next time you encounter rejection, use the experience as an opportunity for self-improvement and keep in mind greater happenings are on the horizon.