By Kevin Coleman
Rejection: the most common of human fears, but also an essential lesson in the human experience. As senior year draws to a close, graduates have already applied to their desired colleges and waited eagerly for the impending response. For some, the content of the letter that arrived in response induced euphoric joy while for others, it caused sickening dismay. We all can imagine how great the person who got in to the school of their choice must have felt, but no one really wants to hear about that exaggerated bundle of joy. My interest is in exploring the other kind of letter received by hopeful high school graduates, the one followed by tears, disappointment and an unanticipated change in direction.
Rejection can be extremely depressing, especially from such a life determining institution like a university. Many people take this type of rejection to heart, but if you think about the logistics of the admission process, you may be fully qualified but lack a certain quality desired by the university to maintain their blend of equality. For example, many schools take pride in the variety of ethnicities, religions and cultural backgrounds that make up their student body. A middle-class Caucasian in America is extremely common and adds less ethnic spice to add to the college melting pot.
Play the victim and you will always be the victim. Occasionally it may be justified, but blaming your shortcomings on something out of your control, like your race or ethnicity, is a reactive way to face failure. Being rejected from college should not lead you to believe you do not have what it takes, as every rejection is situational. It all depends on a bunch of different things that you will never know and maybe cannot comprehend. When life has you down, get back up. It may be easier said than done, but the sooner you stop hanging your head, the sooner you can notice the roses in life.
So you did not make it into the college of your choice. Maybe you did not make into a university at all. So what? You can always attend community college. Think about all the money you would end up saving and all the learning you would get out of the way. Sure the overly appealing social atmosphere of college would be a suitable way to spend the next few years, but who needs it? That rejection letter was a blessing in disguise, and you just have not realized it yet. Take the time to think, not learn; think. Actually put some serious thought to what makes you happy in life and aim towards accomplishing that happiness.
Plenty of students advance to higher education without thinking twice. This is wise for those who can afford it, but for the lower income Americans, college is not the same secret to success that it used to be. The bar has been raised since the twentieth century, and now globalization and gender equality make the work force much more competitive than it was fifty years ago. All these and a collection of other factors should encourage you to take some time before making a serious financial commitment and reevaluate your life.
Rejection is awful, but as night is to day, the universe is comprised of its many opposites. Do not respond to rejection as if you have been rejected, surrender to that which exists and move on. It sounds silly, and maybe it is, but as soon as you realize that your heart is still beating and that the world is still spinning despite whatever life shattering rejection you have encountered, joy begins to emerge. If you look at every bad thing that happens to you in life as a plot twist in the film that is your life, soon enough you will see the glorious & spontaneous nature of existence and move past whatever trivial setback that had you down.