I have to be honest. I’ve gone back and forth about writing on this topic because it was and perhaps kind of still is a vulnerable spot in my life. After a few weeks of hesitation, I’ve decided to write this post in hopes that it might help someone else who is currently or will later experience something similar.
Rejection is like getting slapped in the face by someone you care about. Initially, you are so startled that you are unable to feel the pain slowly surfacing. Sometimes, you anticipate it coming, while other times you don’t. Regardless, it almost always takes you by surprise once it happens. The difference between getting slapped in the face and rejection is that the pain from a slap eventually fades away. Rejection is a different story. The pain from rejection stays within you for as long as you let it. (If you are wondering, I have never gotten slapped in the face, haha! I can only imagine.) Of course, there are situations when we are in the receiving end of a “no” that do not take an emotional toll on us. I’m not talking about the times when we ask our moms to buy us the cutest pair of shoes, and she says that she’ll think about it… AKA no. The rejection that I am talking about is when we are dismissed by someone or something that we invested a lot of time in or worked hard towards. In my case, it was a university.
As evident by my collection of planners since elementary school, I enjoy planning out my week and setting goals. Once I set my mind to accomplishing something, I will do everything I can to achieve it. When my high school counselors and teachers encouraged us to set some goals for ourselves, I didn’t just jot down: graduate high school. I also determined the university I wanted to attend once I graduated. Slowly, that university wasn’t just a dream school to me anymore. It emerged into an end goal… a one way route that I studied and worked extremely hard to stay on. I refused to imagine a future in which I did not meet my goal. So, at the end of March, when it was time to see if I had been accepted into the university, I was ill prepared for what happened next. I remember feeling extremely nervous to open the letter. Had I gotten in, or would I be one of the many students that were rejected?
The university didn’t accept me. After a short period of disbelief (not that I was so sure that I would make it in… I was just stunned, you know?), I cried for a long time. I was miserable for the next few days. Nothing that my parents said provided comfort, and I didn’t feel like talking to or texting anyone. Who knew that an institution could break your heart? It hurt so badly inside… there really is no way to describe the feeling. After I was incapable of producing anymore tears, the pain lingered within me in the form of negative and bitter thoughts. Right after I had received the news, my parents tried to remind me that there was a reason why I didn’t get into that school. It was all part of God’s plan. I took in what they said, but part of me didn’t want to accept it. Instead, I saw the rejection as a failure or lacking on my part. My thoughts twisted into thinking that I wasn’t good enough or I didn’t try my hardest when in fact I gave high school my all. I would waste my time contemplating about things that I should have done differently so that I could have gotten into my dream school. In the end, I think I lost love and confidence in myself.
Time passed. Soon I had committed to a different school, finished up the last of my AP exams, and walked across the platform during graduation. I had accepted my rejection. However, while my peers felt happy to go to their college, all I could conjure when thinking about the school I was going to was a feeling of neutrality. It wasn’t until I attended orientation at the end of June when I felt the first sparks of excitement about going to the college that I had committed to. Three months. That’s how long it took me to feel happy and thankful about how things turned out. Three months is way too long to get over something like this.
It would be a waste of time for me to wish that I could have reacted differently to my rejection within those three months. We go through things in life so that we could learn from our experiences and hopefully not repeat them. We also experience things so that we can be a help others who end up in a similar situation.
So, what do you do if you face rejection?
1. Cry it out
It’s okay! I know; rejection hurts. Holding in the frustration or sadness is not healthy. Cry it out. Of course, if you’re not as sensitive as I am, then just skip this step, haha!
2. Remember that God has better plans for you
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).
It can be so difficult to humble yourself and accept that things won’t always go as you desire or plan. When you are faced with rejection, it is because God has better opportunities in store for you. He knows what’s best for us! We just have to trust in Him. I don’t know about you, but I would be scared to be doing something or be in a situation that is outside of God’s will. I don’t know what lies ahead as far as college goes, but I am thankful to know that God has some plan for me where I’m going.
3. Rejection does not equate to your failure
Just because a person, company, or college rejects you does not mean that you are not enough. Friend, you are enough. There was a reason for your rejection, and ultimately, it will be their loss. Don’t fall into the trap into believing that you have failed or that you are a failure. Continue to love yourself, and don’t lose faith! Better things are sure to come. For me, I take comfort in knowing that I tried my best to get into that school. It wasn’t my fault that I didn’t get in. We should not blame ourselves for situations that are beyond our control.
4. NO, It wasn’t all a waste of time
After I received the letter, I was so discouraged that I didn’t think that I should try my best in anything anymore. I thought that I had wasted my time working hard towards a goal that I didn’t even end up accomplishing. That is a completely false mindset! The time that you invest in someone or something isn’t a waste if things don’t work out. As I mentioned earlier, our life experiences are meant to be learned from. If I hadn’t taken all of those difficult classes or participated in extracurricular activities, I probably wouldn’t have known what I would want to major in or have met all of my amazing friends.
5. Let it go
Let go of the bitterness and negativity within. Pray and ask God for peace and happiness. Harboring bitterness for an extensive amount of time will result in an ugly attitude. You’ll start to get jealous of other people who are experiencing the happiness that the rejection may have robbed from you for a brief time. Hard as it can be, stay optimistic and try to be happy for others.
6. Talk to someone
It helps to talk to someone about how you feel. I didn’t completely tell anyone how I felt, and I believe that if I did, they would have helped mend the brokenness and lack of faith that I was experiencing. Tell someone close and trustworthy about what’s going on. They will help hold you accountable if you are continuing to be bitter of if you’re just lacking motivation.
Wow! I did not expect to write this much. Thank you for taking the time to read all this. I truly hope that this post is an encouragement to you! If you know a person who is going through rejection, please share this with them. Have a lovely week!
Zara top | uniqlo skirt | Madewell tote | kate spade sunglasses and watch | ÉRAM SHOES
I bought these shoes in Paris, and they are so light and comfortable. They’re the perfect walking shoes! I’ve linked the brand’s online store, which is in French. Good thing there’s Google Translate that can automatically translate the page from French to English! I’m not completely sure if they ship to countries other than France, but if they do, I highly recommend their shoes. The quality of European shoes is amazing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the exact pair on Éram’s website, so I’ve linked some similar shoes in the widget below.