What can I do if I get rejected to my dream college?
I've already sent in my college applications, but now I'm just waiting for the results and I keep worrying about whether I'll get accepted or not to my dream college. If I get rejected, then I'll feel like the countless hours working on my application, volunteer work, and grades will all have been a big waste of time. How can I ease my anxiety, and if I get rejected, what can I do to handle the situation?
#nervous #future #rejection #copingmethods
Matthew L. Tuck, J.D., M.B.A.
Matthew L.’s Answer
I would echo what the others said in their answers. Good advice. However, I would also point out that you may have at least three second chances at your dream school (and maybe more).
First, you may or may not be able to find out why they rejected you. Generally they won't tell you. However, many schools do publicize very detailed statistics about their incoming freshman class. You can find out what the average GPA was, what the average SAT/ACT score was, ethnic breakdown, male/female and bunch of other stuff. You can also find historical admission information even before they publish the data for the fall 2018 class. So if you do get rejected, you can check the stats for years past and see where you stack up. If your GPA was below average and/or your SAT/ACT score was lower than average, you probably have your answer.
But you're not done yet and don't get discouraged. The reason schools use GPAs and test scores to decide who to admit is they believe them to be the best indicators of how well you will do in college. Just remember: it's a guess. And they guess wrong on a lot of people. A lot of the people they let in who look great on paper may not have the discipline or the grit to do well. Those people may flunk out or just won't be super great students, which will hurt them when they try to get a job or go to grad school later. And a lot of people they don't let in would have done great, because they do have the discipline and strength to do well, no matter what their high school grades were.
The second chances I mentioned work like this:
1. If you don't get into your dream school this fall, you can still go there. Go to your second choice and work as hard as you possibly can. If you go to another school and get great grades your first year or even two years, you can try to transfer to your dream school. As I mentioned, a lot of people won't make it through their fist year for a bunch of reasons (grades, money, they hate school, they transferred to their dream school, etc.). Spots open up and once you've proved that you have what it takes to succeed, they would love to have you. It's not a sure thing, but it's a shot. You should check with your dream school about their transfer policies. In those statistics I mentioned they may also tell you how many transfers they accept.
When I was in law school one of the guys in my class (Gary) really wanted to go to another law school but his grades or test scores were not good enough. So, he studied like crazy our first year and got all A's. He reapplied to his dream school and they took him.
2. The second way you can get into your dream school (if it's a university) is to go there for graduate school, if that's in your plans and if they offer it. This is what I did. I didn't get into my dream school twice! They didn't want me for undergrad (I was lazy in high school and my grades were good but not great). And they also rejected me for law school. It also really irritated me when my cousin did get into that law school. So i figured three times was the charm and I DID get into my dream school for my MBA. So it's totally doable.
3. A third way you may be able to go to your dream school is to take summer classes there. Some schools allow you to take core requirements at other schools. And if you do really well in the summer classes, they may notice that and take s second look at you for your sophomore year. This is kind of a long shot because your second choice school has to allow it (they want your money and may not permit it) and your dream school has to allow it. It can get expensive too, particularly if your dream school is in another city and is not a community college.
With all that in mind, Roger is right. Going to a particular school is not as important as people think. Wherever you wind up, you will find a great community and friends you will have for life. Don't get hung up on the place being your second choice. I LOVED my second choice college and I believe I wound up there for a reason. Where you go is much less important than what you do when you get there. And honestly, if I'm being totally honest, I probably was not ready emotionally for my first choice when I applied there for undergrad. And somehow I think the admissions people knew it. By the time I got to the MBA, I was totally ready and they saw that too.
Good luck. It will all work out the way it's supposed to. To succeed in college, you can't be afraid to experience new things. Get out of your comfort zone, get the very best grades you can, and, above all, find what you love. Don't be afraid to fall flat on your face. That's what college is for. Just be sure to get up and keep pushing on. Never give up.