How to cope when your first choice college rejects you

Or, when your second, third, and fourth choice schools reject you and you’re left attending the bottom of the barrel, worst possible school


When you’ve had your heart set on a specific school, the disappointment might take a while to work through. But in reality, the school you attend is not going to make or break your career. The things you DO at any school will determine your future.

Study hard and get good grades. You don’t learn more at better schools just because the school has a good reputation. You learn more and get a better education by actually taking the time to learn. Market research is the same at every school. Same methods, same statistics, same history, same famous people. Even at the worst school. The text books are the same, your ability to grow is the same, the ball is in your court.

Do extra-curricular activities that support your career choice. Join the debate team, the speakers club, the sign language club, the school leadership team, the science club, the writing club, any club. Actively participate in non-school activities where you will learn life lessons and meet other people who will inspire you. Get to know the other keeners in your field and help each other reach the stars.

Get a job. Even if it’s just a few hours a week, ask your professors if you can help out in their lab or with their research projects. Research departments often need interview transcribers, room monitors, and office babysitting. Work at the library to really understand the vastness of valuable academic knowledge. Work at the computer help-desk and become an invaluable techie. Find a job that supports your future career. A job that might introduce you to people who have vast networks of professionals seeking employees.

Sure, maybe you had Harvard in mind. But you can be just as awesome as people who did get into Harvard.

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