My Year in review: Rejection does not mean Failure

As 2015 comes to a close, I reflect upon on a valuable lesson; rejection does not mean failure.

In January of 2015, I experienced a difficult break-up with my girlfriend of four months. Granted, it was not a long time, but during my fall semester, we saw each other almost every day and compacted a years worth of time into four months.

During the next few months, after my break-up, I initially lost myself. I was acting out of my element, trying to prove to my friends that I was okay. Naturally I was feeling lonely and didn’t know how to break the cycle. I began to realize that I needed to return to my roots and rediscover who I was. Being single has taught me how to be comfortable on your own. Through rejection, I found my inner confidence.

In April of 2015, I applied to over 30 communications related internships. I had just completed two previous internships and was aiming for a paid summer internship. I had gotten rejected immediately from 25 of them, but had received five interviews. I felt confident in all five interviews, but only two accepted me. One of them was a paid PR internship, at a small boutique firm. It was exactly the work I wanted to be doing and I was excited.

Once I began working I struggled. I struggled so badly they demoted me from full- time to part-time, and gave the other intern the full-time position. Nonetheless, I continued working part time. Since I had more free time I was able to teach tennis again. In addition, I was able to work for free for an online marketing magazine. I accepted my fourth internship and worked from home writing news copy.

If I hadn’t been rejected full time I wouldn’t have been able to teach and write. With one rejection, two more opportunities opened up.

In August of 2015, I applied for two advanced level internships; the world’s largest non-profit in creating clean water and an impressive start-up PR company. On the same day, I scheduled second interviews with both agencies. I believed I had given great interviews and was in prime position to receive at least one of them.

I got rejected from both.

Initially, I was devastated. I could not have given better interviews or displayed a stronger portfolio. I came to the realization that someone else was better and that was okay.

When I returned for the Fall semester of my senior year I got accepted to be a Writing Center tutor. It was a paid position where I helped students work on specific writing skills. As a result, I became a better writer by being a writing teacher. In addition, I got accepted to work on a public relations campaign that involved creating awareness about affordable space in Newburgh, NY. I had replaced my two rejections with two acceptances.

Lastly, in October of 2015, I lost half of my friend group. In a few weeks, I went from ten friends to four friends. After a horrible incident involving my friend’s drunken boyfriend I gave her blunt, yet caring advice. Half of my friends disagreed with me and couldn’t forgive my forward actions. However, it separated the people who really care about me and the people who were just along for the ride.

With every rejection I faced I have found the silver lining. I no longer fear rejection; rather, I welcome it. The more experience I gain the more I will learn. I am anticipating the countless women that will reject me, the constant disappoint of coming up short, and the realization that I will fail. However, I have realized just how virtuous and clear minded I have become. Through rejection, I will continue to achieve success.