As long as I can remember I have faced rejection. Whether it was a simple "no" or someone reciting the Gettysburg Address to me, I remember the word "no" being told to me a lot in life. When I entered college I thought that the time for being told no was over but as life has shown, you never know what you’re going to get.
We always hear the phrase what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and while this is a remarkable phrase it doesn’t come without me thinking about how I got here or how I have picked myself up. Rejection has taught me to have a tougher skin and get used to hearing the answer "no" and responding with "OK, yeah, cool I’ll be fine," when on the inside I might not be. Things aren’t always going to be how we want them but sometimes an opportunity coming to an end can open up another door for something possibly better
In December I applied for a marketing and sales internship that was selling advertising space in college planners to different companies throughout Tuscaloosa. I had worked the past four summers at Camp Ramah Darom and I felt it was time to get an internship before graduating college. After interviewing and answering questions I received a phone call excitedly telling me I had received one of the four spots for the University of Alabama team.
After receiving this call, I immediately told my friends, family, and classmates and they were excited for me as well. After years of getting rejected from internships because “I didn’t have enough experience” or “we thought someone else would be a better fit,” I was finally going to have my first internship and be able to show future employers why I belong at their company.
I filled out the acceptance form, bought clothing for the internship and then began looking for summer housing. While I was so excited there was something off about this internship, as I hadn’t heard from them as frequently. After calling my regional manager to make sure everything was going as planned regarding the summer she responded with “Yes I am still recruiting for the team”. I thought everything was ready and I didn’t have to worry about the program until May. A month went by and I decided I needed to know more information because the start of training was rapidly approaching.
I took matters into my own hands and called my regional manager. After leaving a message on her voicemail I received a voicemail from her with saying “Hi, Jacob, I am sorry I missed your call please reach out to me I have some news for you if that’s what I can call it.” Hearing this voicemail I immediately knew my internship had fallen through and I had to start looking for a new one immediately.
After getting off the phone I called my dad to tell him the news. The day I received the phone call was supposed to be exciting as it was my formal weekend but all I could think about was another sign of rejection in my life. My dad asked me where my mind was and I didn’t even have a proper answer. How do you express into words how you feel when you are assured for months that something is about to happen and at the last moment you are told no? That’s how I felt at this time. I was upset, frustrated and I was back to square one. I thought I had come so far in the internship step in my life but it turns out I just went full circle.
Looking back at this moment I can say I am still somewhat upset about it as a whole. Whether it was questioning the company about my internship or how they stated they had sent me an email but I didn’t receive one until two weeks after my phone call there are times I am still mad at how the outcome was handled. In life, I have learned there are two ways of looking at instances. One, staying mad and never trying to do better or two, flipping the page and starting over.
As much as I hated starting over the internship process it was for the best and it did give me other opportunities to consider.
So what does this have to do with rejection? When we are rejected we have two options — we can either sulk and feel sorry for ourselves or we can turn the page and try again differently. We will always face some sort of adversity and rejection throughout our life and that is something we need to learn.