How to handle rejection from grad school

Just Because You Got Rejected From A Grad School Does Not Mean You Should Give Up

It is just a new beginning.

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February is often a time that last semester seniors are constantly stressing during. It is not about the upcoming mid-terms or the outfit they want to wear to graduation. It is patiently and nervously waiting to hear back from the grad schools they have applied to.

It is a constant worry in the back of their mind as they try to make it through the few classes they have left to complete before they can walk across the stage. Constantly checking emails, mailboxes in hopes to catch the letter when it first arrives. Knowing their future rides on this one piece of paper.

Then you get it, a rejection letter.

It is daunting and heartbreaking, especially if you only applied to a few schools instead of many. Some may get a rejection letter in the first round, or some make it past the interview stage and then get rejected. I am not going to sugar coat it, a rejection letter from your top school choice sucks. A rejection letter to any school you applied to sucks.

Let yourself feel the emotions you need to feel.

If you need to cry, cry, if you need to throw something, throw something (non-breakable items like a pillow). Do not try to pretend it is absolutely nothing. You put hours into making your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and resume look in tip-top shape. You poured your heart into your Statement of Purpose (SoP) and let the admission committee know why you are passionate about continuing your education at their school. You put so many hours into applying to grad schools, it is okay to feel upset or angry, but do not be angry at yourself. Do not be upset with yourself. You put your heart and soul into it, you did more than many about to be graduates who are deciding to not do further education. Afterward, do something you enjoy to take your mind off of it. Watch a movie, try a new recipe, have a spa day, do something that will help to calm you down and relax.

Then, look into other options. Even if you are still waiting to hear back from some schools, start early. An amazing option is looking into a Post-baccalaureate program in your field. These are generally 1-2 year programs that allow you to grow in your field. It can teach you skills that you might otherwise not get elsewhere. Many also help to better prepare you for getting into grad school in the future and make you a stronger candidate. Or you can jump into the workforce for a little bit that relates to what you want to accomplish in grad school. This gives you an edge on other applications by having experience in the real world that relates to what you are doing. It is a longer road than you may have planned, but it can bring you some amazing opportunity in the future.

Also look into why you may not have gotten the acceptance letter you wanted. Look at your GRE scores and compare them to past accepted students at that school. If they are below are right at others, study again and retake it. Bring your SoP and CV to a trusted professor or even one that is on the admissions committee at your school to review and give you pointers to make it stronger. Volunteer or shadow those in the field you want to enter. Gain some research experience. There are so many small details that can make and break your application in the eyes of the committee.

Use these pointers to become a stronger candidate when you apply again.

Do not let a rejection letter to break you down. Let the rejection letter to bring you up and make you a stronger candidate and a stronger person. It is not the end of the world if you get rejected, there are still so many options for you. Continue to chase your dreams of a Master's degree or a Doctorate, that rejection letter does not define you. You are more than a rejection letter.

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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