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.


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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Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Because most other majors can't kill someone accidentally by adding wrong.

College is hard. Between studying for numerous amounts of tests and balancing eating, working out, maintaining a social life, and somehow not breaking your bank account, it’s no wonder a common conversation among students is “how many mental breakdowns did you have this week?” Every major will pose its own challenges; that’s truth. Nursing school, however, is a special kind of tough that only other nursing majors can understand.

SEE ALSO: Quit Bashing Radford University

Nurses are the backbone and unsung hero of healthcare. Their job is to advocate for the patient, collaborate care among all other healthcare team members, carry out physician orders, recognize and report patient progress (or lack thereof), run interference for the patient with any unwanted visitors, research and validate evidence based practice, all while maintaining a certain aurora of confidence for patients and their loved ones that “everything will be okay” and “I’ve got this under control”. If that sounds like a lot; that’s because it is. The majority of skills that we learn that make good nurses cannot actually be taught in theory classes. It’s the hours of actual practice and a certain knack for caring for people- all people- that makes a good nurse great. The countless, unrelenting hours that are spent on the floor in clinical humble us, we know that we’re not great yet, but we’re trying.

Our professors expect us to be humble as well. Nurses do not seek gold stars for their actions, instead the precedence that is set for us to that we “do the right thing because it is the right thing to do”. Most nursing programs grading scales are different. To us, a failing grade isn’t actually getting a 69 or lower, it’s an 80. And that makes sense; no one would want a nurse who only understand 70% of what is happening in the body. We have to understand the normal body response, what happens when things go wrong, why it happens the way it does, and how to properly intervene. We want to learn, it interests us, and we know that the long theory classes and the hard days on the floor are just to make us better. However, any triumph, anytime you do well, whatever small victory that may feel like for you, it just what is supposed to happen- it’s what is expected, and we still have much to learn.

I look back on my decision to take on nursing school, and I often find myself questioning: why? There are so many other majors out there that offer job security, or that help people, or would challenge me just as much. But, when I think of being a nurse- it’s what fulfills me. There’s something that the title holds that makes me feel complete (and that same fact is going to resonate with anyone who wants to love their job). I wouldn’t change the decision I made for anything, I love what I am learning to do and I feel that it’s part of what makes me who I am. The other students who I have met through nursing school are some of the most amazing people I have ever come into contact with, and the professors have helped me understand so much more about myself than I thought possible.

Nursing is treating and understanding the human response. Meaning that it’s not just the disease process, or the action of the medication, or the care that we provide, but that nurses treat the way in which people deal, react, feel, and cope with good news, bad news, terrible procedures, hospital stays and being completely dependent on other people. And the fact of the matter is that all people are different. There is no one magic treatment that will always work for every patient. In addition to course work, the clinical hours, the passion and drive to want to be a nurse, and the difficulty that comes with any medical profession, we have to understand each individual patient, as people and not their illness. And, in order to do that so much self discovery goes on each day to recognize where you are and how you are coping with everything coming your way.

What is taught in nursing school goes far beyond just textbook information or step by step procedures. We have to learn, and quickly, how to help and connect with people on a level which most struggle to accomplish in a lifetime. It's a different kind of instruction, and it either takes place quickly or not at all. The quality of nurse you become depends on it. Nursing school is different, not harder or better than any other school, just different.

SEE ALSO: Stop Putting Down Radford University

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Body Image Lessons That I Didn't Learn From A Professor

What I realized about body image my freshman year of college


Girls usually struggle with self image in general. But the game changes when it's time to go to college. When you are constantly surrounded by your peers, you begin to compare all of the little things they do to you. You compare their bodies to yours. You try to figure out what they are doing that you're not. Or vice versa, why they don't have to do anything to look the way they do. But by the end of my first year, I realized that I would never be happy with myself if I kept thinking this way. So I recorded some realizations I had throughout the year that helped me to improve my body image.

My body is, and never will be the same as any other girl... and that's okay

Different sized and shaped strawberries

It can be so easy in college to compare your body to the girls that surround you. Like the one's live with and you see on a daily basis. There is no point in comparing apples to oranges, so why would you compare your body to a girl who was made completely different? So what you can't fit into her party pants, you can rock another pair just as well.

What works for her, might not work for me

Daily Planner

With different body types, comes different food and exercise needs. Some girls don't need to work out or eat healthy to keep a slim frame. Some girls are naturally muscular. Your routine needs to be catered to you, and there is no need to analyze what someone else eats or does to try to attain their stature. You have to do what feels right for YOUR body to have a good self image.

Don't spend too much time on istagram

Obviously social media effects our body image because of how easily and frequently photos are edited and then presented for the most likes. So if there is a certain account that always makes you feel bad when you see their content, unfollow, and take that aspect out of your life. However, because social media is unavoidable you can't completely escape all the provoking images. So when scrolling, think positively about those who's pictures you see, don't compare, and be aware of the previous lessons.

It's okay for your body to fluctuate

The weight and look of your body can easily fluctuate, It's just natural. And in the same way your life fluctuates, your body may follow along and thats not a big deal! In exam season, there might not be enough time to go to the gym everyday. Or during the holidays there might be an increase of indulgence in treats. But its all okay as long as your getting things done or enjoying life. The only time it becomes an issue if the fluctuations turn unhealthy.

Cut out the negativity

If a friend is constantly complaining to you about their body, it can trigger distress in you, and set you back. So if someone else's body image issues are interfering with you mentally, you need to call them out on their B.S. or stop allowing them say those things in front of you.

Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in

If you wear things that you feel comfortable in, then you wont constantly be thinking about how your stomach, legs, or arms look throughout the day. Wear something that you are confident in, even if it means wearing leggings every day of the week!

I'm not a little kid anymore, therefore my body is not going to look like one

Curves and changes that come after high school can take anyone by surprise, but it's supposed to happen. You can't really be mad at can only find the beauty in it.

Everyone has their own insecurities

Even if someone has your ideal body, odds are they still despise theirs. I have met friends in college that are stick skinny, yet are self conscious about it. I know curvy girls that are very insecure. And even an "average" body type has a thousand things that they nit-pick about themselves. No one has their dream body and never will, which is why I had to learn to love the little things about mine.

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