Rejection: Why It Hurts And What To Do About It
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Rejection: Why It Hurts And What To Do About It

It hurts so good...no it really just hurts.

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Rejection: Why It Hurts And What To Do About It

Dear student that's not good enough,
Thank you for applying to impossible to get into university. We appreciate your effort and hard work throughout high school, just not enough to admit you. Even though this wasn't the answer you're looking for, there are other paths to getting here, all of which involve large sums of monetary donations. We wish you the best in all future endeavors. But good luck doing well, cause you're not coming here.

Look familiar? I would hope not. This is a very exaggerated version of what nearly every high school senior is reading throughout the period of November to March. As a senior myself, I've been lucky enough to avoid any actual rejections, skirting through with a deferral and a waitlist. But rejection is something we face in any part of life. Why is it so painful? Why is it so hard for us to admit: "I was rejected"?

The answer comes to a simple yet complex explanation: where we put our self-worth. If you choose to put your happiness and confidence in other people's perceptions of you, and external influences, then yes you will face rejection. It's really inevitable, because everyone has a different standard of "perfection" or "ideal", that you may or may not fit. And it's unlikely that anyone can fit anyone else's standard of perfection, because what your interviewer values may be very different compared to your skills, traits, and goals. Or at least, slightly different. If we're all unique, no one is the same. So no one's standards are the same.

This of course begs the question: Should we entirely reject external influence? Should we just be happy with ourselves as we are, write off all other evaluations as "bogus"? It's certainly tempting. And it's certainly, to an extent, something we should keep in mind, especially for those people-pleasers out there. Your happiness in yourself should not be dependent on someone else's decisions. This goes especially for rejection when it comes to dating and relationships. So the guy of your dreams has an image of a perfect girl that you can't live up to. You shouldn't be held accountable to that, because you've got your own amazing qualities. Same goes for the boys, of course.

However, it's not always practical to just reject the rejection (although that would be a very cool move). These seemingly arbitrary standards do have merit, and can produce many successful people. It's just that happiness and success are usually two very different things, and that is something we need to come to terms with. Self-confidence is a blend of personal traits and actions; our compassion, honesty, and courageousness, but also our ambition and drive. If you manage your time wisely and study really hard for your AP Chemistry test, understanding all the periodic trends and stoichiometry, then you should be happy with yourself and your work ethic. Even if you end up getting a 60. Because in that event, you should probably take the grading scale with a pinch of salt, and talk to your teacher.

While that means you weren't successful, you still should be happy. Therefore, rejection shouldn't be seen as a way to deteriorate our happiness, but as a way to stimulate our ambition, work on the areas of improvement, and overall have no effect on our self-worth. Now, if you put no effort into a college application and you were rejected, then you probably have some reason to be disappointed in yourself. Not because of the outcome, but because of the effort. Because you didn't use the opportunities that you had.

So please, whether it's a too-cool guy, a tough job interview, or a college decision, please don't feel like your self-worth is attacked because you were rejected. Sometimes, that's just how it goes. Success is fleeting, but happiness can be eternal if we let it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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