Your number one school may not have accepted you, but that doesn't mean you aren't amazing.
To The High School Senior Whose Dream School Didn't Accept Them,
Let me start by saying I've been in your shoes before, and I know how you're feeling. I know how heartbroken you are right now. You went to that campus, toured it, and said "I'm home". You took photos of yourself around campus and probably posted something about it on social media (I know I did). Maybe you even bought a school shirt so that when the big day came you could post a picture of yourself in it with your acceptance letter and brag to all of your friends. You can't wait for the decision day because then your life can really start beginning.
But, then, what is supposed to be the best day of your life becomes the worst.
The fateful day rolls around. It's finally Decision Day. When this day comes and you rush home to open that letter. Your adrenaline is flowing, and you're shaking with excitement. Family members gather around to hear the big news. You tear into the letter ready to read the words "Congratulations!" at the top of the letter. Yet, that is not at all what meets your eyes.
At the top of the letter is a sentence that says "We regret to inform you...." and that's all you need to read before you realize what that means. Your number one school, your future home, the one thing you've wanted most in life doesn't want you.
Your whole world comes crashing down on you.
Your family offers their sympathies to you, but that won't help. You retreat to somewhere quiet to think, wondering how this could have happened.
Your teachers and guidance counselors told you that you were a shoo-in. Your application was amazing, your grades and extracurriculars were outstanding. It just doesn't make sense to you. Maybe the University made a mistake? Unlikely. Perhaps they got your application mixed up with someone else's of the same name? Also, unlikely. Only one answer stands out to you at that moment:
You weren't good enough for them. You weren't worth their time.
You start to see yourself as a failure, realizing and scrutinizing every mistake you made. Mistakes, that no matter how big or small they were, now equate to your fate. That one B you made in Honors Chemistry? You might as well had not applied to this University. You only had 20 volunteer service hours and your friend had more and got in. Why didn't you work as hard as she did? You chose to put schoolwork and clubs over varsity sports, but maybe you should've shown the applications committee that you could shoot a 3 pointer as well as you could dissect a frog.
Your thoughts become more and more irrational as you look for an explanation. But I'm going to let you in on a little secret.
There will never be an explanation for what happened.
College admissions are a corrupt, political, and biased process. Why do you think we hear about college acceptance scams all the time in the news?
To universities, we are just a number on a paper, not a person with feelings. Just because your dream school turned you down does not mean that you are a failure who needs to give up on life and never find a reason to smile again. This won't be the only bad news that you hear in your life, if we live long enough we will hear a lot more.
So dry your tears and keep your head held high. You're young and your life is just beginning. Look at your options, you have a lot. If you have a backup school that you somewhat like, you can go to that school and you may end up realizing you like it a lot more than you thought. But if going to your dream school is the only thing that will make you happy in life there are also options. You can go to a backup school and then transfer after a year or you can go to community college and apply to transfer.
Your future is not set in stone, it's yours to control and bend to your will.
Like I said, your life is just beginning. The world is your oyster and your future is yours to change and do with what you will. You're not a failure because of this just because your dream school didn't think you were worth their time. You're amazing and incredible, your family, friends, teachers and guidance counselors all think so. And for what it's worth I think so too even if we do not know each other. In the words of Doris Day "Que será, será, whatever will be, will be. The future's not ours to see. Que será, será, what will be, will be".