Get Smart – Jamie Wallace

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You did your homework and you fell in love with one particular school. You applied for early decision. You poured your heart and soul into your application and personal statement. You pictured yourself strolling the campus and happily attending classes next fall. But alas, it was not to be. Your school rejected you.

You are suffering from ER, early rejection.

Rejection sucks. You may supply your own profanity.

You are deficient and no school would want you as a freshman. Ever.

Feel disappointed, feel frustrated, heck even depressed. Eat chocolate ice cream. Buy yourself a new video game. Take a deep breath; are you ready to listen?

YOU were NOT rejected; your application was not selected. You, along with hundreds if not thousands of others, were courting the same suitor. There simply isn’t room for all of the qualified applicants. Even though you are fascinating, brilliant, talented, and oh so very capable, a small bunch of fascinating, brilliant, talented, and not so capable students were selected. This is no reflection on you or your future.

What college you go to or college in general does not determine your value as a person. What you do in college, what you do with your education, what resources you take advantage of, what you learn about yourself and the world around you: this is what matters in college education.

You have been smart and applied to a variety of schools, some very selective (i.e. picky, picky) and some that are not as selective. The early decision, early action time is over, now focus on your regular admission schools. Are you working on the applications due in 2016? Polish them up, make sure they speak for you. There is life after rejection. In the coming months you will be accepted, select the best school that suits you.

Remember, schools that are selective, as defined by acceptance rates under 50%, simply do not have enough room for all of the qualified applicants. Large numbers apply, few are admitted. Stanford, for an extreme example, rejects 70% of students with perfect SAT scores!

If you did get in early action, go out and celebrate with your family, eat your favorite food, high five your parents. Try not to let your profound joy spill out over your classmates who might not have been as lucky. Chill. There will be plenty of time to celebrate later.

If your friend, acquaintance, or kid in your class got in early decision to the school you had fallen in love with, do not start comparing yourself. You are still a wonderful person. Think of the admissions officers agonizing over picking the ridiculously small number of students they chose. They did not reject you. It is a numbers game and not all of the qualified students will be chosen.

After starting at another school if your love affair with your first love continues, look into transferring. Study your options. You may find that the school you go to is the place you truly want to be. If you still want to go to the one that “rejected” you, work with your advisors and see about transferring. Nothing is written in stone, there are always options.

Where you got your degree will not matter to your employers and your career after your first job. Undergraduate school is much less important than graduate or professional school. Your success is dependent on what you do in whatever college you go to. Heck college only lasts 4 years (or 6 in some cases), in the grand scheme it is a blip on your life timeline.

Dry your tears, punch your pillow, binge watch Game of Thrones or Vampire Diaries, wallow just a little, it’s okay to be depressed. Now get on with the rest of your wonderful life. In the meantime, take a look at this:

GET SMART and broaden your options.

Jamie Wallace
Get Smart for College
Independent Educational Consultant

The Actors' Gang

1 Comment

  1. Jamie,

    What an awesome piece!! You nailed it! You said it all and so well.
    It is a keeper.

    Thank you.


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