Rejected From Your Top Choice College? How to Cope

rejected from top choice collegeBy Sam Coren Staff

With decision letters coming back for those who did early action or early decision there are bound to be some broken hearts out there. On the StudentAdvisor blog we already covered what to do if you get deferred to the regular applicant pool or spring admission at your top choice. But what about getting out right rejected from your dream school?

No one likes hearing “no” – especially when you’re trying to peruse a college degree. So how can you deal? Here are 3 ways to help you “get over” being rejected from your top choice college:

1. Accept the fact you were rejected and don’t do anything irrational.

Consider it like getting turned down for a date. You certainly don’t want to waste your time and make a fool of yourself trying to win them over. Bombarding the admissions office with phone calls and emails trying to track down the reason why you were rejected or what you could do to still get in will not do you any favors. It’s also important to avoid being bitter or resentful (in person or on social media) to people you know who got accepted to that school. You wouldn’t want someone raining on your parade, so don’t rain on someone else’s!

2. Don’t let your rejection determine your self-worth.

The college admissions world (especially for selective schools) is very much a numbers game. With every school out there trying to make a diverse student body of academically promising students there are always going to be plenty of well-qualified students who are going to get rejected. It’s ok to have a good cry and some ice cream to get the disappointment out of your system. But don’t let your wounded pride cast too big a shadow on what should be an exciting and happy time in your life.

3. Avoid viewing the schools you get accepted to as “inferior” to your top choice.

If you streamlined your college application process you should have only applied to schools you would actually want to go. In theory there shouldn’t be any bad blood about attending your second, third, or even fourth choice. Even if you only got into your “safeties” or schools you didn’t think you would end up consider this:  smart, motivated students will succeed wherever they go as long as they’re willing to seize opportunities and make valuable connections.

Entering college with the thought in your head that you don’t want to actually be there is not a good way to kick off your freshman year. If you’re having trouble deciding which college to choose, dig deeper in your research. Check out college reviews, do an admitted students weekend, talk to alumni – whatever it takes to find the best choice for you.