Rejection Letters

Article posted on Thursday, December, 13th, 2012 at 2:18 pm by Dr. Nancy Berk   (No comments)

As the countdown to college acceptance looms and anxiety heightens in the homes of high school seniors, it’s important to put things in perspective. There are plenty of great schools. A rejection usually isn’t a reflection of a student’s potential. Many amazing students are rejected each year and most will move on to have positive college experiences. Read more in this excerpt from College Bound and Gagged: How to Help Your Kid Get Into A Great College Without Losing Your Savings, Your Relationship, or Your Mind….

Not all letters bring the messages we want. Rejection doesn’t feel good, and often parents feel worse than their seniors. It’s much easier to help your child through the rejection experience if you’ve kept a balanced and logical approach to the college application process. Parents who have emphasized or encouraged the idea that there is only one perfect fit for their senior won’t have an easy time. Seniors who have second and third choices they love are more resilient than those who are unable to picture themselves anywhere but one place.

The majority of disappointed seniors quickly turn enthusiastic about another school. If I could say one thing to a devastated senior once he was ready to listen, it would be this:

“I have never met a well adjusted adult who claimed a college rejection ruined his college experience or life success. Some have even claimed it to be a blessing in disguise.”

Steven Spielberg applied to the University of Southern California’s School of Theatre, Film and Television. He was denied. Twice. Decades later, he was awarded an honorary degree from USC and became a University trustee. Uncomfortable life experiences are slices of reality that teach us valuable lessons. Sometimes it takes a while to know what they are. Spielberg’s experience proves a rejection letter is meaningless when it comes to brilliance, talent, and where you land in life. That’s good news. Life’s successes are tied to one person, not one school.

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