The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Ask Ali: Rejected

Dear Ali,

I know it’s difficult to get into college. My parents repeatedly told me that there was no guarantee of getting accepted, and life’s unfair, so we’ll just see what happens, sweet pea.

But now that I’ve gotten rejected from my Early Decision school, I have to say: it really sucks.  Behind those smiles and nods in response to my parents’ warnings, I really thought I would be the one to get in. I don’t mean to complain, but I was wondering if you had any advice for feeling crappy about my own self-worth.

Sincerely,

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Rejected

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Dear Rejected,

I’m sorry you didn’t get in to your top choice – that is a really unfortunate situation, and I totally understand your frustration. Since I won’t hear from any of my schools until March, I cannot entirely empathize, however, I can attest to the fact that getting rejected from anything (a job, an election, a relationship, etc.) sucks.

It’s hard to think that the decision isn’t personal. But the thing is, a lot of times it isn’t.

College acceptances are sort of random nowadays. If the school needs an oboe player that year, because the last one graduated, then it will probably accept a new oboe player over a trombone player or a violinist. If the school feels that it doesn’t have enough geographic diversity, and it has an applicant from Tulsa, Oklahoma, then it might accept her over a New Yorker or a Maryland resident. This goes for a lot of aspects – schools might need a soccer goalie, an engineering major, a kid whose parents donate money to the school, etc. With all these specific necessities, they just might not have room for a [insert your characteristic here] this year.

I can promise you, though, that you will get into college. It may not be your top choice, but the other thing is: you will be happy wherever you go. It seems ridiculous to go through this entire process if you’re going to be fine anywhere, but I truly believe that you will find a niche and a way to enjoy your experience no matter where you get your undergraduate degree. In the worst possible scenario, you can attend your safety school for a year and then transfer. Either way – nothing is fixed. You’re only 17 (or 18). Your entire life is not set in stone the minute you opened that letter, nor will it be set in stone when you receive the rest of your college decisions.

If none of that made you feel better, you should definitely go eat some pie, and that will cure any lingering bad feelings. I wish you the best.

Sincerely,

Ali

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