Zoey Becker, Editor in Chief

“After careful review of your application materials, we are unable to offer you admission to the university.”

The words jumped out from the screen and grabbed me by the throat as I read them over and over. I found myself unable to breathe as I sat in front of the glow of my computer screen, rethinking everything I had done up until this point. A thousand thoughts ran through my head, but the one that played again and again was: Where did I go wrong?

My application was strong. I had a solid GPA, good extracurriculars, a great essay and a loaded portfolio. My personal statement on what I could bring to the journalism program, along with the 20+ articles I had listed on my resume, showed my passion for my intended major. I had visited in the spring; I’d even talked to admission reps and professors at the journalism school. The bulletin board above my desk in my room displayed my visitors lanyard and the coloring page the school had sent to a friend of mine who had gotten in last year. It was my dream school, and I had worked hard to show them that. Why wasn’t it enough?

That night, I didn’t finish any of my homework. I skipped three classes the next day, with a who cares mindset. That school didn’t want me, so who cares how I did the rest of the school year?

The color had been drained from my world. My friends could tell it was bad news just by the look on my face when I walked into class. I felt nothing inside, empty. It was like I was mourning, suffering the loss of my dreams. And in a way, I was. The hope I had for a future at that school was dead and buried. All I was left with was a sweatshirt and a folder with the journalism course catalog and a professor’s business card.

Everyone kept telling me that it was “for the best” and that “this just makes the process easier.” And of course, the whole “everything works out for a reason” spiel. Maybe so, but the heartbreak I was feeling didn’t feel like it was for the best at all.

It was probably the worst day of my life. I pushed away my friends, thinking that no one could understand me. The angsty teen in me was taking over, full force.

But, one full day later, I made the conscious decision to push my angst and sadness aside. I realized that my rejection isn’t the end of the world, although it sure as hell felt like it. I have 11 other options, and the right one for me is out there. College is truly what you make of it, and I know I can find happiness at any other school as long as I have a positive mindset. Dreams can change, and while at one point Northeastern was mine, I’ve come to terms with my reality.

Just a couple hours before I was rejected, I got accepted into a small liberal arts school in my favorite city, with a scholarship. It was never at the top of my list, but like I said, dreams change and so can rankings. I joined the journalism majors groupme and met a bunch of amazing people, wonderful and accepting individuals who I can imagine spending the next four years with. Now, two days after I got rejected from my ‘dream school’, I’ve discovered one that just might take its place.

The soul crushing rejection I received didn’t kill me. At times I really thought it would, but it didn’t. Life is all about learning to roll with the punches. It’s learning to dance in the rain, learning to deal with heartbreak and pain and awful, end-of-the-world days. But mostly, it’s learning that it goes on. If you didn’t get into your top college, I want you to remember that you are still smart and fantastic and excellent. Nothing can take that away from you, especially not a stuffy old college admissions officer. Every grey cloud has a silver lining– you may just have to look a little harder to find it.