University Hopefuls: Chill and Smile :)
Last night marked a milestone in my life: I was rejected by a university. I won't specify which one, although many of you can probably deduce it based on the date. At any rate, it doesn't matter. What matters are the messages I'd received following my humorous post on Facebook, and the general atmosphere of worry that I've seen in many people. In short, many of you need to step back and appreciate the situation for what it is.
You've prepared for this moment all your life. You've eagerly discussed with friends, compared test scores, and volunteered far beyond requirements. You've put in hundreds, if not thousands of hours into perfecting every aspect of yourself for this one decision. Yet, here you are. All those friends have gotten into their dream schools, and you're left empty handed.
You smile and congratulate them, but you feel empty inside. All you can think of is that one mark you lost on the test, that one sentence you didn't write on your essay, that one school you didn't apply to in a senseless moment of frustration. Seeking comfort, you run to Google, furiously looking for similar people to you who have gotten in. You want to know that you don't truly suck that much. Instead, you find people who have accomplished things far beyond your imagination. Lather, rinse, repeat.
How do I know this? I went through this exact process myself. If you've managed to keep a smile during this entire process, congratulations. For the rest of you, please read on.
Look around at your friends - what do you see? If you see smart, accomplished people, you've done something right. If there's one thing I'm certain about social interaction, it's that people like to hang out with those similar to them. The fact that they are your friends at all means they see a certain value in you that you might not see yourself. Just let that sink in for a moment.
The worst part of drowning yourself in negative emotion is that you stop working towards your goals and passions. That, in turn, makes you feel like you've been wasting your time while everyone else has moved on to greater things. As a result, you drown yourself in even more negative emotion. Remember that viscous circle I spoke about in my other blog post? Yeah, it's come back for a visit :P.
So, bundle up some energy, make yourself a list of goals (actually write them down), and start working towards them. Trust me, you'll feel a lot better after you've done something productive. On that note, you also have something cool and positive to talk about now!
The bottom line is, university acceptances have become so competitive these days that they can be drilled down to pure, sheer luck sometimes. Rest assured, if you can connect to what I've written, you will be fine. So, tuck your chin up, feel proud for what you and your peers have accomplished, and get to work. I can't wait to hear about your next breakthrough innovation.