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I didn’t get in….Now What? (Dealing with Rejection Letters)




The possibility, and very probable reality that you may not get into the program or school of your choice is not talked about enough. A lot of times we hear of the success stories, we talk about our peers admissions and we post about our accomplishments. Very rarely do you see a Facebook post from a friend that says “I didn’t get into engineering!”. There is an obvious reason for this, and that is simply explained by human nature, we don’t celebrate what we perceive to be a ‘failure’ or ‘step backwards’  and I can tell you from experience that I personally felt a bit ashamed and embarrassed to tell my friends and family when I experienced my first rejection letter, but, im here to tell you that you are not alone if you don’t get accepted the first time and in fact everyone should be prepared for this possibility.

One site {linked below} suggests that the University of Ottawa, located in Canadas capitol, has an admissions rate of only 15% meaning only 15 of every 100 people who apply will be admitted! The school I attended, Memorial University of Newfoundland, had a 67% admission rate in 2009, much better odds, yes,  but I also know that the entrance to specific programs, such as the Faculty of Medicine, is highly competitive and can be as low as 8% some years. So let these stats be a small comfort that it’s not as easy as writing your name on the application, wiring 50$ to the school and boom you’ve landed in a university classroom in the program of your dreams. In reality, there’s a lot of hard work, perseverance, drive, and dedication that may, or may not, stand between you and the school or program.

So, my short and simple story, I had great marks in high school and got right into the faculty of engineering, finished engineering with great marks, got a job fairly easy and realized that I wanted t go to Medical school. Chasing my dreams I applied and living in the bubble I was, I got rejected. Didn’t even get an interview!  That was the first time I didn’t get what I wanted right away. I was upset and I cried when I got the letter of rejection. I initially thought “How could this be, nobody would be better in this job then me!?”. Then I applied again and REJECTED! Again, I cried and this time I had a whole weekend of self-pity. I got caught up in the idea that too much time would pass and I’d be to old to go back to school, id be really old when I finished school, I thought that my boyfriend would be upset that instead of adding money and starting our life together id be putting myself back into late nights and student debt, my worries went on and on. The problem was I just couldn't stop thinking that this is where I'm suppose to be and what I should be doing, for the long haul.

So, it’s okay to be sad and ashamed and most importantly its okay to be rejected, the fact of the matter is that you haven’t failed and its hardly a step backwards. I sat back and evaluated what I needed to do to get in. More importantly, I took a breath and reminded myself how much I have done so far! I have a whole new year to better my application and try again. I am doing what I need to do, for me, that is talking with the admissions officers, paying for a course that can help me better my MCAT score, and redoing my application. For you that may be upgrading your average, adding more volunteer work to your resume, getting a tutor, doing the last course you need for admission. No matter the reason you got rejected, you have put tremendous work in and spent your time, energy and money to try. That effort isnt all lost, in fact its built a foundation for you. Build up and don't throw in the towel, don't let all your effort go to waste.

Furthermore, at first talking aloud about these little setbacks to family and friends can be really dang hard! And that's okay. But I encourage you to come to terms with the rejection letter, come to terms with who you are and understand where you need to improve. Know that your rejection letter wasn't because you aren't capable of being a part of said school or said program but instead its because you need to grow and better a certain aspect of your application or portfolio. Once I learned this I didn't feel so awful telling others the truth when the subject came up, in fact, after I stopped avoiding the subject so many of my friends had similar stories!

Setbacks make the story of your path to success and happiness that much more interesting! Im not going lie, the rejection stings and in the moment you feel lost, but how are you going to recover from that? Get back up on your horse and keep moving forward because that acceptance letter will feel sooo much better when you know how hard you worked to get it.                          YOU CAN DO IT. YOU WILL GET THERE.


https://www.prepscholar.com/sat/s/colleges/Ottawa-University-admission-requirements#:~:text=The acceptance rate at Ottawa,the school is extremely selective.

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