Bouncing Back From Rejection As a Teen

About Teen Rejection

The Ivy League University of your dreams has just responded to your application in a small white envelope.

Most of the time, we all know what this means. It’s a letter meaning that they appreciate how much work, stress, nerves, and sleepless nights you have put into making them your one and only option. However, they sincerely regret that they are unable to offer a placement in their school for such a talented individual.

Teen bouncing back from rejection by going to college

Instantly, all the feelings of rejection simultaneously set in, and then the waterworks commence.

We face rejection every day in many ways; college applications, jobs, internships, and in our personal lives. While some have faced it more than others, it doesn’t quite take the sting away. Handling rejection comes in many flavors and we all overcome it in a variety of ways.

Living up to societal pressures for success is a lofty goal.

We see it everyday. Commercials with parents being so proud of their newly crowned Ivy League child. A mother who is so proud of her Navy Seal. A father being saved by his surgeon daughter.

While these are amazing situations, they are not always realistic expectations to place on ourselves for the future. There is nothing concrete about success either. Societal views of success constantly change and evolve.

One of the best achievements in life is the achievement of happiness. The advantage to this? Studiesare showing more and more nowadays that happiness is leading to greater success than taking that unfulfilling, yet high-paying job at the prestigious law firm.

We can easily lose sight of our dreams when we see the shiny dollar sign attached to the other job. It is important to do the research before making the assumption. Is a bigger salary worth the sacrifice of the happiness that might come with a smaller salary? That is only a question we can answer for ourselves.

Remember your achievements!

When faced with rejection, it is very easy to go into “hermit” mode. Draw the curtains, grab a pint of our favorite ice cream, throw on the sweatpants, and queue the mindless TV shows of our choice.

We often ignore the achievements and progress we have made personally and professionally when we are rejected. Let’s look at some facts though when it comes to college acceptance:

Yale University 2010-2011

Number of Applicants: 26,003

Admitted: 1,958

This means that only 7.5% were accepted out of over 26,000 applicants. To get to the application process however, standardized testing is a must. The average SAT score for a student at an Ivy League university totals to 2100+. To be considered, an applicant has to have a strong transcript backed by a great extracurricular record, stellar applicant essay, and then nail the college interview. All of these pieces to that puzzle are amazing achievements within themselves.

Maybe you applied and got an interview at a Big Four accounting firm right after college graduation. You thought it went well and that you had it in the bag. Maybe they didn’t feel the same. However, you still interviewed with one of the Big Four, moving further than potentially thousands of applicants who didn’t get an interview. That there is an achievement in itself.

What do I do now?

Keep going!

Were you recently rejected? Well guess what? The resume is still fresh. The transcripts are still prepared. Nothing has changed

Look at other comparable colleges and/or jobs. Would you be happy going to one of the other seven colleges that are competitive with the Ivy League that rejected you? What about a comparable Big 4 firm? After all, the are three more.  What if college isn’t your thing? What if you just need time to work it out?  All of this is okay.

It is important that we don’t lose sight of ourselves and our goals. We use our accomplishments on a regular basis to advertise to others about how great we are. It is only right that we should use these same accomplishments to advertise it to ourselves. Take a day or two to recover from the initial sting, then immediately get back on the market.

When we allow ourselves to grow with other opportunities, we sometimes find that the dreams we had today are not what we will be chasing tomorrow.  And that’s the beauty of life–it can be whatever you make it!

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Debra Beck

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