You worked hard on your grades, you had your extra-curriculars in shape, your college essay was edited and proofread. For all your preparation and planning, sometimes things just don’t go right. Sometimes you get rejected.
It is likely that you will experience at least a few rejections in your college applications journey. How do you cope with rejections? What went wrong and what can you do to fix your mistakes?
A rejection can put a big wrench in your study abroad plans. Here are some tips to deal with them.
Why Was Your College Application Rejected?
There are many reasons why your college application may get rejected. Sometimes it may be because you just don’t meet the cut. College admissions are extremely competitive. Top universities are looking for the best GPAs and CVs when making their final decisions.
You may be an extremely bright and brilliant student but your education plan likely does not account for the brilliance of your peers and competitors. This is why, when you are planning on studying abroad, it is important to apply to colleges whose requirements meet your qualifications.
Some other common reasons why your application may have gotten rejected are:
- You missed the deadline
This is a relatively simple but shockingly common reason why your application may have gotten rejected. Colleges are dealing with vast numbers of applications. Any application that may have missed the deadline by even a few minutes may end up in the rejection bin.
- Your application was incomplete
It is possible that your application was incomplete or didn’t include all the documents, information and other requirements requested by the college. This is common when you are applying to multiple colleges. You may end up missing or ignoring some specific or uncommon requirements made by particular universities.
- Your application was not edited properly
While it is understandable that college admissions can be extremely stressful, you should always take care to edit your application carefully. An application that is too long will be sent straight to the rejection bin because admissions committees do not have the time to go through long essays. If your essay is full of silly mistakes and typos, it reflects badly on you and such an application may again get rejected.
- Your application does not reflect on why you are choosing that particular university
Admissions committees do not just want to know what you are offering them, they also want to know what they are offering you. As an international student, you need to be clear on why you are applying to that particular university and why you want to study abroad.
What Can You Do?
The first thing you should do is review your application. See if you made any of the mistakes we mentioned above and take steps to fix them. One rejection should not derail your study abroad plans and you can ensure this by making sure you do not repeat the same mistakes.
Apply to safe schools and back up colleges to make sure that even if you get rejected from your dream college, you still have some place to rely on. Dream for the best but plan for the worst. Your education plan should have space for a Plan B.
Pay attention to the guidelines and requirements of each college you apply to. Make separate folders for application materials and documents required for each college. Copy the guidelines and list of requirements of each college to a word document and save it in its respective folder. This way you can make sure that you do not miss anything or hand in an incomplete application.
Pay attention to deadlines. Mark each deadline on your calendar and place the calendar in a prominent place so you don’t forget any deadline or rush in to submit at the last minute.
Also, remember to properly edit and proofread your applications. You can ask your parents, siblings or friends to help you with this. A second pair of eyes will be much better at catching mistakes.
Do Not Lose Hope
You must remember that while a rejection letter may seem like the end of the world, it is only an opportunity for re-evaluation and review. It is likely you had a meticulous education plan in place. This rejection is only an opportunity for you to re-evaluate those plans and see where you went wrong and what you can do differently.
Do not lose hope because there are always other schools. In fact you may find that those other colleges are much better suited for you. The rejection could very well be an opportunity to look for a college that is a better fit for you.
Try not to obsess over your failure and the reasons thereof. Instead, take some time off. Spend time with friends and family. Engage in hobbies and activities that you are good at to remind yourself that you are valuable and capable. Rejections do not have to define you. Always remember to take your failures as a lesson rather than a judgement of your worth. A rejection may in fact encourage you to review your life and your plans and send you on a different, better suited direction.
Advice for Parents
Even your best plans for your children’s education can go awry sometimes. It is important for you to remember that this is possibly taking an even bigger toll on your child. Make sure you do your best to be there for them during this difficult time. Comfort them and assure them that you are there for any help and support they may need. Try to distract them from the failure and remind them that after all, failures are the stepping stones to success.
If possible, you can look into higher education counselling to offer further professional help and support for your child. Good counselling and guidance can help you and your child recognise what went wrong and be better prepared for future applications. Counselling can also help you reach out to your kids and offer comfort in the best way possible.
Remember that failure is an important stepping stone to success. We all must suffer failure before we can achieve our dreams. The important part is to recognise your mistakes and shortcomings and use that knowledge to be better prepared next time.
Do not let your failures define you and do not lose hope.
Your study abroad dreams will come true – patience, perseverance and hope are key!