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It’s that time of the year again when applicants to (UK, at least) Postgraduate programmes anxiously wait to hear back from their prospective programmes. Some wake up to the lovely, elating news that they’ve been offered a place. Some will need to spend some more time in the nervous waitlist limbo. And others – like myself – get the dreaded rejection letter.

I’m not going to lie, it hurts. It really does. After having put the best part of a year drafting, writing, perfecting and stressing over the application – countless hours, really – to get that email saying unfortunately, we are unable to offer you a place at this time can be truly devastating. And that’s alright. You’ve given it your everything and had that hope simmering in your chest for months. Of course, of course, of course it hurts. But it’s temporary. It’s alright.

I (an overanalysing perfectionist by nature) – have been mentally preparing myself for this possible letter for literally months, yet here I am: devastated, disappointed, disheartened. What I find myself doing, however, is going back to the best videos I’ve seen on this subject matter. I think it’s fantastic that these days, there is such a variety of content on university rejections. What I’ve done here is a little list (and I mean, the list is really very small, literally two videos – but quality over quantity, right?) of comforting, insightful videos on how to deal with rejection. You’ll have to forgive me for this Oxford-centricity; you’ve guessed correctly: my dream school was – is – Oxford. Nevertheless, these videos will, I think, offer some positive perspective on what it means to be rejected by a dream school, and, more importantly, what it doesn’t.

I hope these give you some solace during this time of mourning the loss of that particular dream (for now at least; after all, nothing stops us from reapplying if we wish to). In time, we’ll get through this. I will, and so will you. In the meantime, take care of yourself and check out these videos:

The RedHead Academic: When You Get Rejected From Your Dream School|Waitlisted, Whats Next,Why I Was Rejected,PhD Decisions

“Rejection is redirection.”

Jesus College: Oxford REJECTION! Academic reveals the TRUTH… speaking from very personal experience!

This one has some really good points on the psychology of rejection.


Helsinki Contributor
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