A Letter to the Girl Who Wasn't Accepted to Her Top School

Dear Future Collegiette,

I was in your spot a year and a half ago. Actually, thousands of people were in the same spot years ago. It’s tough news to stomach when you’ve done all the work everyone has told you to do and you finally think you’ve found the place where you belong. It’s upsetting to tell people that in fact you won’t be attending the school you’ve been excited about since Junior year. It’s discouraging to have a plan in mind and to have someone who hasn’t witnessed all of your hard work simply tell you “No.” It may feel like you’re left in the dark with no direction of where to go or what to do next. Let me take a minute to play the role of big sister and tell you how this whole situation will end up OK in the end.


First off, I want to congratulate you on getting your first taste of adulthood! I know after reading that you’re thinking to yourself, “Seriously? This is adulthood? This sucks.” Yes, it does suck that you haven’t been admitted into your dream school, but there is a bright side to every situation, and in this case, it’s the lessons you learn. Throughout your life you will inevitably be told “No” over and over again, and this time it’s not just from your parents. As you get older you will be denied job opportunities for positions you may be overqualified for. You won’t be elected to executive board positions even though you are thoroughly involved. Your ideas won’t always be approved or supported. As discouraging as these realities sound, these are the lessons that teach us how to become stronger women who earn everything that they have. The good things in life don’t always come easy, but trust me, they definitely come.


Next, I want you to breathe and understand that your life will go on regardless of where you decide to take your future. Whether you make the decision to enroll at one of your safety schools or take a year off from school, those who have supported you thus far on your journey will continue to be on your side. The struggle of seeing your friends get into their top school may feel overwhelming, but you will find your own path that works for you. Colleges and universities have a lot more to offer than what is advertised online or through a campus tour. If you decide to choose another school, make the most of your time there and give it a chance. You’ve already worked so hard to get into college in the first place, you might as well put your hard work to use at a school that sees your value.


One day, you’ll realize that this was rejection meant to happen. If you have a friend who’s older and was also denied admission to their top school, ask them what they’re doing now. In most cases, things worked out for the best, because life has a way of pushing us in the directions we’re meant to go in.


Lastly, and most importantly, I want you to enjoy the final months you have left in high school. You may be itching to graduate and officially call yourself a college student, but remember that you never know what you have until it’s gone and there will be certain aspects of high school that you miss. Enjoy your time with your favorite teachers, the friends you’ve held onto since Freshman year, and even the blissful drive to school in the morning. Don’t let a decision letter from a college let you wish all of this time away, because this time is designed for you to decide what is most important to you.



A Girl Who Didn’t Get Accepted Into Her Top School