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Mental Health

How I Handled Being Rejected By My First Choice Major

After a rejection email from the communication department, I spent three months in bed, unable to do anything but binge-watch Gilmore Girls. Growing up, my sisters and I watched it weekly, and it became a comfort show during college. The episodes that resonated with me the most were when Rory takes time off from Yale after Mitchum, a newspaper conglomerate CEO, tells her she does not have it. Mitchum thought Rory made a great assistant but did not have the skills to be a successful journalist. 

While I did not have a handsome boyfriend steal a yacht with or the luxury to take a year off, I felt lost as Rory did. The email was not the first rejection email I have ever received, but it was the first to make me question my self-worth. The email opened the door to a collection of failures and rejections. 

I was not ready to face reality and decided to wallow in my sadness. I thought giving myself time to sit with my feelings will result in eventually feeling better. Instead, I started to withdraw from social activities, and when I was around friends, I was not acting like myself. Everything irritated me, and I would get upset over the smallest things. I was tired of feeling miserable and sorry for myself. 

sad and alone girl breakup
Photo by _Mxsh_ from Unsplash

So I decided to look into ways to cope with my thoughts and emotions. I attempted to go to therapy, but I would not be able to get an appointment for three months. I wanted to take action and start making steps towards healing. I did about everything that cute little Instagram and Pinterest self-help doodles said to do. I invested in exercise equipment, new clothes that made me feel pretty, journaled, and bought a plant. 

Of course, I was not over my rejection in one night. My plant died within a week, and the journal only had three entries, but my new jeans made me feel invincible whenever I wore them. My extra efforts towards taking care of myself were important because I allowed myself to prioritize my mental health. I acknowledged that I was falling into a sadness that I needed to overcome. By giving myself the time, I was saying that my failure did not determine my self-worth. 

silhouette of person jumping during dawn
Austin Schmid/Unsplash

Find the small things in life that make you happy and continue to do them as an act of self-care. Jess visits Rory and reminds her that dwelling on her failure and quitting her dream is not her. Talking to Jess was a critical part of her going back to Yale and continuing to work toward her dream. Let this be a reminder that your failures do not determine your self-worth. 


Brenda is a fourth-year feminist studies major. She was born and raised in South Central, Los Angeles. She enjoys writing lifestyle and mental health pieces.
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