The worst kind of rejection any high school senior will ever have to go through is not by some boy but from a college that they've spent almost their whole life working for. Your life plan has just shifted dramatically. Don't worry, it's not quite the end of your world just yet. It'll take some time but just go through these motions and you'll turn out just fine.
Step One: Let all your feelings out
You just lost one of the biggest dreams you've been chasing after and praying for. You're scared to death. You're playing out the worst possible scenarios your uncertain future holds. You're ashamed to face your family and friends after knowing you didn't make it. Don't keep all these feelings to yourself. Giving yourself some time to grieve is perfectly normal—encouraged even. Cry, stare at wall, shout if you need to. Find some sort of release for what you're feeling because without having that time to grieve, you will never fully be able to move on. Having lost something that meant so much to you is a challenge life is throwing at you. It's the more important test. It's daring you to fail and keeping everything inside will not solve anything. But please remember that at one point you have to leave your cave of sadness and proceed to step two.
Step Two: Calm down and stop beating yourself up over what has happened
Right now more than ever, you are absolutely terrified and buried in one of the deepest pits of insecurity that you have ever dug for yourself. The questions of self-worth are piling up on you and you can't breathe. Let go of all your anxiety and fear. It's not easy to take a step back, take a deep breath and calm down, but you have to. To you, your future is bleak but trust us when we say that it's just beginning to shine. It will only remain to be dark if you refuse to at least light a candle. Sure, things aren't going the way you planned but that's just how life is sometimes. You may have failed now but you do know that you tried, and you tried your best. That's more than enough. It just means that you're meant for other things, maybe you're even headed to even greater things but you won't know that unless you calm down and jump on head first into step 3.
Step Three: Start planning your comeback
If there's a will, there's a way. Most, if not all, colleges accept appeals. So if you still feel strongly about your dream university, try appealing for your case. Get recommendations from your teachers, administrators, and anyone you think can add leverage to your appeal. If you can manage one from your principal, even better. Make a detailed list on why you deserve a second chance. List all your extra-curricular activities, whether it's sports, student council, music, debate team, inter-school delegations, basically anything and everything you think makes you look like a person who’s got the complete package. Universities value more than just your academic intelligence, show them that you deserve a spot in their school. Don't rely on this alone though because there is still no guarantee you’ll get in. Start researching on colleges that offer courses on what you want to pursue and apply to them. Make sure you have at least 2 or 3 back-up plans because there is no such thing as being underprepared especially now when your future is hanging by a thread. Give them a chance, you might just find where you're truly supposed to be. It may not be in your original plan but for all you know, you’re building an even better one. So with confidence and a smile, gracefully move on to the final step.
Step Four: Embrace whatever else the future has in store for you
This will only be the first of many rejections you'll get in life, I can guarantee that. Life will throw at you all the horrible things that it can conjure up and you will have to face them one by one. The only thing you can really do is shake it off, smile, put your chin up, and be prepared. You have to be tough and fight because you have the strength in you to do it, what matters in the end is the ability to rise each time you fall. This is a choice only you can make. You just have to believe in yourself time and time again. Once you do that and you work hard enough, you'll be able to survive any rejection, the future has in store for you. Life will always be full of hurdles but it will also be full of things that'll make your heart flutter from happiness. So until those moments come, hold your head high and smile.