On Rejection

Recently my application to a prestigious scholarship was rejected, which provoked a range of emotions. My initial thoughts and feelings? Hurt. Disappointed. Might brb and silently cry in the bathroom. Then, bitterness and despair. Why was I audacious enough to believe I had a chance? Then, bored of self-pity fairly quickly, I became indignant. They obviously don’t know talent when they see it. This is clearly a mistake on their end. Then a barely audible voice mumbles something in my head. It asked me a question: “If you really thought they didn’t know what they were doing, why did you apply in the first place?”


So I objectively analyzed my application, my personal statement, and my experience and tried to figure out what I could’ve done differently. Did I really make a compelling enough case for why I wanted this particular scholarship? Was my GPA high enough (I graduated cum laude but got that D in calculus my freshman year…)? Was I clear enough with which masters program I wanted to pursue and what I would do with it once I graduated? Would I have chosen me if I were on the selection committee? It’s hard to know the answers. I’ll probably never know. And you know what? It’s not my right to know. Sometimes—lots of times—you just have to bow down to the things that are bigger than you and out of your control.

What I know is this: I was rejected. I failed. I thought I did my best, but maybe I could’ve done better. Can’t a person always do better?

All I can do now is the one thing within my control: stubbornly, relentlessly just keep showing up.


Because it comforts me, here’s a list of extremely impressive people talking about their experiences with failure and rejection:


One thought on “On Rejection

  1. One thing I have learned in my life; u always learn more from losing than u ever do winning; life is full of ups and downs and just when we think we got it made; the carpet is always pulled out from under us; but my dad has always been a blue collar philosopher and he always maintained these statements to be true;
    In everyone’s life there will always be some rain; no matter who u are or what u have been given, it will happen;
    One door closes and another one will open
    Always treat people with respect; even if they are assholes
    In another hundred years it won’t matter
    My dad taught me so much; just live each day and love as much as u possibly can
    For whatever we know life is all about love and carrying

    Liked by 1 person

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