College rejection letters can be a shock. But even if you didn’t get into your dream college—or any of the colleges you applied to—don’t lose sight of your goal. College can still be an option in your near future.
How to handle disappointment if you didn’t get into college
Before you panic, reach out to your high-school counselor to discuss your options. Because the competition for admission is growing every year, your school counselor is likely well-versed in supporting students through this process. And, fortunately, many colleges and universities have late-admission policies, as well as rolling admission deadlines. Work with your counselor to determine your next steps.
Another option to consider is to take a gap semester, enroll in a non-degree program, or apply to a two-year school. If you have your heart set on one school in particular, you may get accepted the second time around, if you can prove your commitment to your academics and your future. You can also speak with your counselor to see if you can re-apply or write a letter of appeal. While it’s rare for colleges to reconsider admissions decisions, it may be worth writing the letter so that you know that you’ve done your best to get into your dream school.
Looking to the future
Many students get so excited about one college that they forget about all of their options. While disappointment is normal, it’s important to stay positive and not take rejection personally. Lawrence J. Momo, in his New York Times article on the “Joys of Not Getting What You Want,” discusses not getting into his dream school: “I would have missed the curriculum my college required and its books, many of which are still dear to me. I would most likely not have chosen my profession, lived where I do or valued the same engagements. I would not have met my wife.” So while you may have your heart set on one college, remember that there are so many other opportunities out there. Stay focused on your goal and take action to determine the path that’s right for you.