‘There are many routes to get where you want to be in the end’

Rejection letters don’t define the future

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Helen Le, Sports Editor

High school seniors with the intention of going to college dream of receiving envelopes and emails of acceptances from their target and reach schools. When the letters spell out rejection instead, however, they must redefine their future accordingly.

Stress and anxiety commonly accompany the application process required for college. Some students describe the experience as the most challenging so far in their academic career.

“It was hard for me to figure out how to stand out but still be me,” senior Leilany Lim said. “Just thinking about every possible way to stand out within 300 words of a prompt was stressful.”

“Every time I opened up the applications, I got so stressed out that I had to procrastinate… to be able to finish it,” senior Benny Huynh said.
Other students retain their composure while taking precautions to avoid mistakes in their applications.

“Overall I was pretty calm,” senior Delaney Byrne said. “I was super worried that I might enter information wrong… I checked over my application like three times before officially submitting it.”

While they await their notifications from colleges they applied to, seniors take the time to think about what more they could have done during their high school career.

“I didn’t want to overload myself with all of the work, so I decided to balance AP and CP classes,” Byrne said. “Looking back, I wish I had challenged myself more.”

“I would’ve started [thinking] about which colleges and what major I wanted before senior year even started,” Huynh said.

When students are rejected after investing sweat, blood and tears, they have to come to terms with the impersonal nature of the letters. Some take the rejection in stride and reflect on their entire experience.

“[Rejection is] just telling me to improve or to do better next time, but I’m not really discouraged,” senior Noah Hearon said.

Even those who found their world falling apart at first regained their momentum and continue to persevere with acceptance and renewed motivation.

“At first, I let my rejection letters define how smart or capable I was,” Lim said. “Now I’m finding new plans to transfer in two years and to be okay with my rejections.”

After finding out whether they have been accepted, rejected or waitlisted, students pass on advice to those following in their footsteps.

“Start self-reflecting now and really look at your strengths and weaknesses,” Lim said. “It sounds silly, but writing about myself was ten times harder than writing an essay for any English class.”

“Do some soul searching over the summer, because you need all the time you can get for such a big decision,” Huynh said.

In addition to college applications, seniors also give words of guidance for the four years of high school.

“Live in the moment and enjoy high school, because it’ll be over in the blink of the eye, and you’ll be hit with millions of responsibilities,” Byrne said.

Ultimately, regardless of the result, students will always have other opportunities to achieve success.

“Whatever happens in the end, you’ll be okay,” Lim said. “There are many routes to get where you want to be in the end.”