What I Would Tell My Younger Self After Receiving That Rejection Letter

Around this time two years ago, I wasn't having the happiest of holidays. What was meant to be the most joyous time of the year was clouded over by a single moment of disappointment which lead to weeks of self-pity. It was a moment in which I eagerly logged into my email, hoping that the message sitting in my inbox would be the one that changed my life for the better- an acceptance into my Early Decision college choice. That life-changing message started:

"We regret to inform you..." 

My heart dropped. My eyes welled up with tears. I didn't need to read any further. 

I was so devastated that the next morning I decided to take the day off from school.

In hindsight, I find it strange that a single instance could take so much happiness away from me. Of course, some of that was my own doing. I had a picture of what my life would look like in my head, and the thought of diverting from that image quite frankly scared me- a lot. 

I would tell my younger self at that point in time to take a look at the bigger picture. I wish I had realized that there isn't only a single path in life, and that I could find success and happiness in other ways.

I would tell my younger self that college isn't about the name of the school that you attend, but the unique learning opportunities you have and the longtime friendships you make. Better yet, it's about the stories you tell over winter break that you'll still probably tell when you're 40. 

I would tell my younger self that other peoples' success doesn't define my own. It's entirely possible to be happy for someone else without an ounce of resentment.  

I would tell my younger self that the extreme pressure I felt to not only succeed, but have that success be indicated by attending an "elite" school was a result of the environment I grew up in. With high-achieving students feeding off of one another, my high school was a ticking bomb of stress. As were treated as the standard, and every grade was seen as a reflection of our self worth.   

I would tell my younger self that I have not only the ability, but the strength and the bravery to pick up and leave the place I've called home for my entire life. I've never seen myself as a risk-taker, but knowing that I've taken such a huge leap of faith has given me the confidence to take more.

I would tell my younger self that the place I would end up in would be unexpected, but still exactly right for me. Not every decision has to be made with precision- and sometimes, those end up being the best ones. 

And most importantly, I would tell my younger self that that rejection letter actually did change my life for the better.

But maybe- just maybe- I would wait for her to see that for herself. 

1 comment:

  1. Possibly my favorite post to date :) Each leap of faith makes the next one easier!


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