If You Got Rejected by Almost Every College
Originally Published on May 25, 2019:
Did almost all the colleges you applied to this past year reject you? During the 2020-2021 admissions cycle, students applied to more colleges than ever before — likely because they were anxiously stuck at home due to the pandemic. Yet it’s a trend that continued during the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 admissions cycles: students are continuing to set records for the number of college applications they submit.
Suppose you’re a student who applied to many universities and received rejections from most of them. In this case, we encourage you to avoid reading a piece published a few years back by Kwame Anthony Appiah in The New York Times Magazine about a string of college rejections.
Because if you read this piece, you’ll read a lot of mumbo-jumbo about how getting rejected by every college you apply to isn’t a reflection of your character or self-worth. No kidding! Instead, as the author asserts, it reflects grades, scores, a rigged college admissions process, and, well, you get the idea.
Now don’t get us wrong: we understand the importance of grieving. We realize that getting rejected from the vast majority of colleges you applied to can be devastating. But advice like making the most of the rejections at the state school you happened to get into isn’t exactly going to turn that frown upside-down.
Some Feel College Rejection Teaches Important Life Lessons
Appiah writes in his piece on college rejection, “The goal, therefore, isn’t to be the best; it’s to do your best. And don’t think this lets you off the hook. To become a better version of yourself is quite demanding enough.”
He goes on, “The 18th-century Hasidic rabbi Zusha is supposed to have said that when he died and appeared before the heavenly court, they could ask him, ‘Why were you not as great as Abraham?’ and he wouldn’t be afraid; after all, he wasn’t given Abraham’s intellectual gifts. They could ask him, ‘Why weren’t you Moses?’ and he wouldn’t be afraid; he didn’t have Moses’ skills as a leader. The question that frightened him was this: ‘Why weren’t you Zusha?’ The scholar Martin Buber, writing in the past century, called this the ‘question of questions.’”
Getting Rejected from Almost Every College Is Avoidable
We at Ivy Coach don’t know what Rabbi Zusha would say. But we know there are some proactive things you can do after receiving word of your college rejections to improve your case for admission as a transfer applicant.
It starts with Ivy Coach’s PostMortem application review in which we let you know what went wrong in every component of your applications. We do it not so that you kick yourself. There’s no sense in being a Monday morning quarterback. Instead, we do it so that you don’t make the same mistakes again — because you’ll realize that much of what you did wrong is easily correctible.
You might be upset right after the PostMortem, but, in our experience, you’ll get over it the next day and follow our advice over the next year to give yourself a much better shot at getting into your dream schools as a transfer applicant. Because this next time, with Ivy Coach’s help, you’ll submit applications that wow.
We suspect that even Rabbi Zusha would encourage you not to internalize your rejection but to instead be proactive about putting yourself in a better position for next year’s transfer admissions process.
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