Unsuccessful College Applicant

Failed College Applicants, Unsuccessful University Applicants, Ivy League Rejects

Waitlisted college students can try to work their way off the lists (photo credit: Chensiyuan).

There’s a piece in “The Huffington Post” by high school senior Erica DeMichiel entitled “What the College Application Process Taught Me” that chronicles the plight of a student who didn’t get into her dream colleges but persevered nonetheless. Unlike that other student’s piece that appeared in “The Wall Street Journal,” this is not a salacious editorial by an unsuccessful college applicant. It’s an honest and sincere one, from the heart. As Erica expresses, she spent years of her life being a prospective student. She worked hard at the college admissions process. She devoted her time and her energies to it. She had dreams of going to an Ivy League school (or a school with that kind of name recognition). But, instead, she was waitlisted at four of her top college choices.

As Erica writes, “Understandably, I was crushed to learn that the schools I loved most did not return the feeling. Having poured my heart and soul into each application, I couldn’t help but take the outcome personally. Facing long odds only augmented the irony of the situation. I gave myself a day to mourn the death of each dream and promised to start the next day with renewed energy. Rejection hurts, but I learned the importance of keeping my spirits up during a notoriously unpredictable process. I recovered quickly just by spending time with friends after putting my social life on hold.”

We feel a need to point out that it’s important not to give up hope if you’re placed on a college waitlist. There are indeed ways to work your way off that list at some schools and there’s a strategy to employ to accomplish just this. But, nonetheless, we understand Erica’s frustration and we’re glad that she came to realize that there are other colleges out there for her that she’ll be perfectly happy at — they just may not have the name recognition of some of the schools that were her dream colleges. It seems the college application process matured Erica, as it does for many high school seniors.


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