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Why Being Rejected By Your Dream School Isn't The End Of The World

中国日报网 2014-04-25 16:48






Everyone's had nightmares about that classic thin envelope. It's something you dread from the time college is a mere blip on your radar, to the moment you wait with your own children to hear from the school of their dreams. No matter which way you spin it, a college rejection is never going to be fun.

But you need not worry, fellow dream school rejectees. Though the sting is still palpable, there are plenty of reasons why an initial rejection is not the end of the world.

1. These highly successful people got rejected too -- and look where they are today.

Meredith Vieira, Warren Buffett, John Kerry, Katie Couric, Steven Spielberg, Tom Brokaw and Columbia University's President Lee Bollinger all got rejected from their dream schools. But getting turned down may have been the very thing that sparked all their eventual successes. As Bollinger put it, no one should let rejections control his or her life. To "allow other people's assessment of you to determine your own self-assessment is a very big mistake," he said. "The question really is, who at the end of the day is going to make the determination about what your talents are, and what your interests are? That has to be you."

2. The sting will prepare you for facing an unstable post-college future.

A 2013 poll stated that more than 40 percent of college graduates were underemployed, and more than half of grads said getting a job was difficult. The market is still recovering, and there are twice as many college graduates working minimum wage jobs as five years ago. We know the rejection hurt, but you are so much better off having experienced it now so you are prepared for the turbulent future.

3. You may end up loving your fourth choice school more.

Students often put the emphasis on big-name schools versus the places that would fit them best. But often students who don't attend their first choice school are happiest throughout their time in college. As Shawn Abbott, the Assistant Vice President and Dean of Admissions at New York University, put it to high school students, "You will love your fourth choice school. I know that I did."

4. It forces you to step back and reevaluate the most important qualities you want in a school.

It's incredibly easy to put your dream school on a pedestal, which makes the rejection that much more difficult. Yet when you romanticize instead of rationalize, you may overlook some key factors about the school you wouldn't have liked if you attended it. For example, you may not have realized how key Greek life would be on campus, or you might have underestimated how tiny 4,000 students would feel after two years. Getting rejected from a school you have your heart set on forces you to really prioritize the aspects you value most in a college experience, regardless of the school name.

5. Going to a less prestigious school doesn't mean you'll have a less prestigious future.

According to a 2011 study by Alan Krueger of Princeton University and Stacy Dale of Mathematica Policy Research, students who were rejected by highly selective schools eventually raked in salaries nearly identical to those earned by the students who went to those schools. "Even if students don't get in, the fact that they are confident enough to apply indicates they are ambitious and hardworking, which are qualities that will help them regardless of where they go to school," Krueger said. These less measurable traits, aka "unobserved student ability," could be the key to your future success in the job market.

6. The odds were never in your favor, anyway.

It's very easy to take a rejection personally and to imagine that the admissions office had some vendetta against you and your application. It's not that simple. Universities like Stanford accepted only 5 percent of their applicants for the upcoming school year, a new low amongst the most prestigious schools. The number of applicants has increased dramatically the past few decades and a higher number of applications generally leads to the acceptance of a smaller percentage of the students who apply. Between the high number of applicants, budget cuts, in-state versus out-of state quotas and preferential treatment for alumni's children, the odds were literallyneverin your favor.

7. Your sadness means someone else's joy.

Somewhere in the world, a student less fortunate and more fit for the school got an acceptance letter for your spot, and they have you to thank. Former Globe columnist David Nyhan wrote a piece in 1987 that still rings very true today:

This is the important thing: They didn't reject you. They rejected your resume. They gave some other kid the benefit of the doubt. Maybe that kid deserved a break. Don't you deserve a break? Sure. You'll get one. Maybe this is the reality check you needed. Maybe the school that does take you will be good. Maybe this is the day you start to grow up.

Bad habits you can change; bad luck is nothing you can do anything about.

8. When it comes to getting a job, where you went to college probably won't make or break it.

Though you might imagine seeing "Harvard" on top of a resume would instantaneously impress an employer, there are other factors that matter significantly more. Newsweek published a survey in 2010 that showed in terms of hiring, employers ranked experience, confidence and even how you look above where a job applicant went to school. That means you should be focusing on internship and leadership experience, not the college sweatshirt you wear.

9. Rejection might be the very thing that motivates you to succeed.

J.K. Rowling was famously turned down 12 times before Bloomsbury agreed to publish the firstHarry Potterbook. Just a few years later, she became the first billionaire author. What happened when Steve Jobs got fired from Apple? He made an unexpected comeback that's still spoken of today. Jobs attributed his eventual success to his initial failure in his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University:

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter into one of the most creative periods of my life ... Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love.




1. 那些非常成功人士也曾被拒——再看看现在他们的成就

梅雷迪斯•维埃拉(Meredith Vieira)、沃伦·巴菲特(Warren Buffett)、约翰·克里(John Kerry)、凯蒂·库里克(Katie Couric)、斯蒂芬·斯皮尔伯格(Steven Spielberg)、汤姆·布罗考(Tom Brokaw)以及哥伦比亚大学校长伯林格(Lee Bollinger),他们全都曾被各自的理想学校拒录过。但也许正是这样的经历,激发了他们日后的成功。正如伯林格所说的那样,不应让拒绝主宰人们的生活。“如果你让他人对你的评价决定自我评价,那么你就犯了极大的错误,”他说。“问题的根本就在于,是谁最终肯定你的才华,确定你的兴趣所在呢?那个人必须是你自己。”

2. 被拒的伤痛将有助于你更好地面对毕业后多变的生活


3. 最后,你可能会更爱你的第四志愿

学生通常更看中名牌学校,而不是学校是否最适合自己。但通常来说,没有进入第一志愿的学生往往在大学生活中过得最幸福。正如纽约大学助理副校长及招生主任肖恩·阿伯特(Shawn Abbott)对高中生说的那样,“你会爱上第四志愿。至少我知道自己确实喜欢。”

4. 给你机会退一步,重新评估学校的哪一方面对你来说最重要


5. 上普通院校并不代表你的未来一定会平庸

据2011年一项由普林斯顿大学的阿兰·克鲁格(Alan Krueger)以及数学政策研究公司的史黛西·戴尔(Stacy Dale)进行的调查显示,被高要求的那些学校拒绝的学生与进入该学校学习的学生,在工资收入方面,基本处在同一水平。“即使学生没被录取,但是他们有足够的信心去申请也表明了他们充满抱负,勤奋努力,就是这些特质有助于他们在大学成长,不论进的是哪所院校。”克鲁格说。这些难以量化的特质,又称“学生的内才”,终将在未来的就业市场中决定你的成败。

6. 其实,成功几率本来就不大


7. 你悲伤,别人快乐

世界的某个角落有个学生,没那么幸运,却更适合这个学校,占了你的名额,获得录取。他们也得感谢你的帮助。前波士顿环球报作家大卫·尼汉(David Nyhan)1987年写了一篇文章,至今听起来都很有道理:



8. 找工作时,毕业于哪所学校其实并没有多大影响


9. 拒绝可能会让你奋发图强,取得成功

众人皆知,J.K.罗琳在布鲁姆斯伯里(Bloomsbury)出版社最终同意出版哈利波特1之前,被拒绝了12次之多。但仅仅几年后,她就成为了第一位身价亿万的作家。至于斯蒂芬·乔布斯( Steve Jobs )被苹果解雇后,他做了什么?他出奇不意地发起反击,至今仍被传道。在2005年斯坦福大学毕业典礼上,乔布斯表示自己最终的成功得益于早年的失败。



为什么被理想学校拒录并非世界末日? 为什么被理想学校拒录并非世界末日?

(译者 Chinsane 编辑 Julie)



















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