Here’s a copy of one of the rejection letters I’ve received. (I am censoring the name of the university not because I’m personally embarrassed by the rejection but because it’s not polite to) They all say the same things:

I am sorry
I appreciate this decision must be disappointing for you
I wish you all the best in any applications you may be making

right. If you really were sorry, you’d put in your school. So don’t pretend that you felt bad crushing dreams.

Rejection sucks, I’ll be the first to admit that. As my friends know, I apply to “impossible universities” and hope for the best. Why? Because I was taught to aim high. I got into one of them but due to the lack of ka-ching $$$, I am unable to pursue my studies there. It’s heart-crushing and in general, it sucks. I hate seeing the “sorry”s and the “good luck”s. What’s worse are the universities that don’t even get back to you personally but just mark your application as “unsuccessful” through the main application server (like UCAS, which most, if not all, UK universities use).

No, this is not a bitchy rant about how life is unfair and how those universities are the ones “losing out” because I’m a “fantastic student which they would be lucky to have”. No, I’m an average student and I don’t belong to most of the places I applied to. I don’t share their philosophy nor am I suited to their way of life. I thought I was a certain way but I’m not. I thought that I was Hermione Granger but in reality, I’m Ronald Weasley just scrapping by.

That’s not a bad thing. You need your Grangers in the world. You need people who are really gung-ho and spirited about their education. I’m not saying I’m not a nerd. I am, but I’m a complete procrastinator. Heck, I’d make a good companion for the Doctor because I’d be glad to run away with him any time, away from this life. I wouldn’t last a week or a day in the top tier universities I applied to. I only feel bad because I dared myself to dream, I dared myself to hope and I wasted my parents’ hard earn cash on applications when deep down, I knew I’d never reach those places.

I am not preaching about how you “should not dream”; heck no, I advocate dreaming. I hope those of you who are reading this, who are young enough to want to go the distance, who can go the distance, will actually have your “I will go most anywhere to feel like I belong” moment. Because if you can do it, if you are the type of person who’s willing to give it your all, go ahead. Apply to those impossible places and be those impossible people and make me proud.

But to those of us who are complacent and are just chugging on “mediocrity”, keep on chugging. I know that there is nothing I can say to make you want to propel yourself to the highest of highs and there is no reason for you to go that far. If you’re comfortable where you are, good. You probably have faced your rejections and you’re fine with them. And that’s normal. And that’s perfectly alright.

As for me, that latest rejection letter has just solidified my purpose in university right now. Understanding that where I am right now is where I will be in 5 years just helps me focus. I received good news today (which I won’t share until it truly materialises in about 2 weeks) which made me feel better than I’ve felt in a while. So yes, I got a rejection but I’m taking it as reaffirmation. It shows me that I’m stuck and to hell with the rest, I’m going to be fine. I’m not in a bad place; in fact, this is where I thought I would be when I was in Form 4. I’m content. I’m alright.

I’m okay.


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