Two days ago I received rejections from all the universities in the USA I have applied to (except Ramapo and Drexel). The list of universities includes the Ivy League, Duke, Vanderbilt and Williams. And of course I am not the only one – many friends of mine in Bulgaria got rejected or at the best waitlist decisions. And of course many other impressive students around the world got rejected as well. With this post I want to explain my thoughts on the top universities in the U.S. I also hope that if someone rejected lands on my post, the latter would help him overcome the rejections (if he feels forlorn).
1) Why you shouldn’t feel sad
Many really successful students around the world do not get accepted to the Ivy League. Many people refer to the Ivy’s as a gambling bet – you may be talented and get in, you may be really talented and get rejected, you may not be really smart but get in thanks to a hook or you may not be really smart and get rejected like the other 30,000 candidates for the same university. You just did not have luck, but this does not mean that you are not going to be successful or that you wont have a good life. I will give you an example right away – an acquaintance of mine got rejected from a lot of places last year and he decided to take a gap year. He applied again and received acceptance offers from Cambridge and Yale. So, what I am trying to say is: “The rejection is never the end. You can choose another place to study or you can take a gap year during which to learn a lot of new things, gain useful experience and do what you really want to do. You can be a volunteer in a foreign country, you can take up different courses in Internet or in the nearby college. You can help people – if you are really good in chemistry, for example, you could teach chemistry from time to time in your school.”. Remember, top universities do not produce successful people. They just give you good opportunities you could exploit if you are a hardworking person. But there are opportunities everywhere: if you want to study Computer Science, why don’t you just read a book, start solving programming problems, compete in online contests and do research. You could do this on your own and basically own DA SHIT at the university.
2) No, it is not the end
The bachelor degree is not the end. You could always take a Master or a PhD degree at a better university. Usually, the acceptance rate for Master and PhD degrees are much higher than those for bachelor degrees. Are bachelor degrees that important? If you have graduated from Harvard, that would definitely be a hook for your first job, but would it be such a huge hook for your second, third, tenth occupation? No, I do not think so. If you are hard-working and devoted, you could always succeed in the long run. I know many people who have not studied at MIT, Princeton and the other top universities, but now work at different prominent companies like Google, Microsoft and Facebook. I hope that thankfully to the aforementioned facts I have persuaded you that the bachelor degree is not the end. Strive for success, cling to happiness and you will inevitably find them!
3) Why you shouldn’t be sorry for applying to the Ivy’s
Perhaps you think that you have wasted your time applying to universities you did not get in. Yeah, you have spent a lot of time studying for the SATs, for school, doing volunteer work, competing in Olympiads, going to conferences, embarking on research projects, filling in forms and writing essays. But is that wasted time? You have learned a lot of new things, you have probably met a lot of new and diverse people, you have enhanced your mental skills and you have made one of the steps towards success – understanding that not everything goes as planned and that not always your hard work is going to be rewarded. Maybe the only thing you should feel bad is the money, but as an ex-owner of an online shop I could tell you – money flows in different directions: at one time you could be swimming in cash, at another you could be broke as hell. Basically, you should not feel that bad for the spent money, because you may be broke right now, but at a later stage of your life I bet you will have all the money you need.
4) So what now?
Do as you please! It is your final year at secondary school – make something out of it. Develop your own plan:
– What are you going to do this summer? Camps? Festivals? Parties? Study?
– What are you going to do with your life? Do you wanna rock? (Twisted Sisters reference). Will you take a gap year? Will you study in the U.S., in the UK or in another country? The decision is entirely up to you!
– What do you want to do? If you are interested in something, give it a try – study in Internet, read books about that topic, perfect yourself.
– Are you going to work this summer?
Think about the aforementioned questions and build a schedule. Always remember: no matter where you end up, you could always be successful in the long run. Do not sob that you are not going to study in the Ivy’s or in another prominent university, because life is ahead of you. You are young, talented and intelligent (only smart persistent people apply to the Ivy’s, trust me) – you can always be a winner, just do not give up.
So, that’s my motivational post about the Ivy League and generally about life and education. I hope that it would offer some psychological help to all of you who have been rejected and feel forlorn about that.
It turned out to be a really long post, but I am happy that I have written it – it turned out to be a motivation for me, as well.