Photo by Tomasz Stasiuk
California State University, Fullerton

Resilience in Academia

In the midst of college decisions arriving to anticipating high school and college students. I’d like to reflect back to a quote I once heard. Babe Ruth, an American Professional Baseball player once famously said, “You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.” These are words that resonate deeply with me. I carry these inspiring words with me, during every important milestone, disappointment, or even in times of fear.

Fear is powerful in its ability to trap us into feeling a sense of inferiority, especially when it is concerning something as serious as our future. Having gone through both the undergraduate and graduate application processes, I feel my experience could possibly shed light to students who are going through this difficult and stressful process.

Admittedly, I have experienced the let down of not being accepted to my top choice university. However, I soon realized that nothing good comes from wallowing and overthinking about why I wasn’t accepted, or what I could have overlooked leading to my rejection letter. Yes, rejection is a difficult pill to swallow. Nonetheless, without rejection in life, we would not be able to learn from the situation and reevaluate ourselves.

The aftermath of my rejection to my top choice university, surprisingly allowed me to become a more motivated student. I interpreted my rejection not as a failure, but as an enlightening experience of recognizing improvements I could implement to my academic application. I placed my focus on accepting the fact that there are many qualified students that apply every year to the same university, that I also had my heart set on. I chose to not allow a rejection, or the fear of possibly receiving another rejection, to get in my way of accomplishing my dreams.

Thus, a rejection is not a setback, but rather, the beginning of a greater opportunity. There could be an equally rewarding opportunity that awaits at another university. Moreover, this could be the beginning of changes that students could make to become stronger students and individuals for the next round of applications, in both the academic and professional world.

Essentially, I hope this piece can provide some insight and support to any students who are grappling with this tedious time. This is not the end of your academic career, but simply, the beginning of a new path.

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