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Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Moving Through Rejection
A few weeks back, I spoke with a close friend who is in the process of applying for positions as an adjunct professor of psychology. This woman has spent many years in school. She finished her dissertation just months after having her second child. She was elated when she finished and successfully defended it. Knowing that the job market in her desired area was tough, she sent out fifteen applications for professorships in the first month after earning her degree.
Every single one of them turned her down.
She told me she planned to send out the second round within the next month. Was she disappointed? Sure. Did her confidence take a hit? Yeah. Did she wonder if she'd picked the right field? A little. Was she going to keep searching? Absolutely.
I'll be honest. I couldn't imagine having skin that thick. She took it in stride. "They just weren't the right fit".
Thick skin and quiet introspection are things that take years to cultivate. It seems crazy to ask seventeen-year-olds to "relax" about college admission. Disappointment, however, is part of life. And failing to get into a dream college is a pretty benign and high-quality disappointment. (#firstworldproblems)
This doesn't make it any easier to take, but it should serve as a reminder to high school students about the relative importance of a specific college. I'm not suggesting that students lower the bar, merely that they be pragmatic. With acceptance rates at the top universities hovering in the single digits, the odds are you won't be part of that world, and that's okay.
Most of us will never be astronauts either.
If you're grappling with success at the collegiate level, you've already got a foot firmly on the ladder. The ascent may take on many forms, and that's okay too.
Labels: Moving Through Rejection
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