Gappie Diary: The Power of University Rejection Letters

When the one college I desperately wanted get into rejected me, I was shattered. I felt like God had forgotten about me and decided to pass MY blessing to someone else. I could not fathom why X and Y got into that school and I did not. I hated myself. I equated God’s purpose and plan of my life to a university placement. Each time I think of Friday the 13th of February, I think of the pain I went through. I think about the awful and daunting squeeze I felt in my heart when I opened my inbox and got the news that I will not be going to X University this fall. My heart was pounding like the pulse of an athlete after a long sprint around the field.

To be honest, I have always wanted to take a gap year. Always. I applied to that specific school because everyone was applying to university. It is not what I would wake what I would in the middle of the night and profess and my immediate goal. I needed something other than being stuck in a lecture hall for another year. Being at ALA was exhausting, I needed a breather. I needed to “find” myself outside controlled environments; outside school. I wanted to pursue my passion- advocating for human rights. Advocating feminism throughout. When you go to a school where most of your class mates have a GPA twice as high as yours and and these same classmates are college crazed, you are bound to follow suit especially if (like me) you have no backbone. You are bound to do so especially if you think you have an identical journey as somebody else. Though, I cried myself to sleep that night and many months after, woke up with my eyes looking like fire balls, walked around like a zombie like for a couple days, faked a grin when I was actually hurting — my rejection letter was my eureka. I am grateful for that rejection letter. It landed one of the most amazing internship opportunities in South Africa. I work with a female economic empowerment advocacy group that is pushing me past all sorts of boundaries. I can confidently say: I am doing what I love. I work with a very passionate group of men and women who are aiming towards changing the world. The first day I walked into the office, I knew that this was indeed worth the rejection letter. I am learning so much about myself than I think I would have anywhere else. For the first time in the 20 years of my existence, I feel like I am in control of my decisions.

Rejection letters have the tendency of making us feel like we are second best or we have been cheated. They have the power to make us hate ourselves and shut the world out from our lives. But rejection letters can be great! They have transitioned me into a better phase in my life. I have since quit comparing myself to other people.

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