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The Gamut

The Gamut

The Gamut

Ways to Cope With College Rejections

Trisha Phan

The day has finally arrived. You check your email obsessively, refreshing your applicant portal until a notification pops up. You click on it with bated breath — only to find a crushing rejection. While this experience is undoubtedly disheartening, to say the least, coping with college rejections doesn’t have to be daunting.

“It’s not about the acceptance or the denial — it’s about how you respond to it,” said Mr. Taylor, a teacher familiar with the stressful college admissions process.


Have a Good Cry

It’s important to acknowledge your emotions before overcoming your rejection. Take a deep breath and let a few tears out. Sob into your pillow if you must. Crying will help you release oxytocin and endorphins — hormones that boost feelings of well-being. It will also help you avoid bottling up negative feelings, which can lead to unhealthy self-deprecation. 


Go for a Run 

Rejection can bring about a flurry of intense emotions, including frustration and anger. A healthy outlet for these sentiments is exercise, which releases stress-relieving endorphins and reduces the anxiety that comes with the pressure of the future. Running also provides you time with your thoughts away from family members or social media. Rather than passively dwelling on your feelings, physical activity can channel them into something beneficial.  


Talk to Someone You Trust

Oftentimes, your perspective can be limiting. Speaking to another person — whether it’s someone who recently experienced college rejections or an older adult — can provide comfort and guidance to move forward. Such a conversation can not only place the rejection into perspective but also validate your emotions. 

“My hope [for students] is for them to get to a place where they can look back and say, ‘That sucks, I was upset, I was disappointed, but I wouldn’t change anything because I got to a place so perfect for me that if I changed anything, I might not be here.” said Mr. Taylor. 


Research Your Accepted Colleges 

Getting excited about potential future opportunities is key to moving on. By searching through their websites or speaking to alumni, you can find opportunities to thrive through the colleges you can attend. Look into specific programs that interest you, intriguing professors, unique clubs on campus, or unusual school traditions. As hard as it is to accept that the school may not be your first choice, it will likely match you better in the long run.

“Just because you think a campus is the best fit for you doesn’t mean that is the case so wherever you end up, I think you should just make the most out of it,” said class of ‘22 alumna Esther Chu.

While these tips won’t soften the initial blow of rejection, they are a path to gradual acceptance. Rejection is inevitable, and the college admissions process is no exception. Rather than dwelling on what-ifs, live in the present and look to the future to turn your rejection into redirection. 


“Wherever you go, you’ll excel because what matters more are the choices you made within your control,” said Weibo Zhang, an alumnus from the class of 2022. 

About the Contributors
Anjali Suva, Senior Staff Writer
An empathetic, strong-willed, and charismatic senior, Anjali joined the Gamut to channel her talkative energy and express her opinions through writing. Writing makes her feel unstoppable, especially when she knows that every word she writes and everything she says becomes important on paper. Her favorite subjects being history and English, Anjali enjoys watching history documentaries and reading manga, as well as digital art during her free time. She loves diving into webtoons filled with drama, thriller, and action, making Pyramid Game and The Aftermath her favorites. She can often be seen ranting and fangirling about her favorite characters, Denji from Chainsaw Man, Reagan from Inside Job, and, of course, Suji from “Pyramid Game” Wanting to live this year without any regrets, Anjali hopes to have a memorable first year in Gamut!
Trisha Phan, Editor in Chief
Trisha Phan, a senior at Oxford, is this year's Editor in Chief of The Gamut. A staff member since freshman year, she served as the Lifestyle Editor for the 22-23 school year (her personal favorite section, as a lover of fun diction and features). Trisha is also the Co-President of the new Law and Politics Club and the Co-President of Cartooning Club (and advises all who love drawing to join). During her free time, she enjoys crocheting stuffed animals and reading. A Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift enthusiast, her favorite albums are NFR and Reputation. Since becoming part of the Gamut in her freshman year, Trisha has fallen in love with journalism, and is looking forward to trying new things this school year.
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Ways to Cope With College Rejections