College rejection can be difficult for high school seniors
It’s that time of year again, when colleges and universities all over the country decide who will be given a coveted spot in their incoming freshman class.
For high school seniors, this is often the culmination of several long years of challenging coursework and SAT preparation, not to mention the hours spent working on college applications and finding an intriguing idea for an essay.
It is the topic that often dominates conversations between parents, and it can foster tension and competitiveness among students and their friends. To make matters worse, the drama of the college acceptance process has been heightened with the advent of technology. Most students log in at a designated time and learn about their future online instead of by running to Whe PDLObox, hoSLnJ IoU that thick envelope.
, n WhLV DJe oI WexW PeVsaging and Facebook, news travels within minuWeV. ( ven LI D VWuGenW doesn’t post an acceptance, it is understood by the immediate world that they didn’t make the cut. There is no longer any privacy to deal with the painful feelings of rejection that often result from a disappointing outcome.
ReDFWLonV Wo college rejections vary widely and depend upon various factors including selfeVWeeP, IOexLbLOity and resilience, overall mental health as well as the response of parents.
For students whose self- worth rests heavLOy uSon exWeUnDO IDFWoUV such as achievement, a rejection letter can be a blow that is difficult to bear.
Many parents find that their own feelings of disappointment can be quite intense and can make it difficult to remain rational and objective during this trying time.
In some cases, a parent may personalize the decision of the admissions committee and view it as evidence of not doing a good enough job in providing their child with the tools for success.
While disappointments are inevitable in the process of applying to colleges, there are some guidelines that can help students and their parents more effectively navigate this difficult time. 1. Students need to accept the fact that rejection hurts and that it is perfectly normal to feel the VDGneVV WhDW WheVe exSeULences may trigger.
HoweveU, LW LV LPSoUWDnW to recognize that college rejection is not a personal indictment and that many institutions are forced to reject more students than they can accept due to the sheer volume of applicants.
2. While many students feel that there is only one school that holds the ticket to a bright and successful future, there is always more than one path that can be taken to reach a particular goal. It can be helpful for students to make a list of the qualities that drew them to their top college choice.
Most likely, many of these criteria can also be found in other colleges that accepted them, where they could certainly pursue their passions and dreams.
3. aisappointments in life can be important, JUowWh SUoPoWLnJ exSeULences. They can foster resilience, personal strength and an opportunity to bolster problem solving skills.
Although feeling unhappy about a college rejection is understandable and reasonable, it is important to move on and focus on whDW’V nexW.
Dr. Caryn Richfield is a clinical psychologist practicing in Plymouth Meeting. She can be reached at 610- 238- 4450 or at drcrichfield@ aol. com.
Coping Dr. Caryn Richfield