The Worst Day of My Life

Wow. I’m really not sure where to begin… Yesterday was quite an interesting day. I felt so sick  and queasy all day as I waited for 5:00 PM, the time when college admission decisions would be posted online.

First I checked Princeton, rejected. I was disappointed, but not devastated because I’ve heard so many bad stories about grade deflation, overly competitive students, and the whole thesis requirement thing that other schools don’t have.

Then I checked Cornell: a school I felt I stood a pretty good chance at since they have accepted so many students from my school in the past. Nope, rejected.

Feeling so scared, I waited a few hours. When I finally built up the courage, I checked Harvard when I was alone in my room. Rejected. Then I said a few prayers, gathered a few good luck charms, and checked Columbia’s website: Rejected.

That was four out of six. Yikes. I went to my room and made yesterday’s daily blog post. Then I waited for my little sister to come home. Once she walked in, she and my mother sat with me as I checked Yale: the school I wanted SO BADLY. I applied early action but my application was incomplete and got moved to the regular pool. Well all of those early efforts were pretty much wasted because guess what: Rejected.

And then finally, the school that was literally the most important thing in the world to me: The University of Pennsylvania. The school where I was the perfect fit. The school that would put my in the most amazing Digital Media Design program in the world. The school that also rejected me. Crushed.

Just when I thought things couldn’t possibly become any more awful, right before I was about to go to bed, my phone buzzed. An e-mail. My final dream school, NYU, had sent out decisions early. I thought to myself, “Do I dare look? This is it. It’s NYU or nothing at this point…” Well, it’s nothing because NYU rejected me too.

My life feels like it has been spun upside down. In the last 24 hours, every dream and every path I ever pictured myself living was completely obliterated and I feel like I don’t even know who I am anymore. I felt so qualified and ready for at least ONE of these schools to accept me. I was really counting on the excellent need-based financial aid. I was really looking forward to the residential college experience. I was so thrilled to be surrounded my motivated, ambitious, intelligent individuals. I also liked the extremely liberal student bodies. This serious sucks.

I don’t even know where to go now… Drexel? I can’t afford it! TCNJ? They haven’t accepted me yet. Stevens? I was waitlisted. Rutgers? It feels like Rutgers is my only option but I don’t think it’s super impressive, to be completely honest.

Why didn’t I apply to more schools in the middle? Why didn’t I apply to George Washington, to UChicago, to Northwestern, to Northeastern, to Wesleyan, to Boston College or even Boston University? WHY WHY WHY

Honestly, I feel like I’ve wasted my life. Why did I take those challenging classes in high school. Why did I take the SAT five times, why did I join every single club in my high school, why did I take college classes senior year, why why why? Why did I miss so many parties and hangouts only to do homework and study when none of this really mattered? I hate everything right now…


  1. So sorry to hear that all your favorite school’s rejected you. Just remember, everything happens for a reason. You are special and destined for something good in life. Sometimes, we don’t think so, but just wait. HUGS

  2. I’m sorry to hear your news… :/ I know my boyfriend went through a similar situation when he applied to uni. He waited and worked a year and re-applied, and was then successful. Having a year out isn’t the worst thing; obviously it’ll be more difficult because it wasn’t what you had in mind… But you may be able to save up some cash. Also – dunno if this is an option: you can potentially apply late to other schools. St Mary’s College of MD does late applications; College of William and Mary in Williamsburg is another I know of offhand, both really good schools for liberal arts. Contact some schools and see. It can’t hurt. Keep your head up, and good luck! Hope it all turns out in the end.

  3. Quite sorry for the news. I know there’s probably nothing we can really say to make it better, but one thing’s for sure, it’s not wrong to reapply in those universities. Take Rudy Ruettiger, for instance. He kept getting rejected from the University of Notre Dame, but he still kept going at it. He reapplied to his dream school three times before he was accepted, so you may never know…On a side note, I do concur with your last paragraph. Same with me; I attempt to take all the accelerated courses in my high school, always dismiss days where I could hang out with my friends to study instead, and all for what? Though, I just tell myself, our efforts will count for something…

    1. Very true! I may try applying elsewhere as a transfer and then to these schools again for graduate school. Apparently people say grad school is where the name matters anyway. Whatever. Thanks Jean, your post made me feel a lot better and you are right, our efforts will count for something! 🙂

  4. I know this is way long ago and kind of irrelevant now, but for some reason I just saw this and I wanted to tell you I felt literally the exact same way as you did. All the wasted energy and missed fun in high school, the extreme regret in the application process, the seemingly gloomy future, even the pointless need for that prestigious name. Same barrage of rejections from pretty much the same schools (except I went to Drexel)! I wonder when was the last time you read this, but I re-read my own post about my college rejection experience a few days ago, and isn’t it great to know you’ve grown so much from that experience? I know I have. There are a lot of kids today who feel the exact same way as we did, but I hope they know that it gets better.

    1. Hahaha yeah, we HAVE come a long way! I’m really glad I went to Rutgers purely based on the number of people I have had the pleasure of meeting. I still sometimes wonder if I would have had a higher quality education at a smaller institution. On the bright side, RU taught me to be independent and how to teach myself which are both practical life skills. Looking back on my life, I think college rejections was possibly the most depressing thing I ever experienced. My heart really goes out to all the high schoolers who are now enduring that feeling of disappointment and confusion.

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