I would like to preface this post by extending my thoughts to all those affected by the terrible events at the Boston Marathon. I wish all those afflicted (some of whom were my high school classmates) a safe and speedy recovery.
During Spring Break I looked after the neighbors’ house while they were on vacation. In the study I noticed an odd letter on the wall—it was a notice from Georgetown University informing the husband that they could not accept his application for financial aid. The date in the corner read April 3, 1976. As I glanced around the room I saw other letters, some denying admission and others explaining why he was not the right fit for a job. Looking at these rejections, I could not help but smile at the irony of it all—my neighbor is the most successful person I know. This is the man who sits on almost every board and has lunch with four-star generals. When I returned to my room and saw my college letters on my desk, I decided I am going to frame them.
Let’s be honest: rejection sucks. Whether it’s the perfect job or that hot guy or girl from across the hall, being told no is one of the most difficult parts of life. We come up short, lose what we have tried to achieve. Worst of all, it tears a hole in our self-image: denial tells us we aren’t good locking or smart enough, that we lack the capacity to meet our goals.
That is why I am framing all my rejections—not to manage my ambitions but to fuel them. Each letter represents someone who told me no, a school or company that said I didn’t amount to their standards. Hanging on the wall they will inspire me to work harder, prove that the admissions committees were wrong. One day I hope to glance at them and like my neighbor chuckle at the fools who thought they had it all figured out (suck it, Yale!).
These schools will not care if I prove them wrong. In fact, the admissions officers most likely forgot my name seconds after throwing my application into the rejection pile. But I don’t need to change their minds—what they think of me doesn’t matter. I will use their letters to motivate myself, to prove I am worth more than a boilerplate denial. Those framed, unapologetic letters will remind me of what I’ve become and just how wrong those admissions officers were.
So what about you guys? Will you frame your college rejection letters? My guess is that a lot of people would rather just throw them out—after all, they do not invoke pleasant memories. Share your thoughts in the comments section below! As always, please like, share, or reblog this post if you enjoy it. Be sure to check me out on Twitter and Facebook as well. Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe for new content every Wednesday! IT’S FREE!
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Comment question of the week
Any funny (or not so funny) rejection stories? Stanford rejected me twice, just in case the first note hadn’t arrived.