Rejection is Tough

My daughter received her first rejection letter from a college today.

Let’s just say that there were lots of tears and hysterical screaming. This was her supposed “back up” school, and they unceremoniously told her to try community college instead. She’s not a brainiac, but she’s not stupid. She could definitely handle a regular four-year college, with some assistance, since she has ADD and is dyslexic.

I think one huge problem is that she’s trying to get into school to study psychology, and with her weak grades in that area, she’s not looking like a good candidate. On the other hand, she’s a gifted flautist. However, she doesn’t want to go to school for music, and God forbid if she follows in her brother’s footsteps. I don’t want to tell her that she’s setting her sights too high. People are entitled to their dreams. If she really wants it, she’ll get it.

When I returned to the office from my errand, I helped her fill out a few more online applications. I tried to tell her that even smart and talented people (like her brother) are sometimes rejected. Out of the seven applications and auditions he submitted, four told him he wasn’t good enough. He kept plugging along, and didn’t take it seriously. I expect once the initial sting lessens, she will, too.

You can’t get everything you want, but if you’re ambitious enough, you just might get what you need. Yes, stolen from the Stones.

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7 Responses

  1. Poor kid!

    *sending her prayers and positive thoughts*

  2. Ouch. I hope she finds the right fit. More prayers and positive thoughts!

  3. I have one who is just now learning how important grades are too–a little earlier, but maybe not early enough, we’ll see. Holding a good thought for her. And you know, some people go to community college and get their ducks in a row and reapply–that’s been known to work too. 🙂 Hang in!

  4. I’ve had just a bit of experience with the whole admissions process to higher educational institutions. My experience has lead me to believe that even sane compassionate administrators make admission decisions in a bonkers way. One has to let in a certain number of students. One has a pile of bogus information about a great number of students. Looking through and really thinking about each student is both a huge amount of work and won’t really work since the information one has is suspect. So, one makes up some easy to apply rules and races through the applications feeling mild guilt that you’re arbitrarily and likely mistakenly admitting some people and turfing others.

    There is one thing that I will say about the idea of getting admitted as a music major and then changing majors: in my opinion the real meaning of a degree is that is shows that you have the ability to find a path through the bureaucracy that rules the academic world and thus also have a fair chance at dealing with corporate bureaucracies.

    So, I think the idea of getting in as a music major and switching to psychology is a very sensible path. Look through the requirements for both degrees and see if she can take a first year that fits with both. Then the change won’t even cost any time.

  5. Tell her that she needs to find out the distribution of majors at the schools she applies to and then when they ask what department or major she would be enrolling in, have her select one that is not impacted. If that is anthropology, pick it. Then she has a better chance because the competition is not as tough. When she gets into the school, she changes departments. At least that’s how it’s done in California. The schools have each department read through the applications. The departments decide, not a general admissions committee. (Cal State and UC systems)

  6. BGG: These are all excellent ideas. After I drove home, I told her to get with her counselor at school and see what they would recommend. I have a bad opinion of teachers and even worse of school counselors. Her counselor is the same my son had, and she was no help at all. She had never had a kid that wanted to apply at a music school before, so she didn’t want to make an effort. That is, until we both started to make a fuss. In the end, all three of us learned some things about applying to colleges in general and music schools in particular.

    Corina: Since she is applying at both Cal State and UC, these are excellent ideas. I’m going to suggest that to her. Just because she comes in as one major doesn’t mean she has to follow through for four years. I changed my own major three times in two years, so I know how that goes.

  7. Corina’s idea is brilliant.

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