By Melody Wolf
Not everything is “meant to be.”
Rejection is one of the worst feelings. It’s the kind that sits at the bottom of your stomach, pulling at your insides. Even if you weren’t craving the part or position, being told you aren’t good enough is never easy.
When I was in high school, I wasn’t told “no” very often. The easy access to leadership roles made it easy to blow up my resume with little effort. I was flying high, and man oh man, ignorance was bliss. Then, I got to college.
Stepping onto the college campus was overwhelming to say the least. I wanted to get involved, but with no idea of where to start. As I started finding my feet, I soon realized that I was coming late to the game. I started applying for every organization that I was even slightly interested in, and I soon found myself dealing with a lot of rejection, doubt, and loneliness.
College is a reality check – especially when you go to a school like UF. All of a sudden, you’re surrounded with so many bright, young minds that it’s easy to lose confidence in your ability to stand out.
Recently, I went through the interview process for a second time for a club I have had my eye on for a long time. I truly believed that these people would enhance my college experience and that my time spent with them would be both productive as well as socially uplifting. I’m nearing the end of my second year, and I still feel like I haven’t found my place.
I made it to the final interview. When I got the final email saying I had been once again been rejected from this organization, I was devastated. I had told myself that this was my one shot at college and that if I couldn’t get into a college organization, how was I supposed to find success in my career?
The amount of overthinking drove me up the wall. I was at home at the time, with my dad and sister. I didn’t want to go back to college. I didn’t want to explain it to my friends. I didn’t want to face the rejection. I just wanted to watch trashy reality TV shows all day, because you can’t get rejected if you don’t put yourself out there right?
As the week went by, I slowly started to realize that I had made this all up in my head. I had no real gage off who these people were – sure, I’d seen pictures, but everyone at this point knows that pictures are just an inflated version of reality.
You see, when it comes down to it, sometimes we long for something so bad that we make it out to be a life or death situation. By doing this, we are only killing ourselves in our drive to do better – to be better. The truth is, there are so many opportunities to grow that focusing on one is a waste of our precious time, and we only only get one shot.
I wanted to write this blog post is to make other people aware that they are not alone. To the naked eye, it may appear as though every person that passes you by knows exactly what they are doing. Want me to let you in on a little secret? They’re just as dazed and confused as you are.
Letting yourself give up after being turned down is so incredibly easy. Don’t give in to the little voices telling you that you aren’t good enough, and don’t give up the drive that you had coming into college. Swallow your feelings of self-pity and use your rejection to your advantage.
While rejection is inevitable and you won’t get every position you apply for, it’s important to be as prepared as possible. For advice on how to nail the interview, check out our book: The Young Adult’s Survival Guide to Interviews: Finding the Job and Nailing the Interview.