4 Things to Say to Your Friend Facing College Rejection

(Photo above by Polina Zimmerman / Pexels)

You’re hearing about friends getting into their dream college, but you haven’t received the big envelope yet. As the anticipation and uncertainty build, finally the small envelopes start to come. You didn’t get into your dream college and don’t know what to do.

Today we’re going to share some important things to remember when you or a friend is facing college rejection. Let’s be real; it can be overwhelming, but consider the following:

1. Your future is not determined by the college you graduate from.

Oftentimes, we think that if we attend a prestigious college then we will be successful in life. But that is simply not the case. Throughout history, it’s really the students who have made a college reputable not the institution itself. And just because it may be prestigious doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for your personal growth. So, even if you didn’t get into the top school, that’s OK. As the Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda writes:

Your future is not determined by the school you graduate from. It’s determined by you and who you are as a human being. Is one assured a happy life just because one graduates from a prestigious school? No, we know that’s not true. And does graduating from a so-called second-or third-string school mean your life is a failure? Of course it doesn’t. Many great people have completed only an elementary school education. It all comes down to this: Those who succeed in the challenges they set for themselves are winners and lead happy lives. That is the key.

Discussions on Youth, p. 358

2. You have a unique path that only you can fulfill.

Don’t compare yourself to others. You definitely have a great purpose in this world so what’s best is to focus on doing your best with what’s right in front of you. That will open up pathways that lead to the life you really want to live. And if you don’t know what you want to do, you can chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo about discovering your own unique path.

3. Regardless of which college you decide to attend, in the end effort leads to success.

At the end of the day, what we get out of something is reflective of what we put into it. Meaning, the college itself may be great but what’s important is the personal effort that is made to improve yourself. So, try not to worry too much; you still have a wonderful future ahead of you.

4. The college you attend isn’t reflective of your worth or intelligence.

Hearing the news about which college you got into can feel like judgment day, but it’s not. Great people throughout history have beginnings that seem not so remarkable. Both Maya Angelou and Steve Jobs did not go to top-tier schools and ended up dropping out altogether. Albert Einstein was remarkable in math but couldn’t continue into his dream school.

College is just one part of the long journey of life, so the fact that you’re challenging yourself to attend in the first place is amazing.

Ikeda also writes:

If we focus on the present moment and do our best, a bright future awaits us regardless of what our circumstances are.

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