The Silver Lining of Rejection Letters from Colleges

Like clockwork, late March has arrived and with it comes a flurry of college acceptance decisions from schools across the country. As is the same every year, universities are touting their biggest and most talented application pool to date and are highlighting the achievements of all of the students they have admitted. They have taken to social media to share pictures and videos of students all over the country opening envelopes containing the good news.

Yet, somehow in the middle of all of that joy, is an awful lot of sad news. Students, who months ago put themselves out there to be considered for admission, receive notifications that they were not among the chosen handful. There is no question that this news hurts. It never feels good to put yourself out there, wait for months for an answer, only to have it come back with a “thanks, but no thanks.”

The college counselors at Fairmont Prep are understanding of this, and they do give students time to grieve about it.

But only 24 hours.  Why?

Because it isn’t worth playing that “what if?” game. Sure, it’s sad that that one college has passed on you. But if you have listened to the advice of your counselor, you probably already have other options. Options for real legitimate offers of admission to a school that sees and understands your value and wants you to be part of their community. These are the places that you should be excited about. Once you start to dig into these other colleges and see the opportunities there, you may be surprised.

The college counselors have countless stories about students who ended up at schools that were not their first choice and, after a year there, could not see themselves anywhere else. The connections they have made, the resources that are available, and the doors that have opened have transformed their experience and have helped them move past those “what if?” moments.

You owe it to yourself to make the most of the opportunities presented to you. You may surprise yourself in the long-run. That school will shape who you are and what you become. Don’t be afraid to let it do so. There is no point in longing for a college that isn’t going to be an option. It doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch either. Really look at the outcomes of those other schools. See what that community is like. Go and visit with an open mind as a potential home for four years.

You will be surprised at how quickly you forget the “what ifs?”.

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Shelby Wagner - 1st Grade Teacher Fairmont Historic AnaheimTop Teacher & Skating Champion
Shelby “My favorite part of being a teacher is the children I get to teach.”
  • Is one of the head teachers for the Fountain Valley Artistic Skating Club, teaching regional and national champions. She also teaches beginner classes every Saturday morning.
  • Every year, her students are amazed to find that their teacher has a life outside of the classroom.
“I love feeling like I’m part of a family [at Fairmont].”
Keira Kamath - 5th Grade Fairmont Anaheim HillsScience & Tennis Superstar
keira “I like how there are so many different specialty classes at Fairmont Anaheim Hills, like art, music, PE, science lab, computer lab, and Spanish.”
  • She would like to be a professional tennis player when she grows up, or maybe a doctor.
  • Loves dance and plays the piano
  • Her favorite class is science “because you get to figure out stuff, and I like to do experiments.”
Nicholas Aghaian - 7th Grade Fairmont Historic AnaheimKicking His Way to Med School
nicolas“The teachers and the amount of support they provide to not only me, but to the whole entire community here at Fairmont is probably what I like most about attending Fairmont Historic Anaheim.”
  • He would like to be a professional soccer player, or a doctor specializing in the field of sports medicine.
  • Enjoys basketball, piano, and soccer pitch.
  • His favorite subject is math “because I like to be challenged, and math is full of challenges.”
Gianluca De Gregoris – 2nd Grade Fairmont North TustinDancing Toward Greatness
dancing"What I like most about Fairmont is that I get to learn and meet new friends.”
  • He wants to be a professional dancer when he grows up.
  • Is trained in ballet and ballroom dancing.
  • Loves writing and creating new stories.
Nicole Heyman - Kindergarten Teacher Fairmont Anaheim HillsLaying a Foundation for Lifelong Learning
Nicole "The best part about teaching at Fairmont is being able to work with a diverse group of students who are all incredibly talented. It is amazing to be able to challenge students at such a young age and watch these children grow throughout the year.”
  • Loves camping, reading, and traveling
  • Her students love learning random things about her – like the fact that when she was in kindergarten she wanted to be Spiderman when she grew up.
  • Her proudest moments are the times when a student on campus is excited to see her, oftentimes telling her that she’s “the best teacher in the world.” “I live for those moments.”
“I choose to teach at Fairmont because of the sense of community, as well as the drive for our students to succeed.”
DJ Clovis - Music Teacher Fairmont North TustinRunning to the Rhythm
DJ Clovis “I get to work with amazing staff, faculty, parents, and most importantly, students!”
  • Teaches music to all grades — from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade
  • Coaches (or has coached) football, basketball, and Run Club
  • Plays bass trombone
  • NJHS Conflict Resolution Coach
  • He has run 15 marathons and 4 ultra marathons.
“The best part of teaching at Fairmont is the autonomy — being able to create a program that fits all of my students. At Fairmont North Tustin, I get to help with a lot of different activities.”