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What to Do When You Don’t Get an Offer from Your Dream University/College
It is always very hard to face rejection. Not receiving an offer from your first choice university, for which you have been waiting impatiently all these months, is obviously very disheartening. You have followed the whole admission procedure, took advice from the college counselor and now you receive this setback. But rejection is a part of everybody’s life and nobody is immune to rejections of life. Remember, it is not the end of the world and there is nothing to get disappointed. Rather than moving towards helplessness and despair, it is time to identify other options and make a sensible and quick decision.
There are thousands of students who do not get the chance to study in their preferred college or university. In the last few years, the situation has turned gloomier as the competition in the academic world has increased exponentially. In countries known for their quality education like USA, UK and Australia, the competition is much more intense. International students also struggle to get admitted in these colleges/universities. So, the chances of getting rejected are much more. But when career and future seems to be on the line, college rejection affects not only psychologically but also professionally. In this article, we will concentrate on both of them and seek to provide a complete solution to these aspiring souls.
How to get motivated?
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm”
~ Winston Churchill
When you cherish something whole-heartedly, and things do not turn out according to your expectations, life seems cruel to you. Facing rejection from the most prestigious college or university also has the same effect on students. If this happens to you, allow yourself some time, perhaps two scoops of your favorite ice-cream will help you to get over it! Scroll down to have four different reasons which will tell you that not getting selected in your dream college/university is perfectly fine.
1. The path to success can be different
Many students possess the perception that getting selected in the first choice university is the only way which leads them to success in professional life. However, the actual truth seems to be different. Prospective and potential employers are always concerned about education, skills, knowledge and passion that you have rather than the ranking of your university/college. Reaching your goal does not have a single path but there are several ways to reach your aspirations. These days, many students take an unconventional route to achieve success. In the present era, your practical abilities are far more important than your theoretical knowledge. Many students switch their majors or take an internship to pursue their dreams.
2. The first choice is not obviously the best choice
Most of the students prepare a list of all the colleges/universities where they aspire to study. They sort this list on the basis of reputation, suggestions from experts or seniors, fees, location and many other factors. But does it guarantee that it will give you the best experience? No! Even the best university in this whole world has a significant number of dropouts and transfers. Remember, your college or university not only provides you an education but it also gives the opportunity to make friends, explore new things, pursue your extra-curricular activities and have new experiences. So, when you have faced rejection from your first choice college/university, try to look for other institutions where things will work out for you.
3. Rejection helps to build character
Failure is completely inevitable. Not only it is inevitable but it also has a positive impact in everyone’s life. While rejection hurts, it also helps to build determination and character. It helps us to grow and learn how to deal with challenges. These challenges that we face help us realize what we are capable of and what our true abilities are. Experts and eminent people tell that success is all about how you deal with failures. Use this rejection to motivate yourself so that you can perform better. The whole professional life is full of rejections. A college or university rejects an application for some definite reason. If you are aware of your shortcomings then work harder to overcome them. It will help you in your eventual professional life.
4. Successful people always fail before they get success
Can you imagine that J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series was rejected 12 times before it got published. Now, it is one of the best-selling book series in the whole publication history. Look around you; you will find such successful people who have once faced rejection in their life. They did not doubt their abilities and dealt with the rejection firmly. Do not let your own self-belief get hurt. Believe that missing your first choice does not mean you are going to miss out on university education. Instead, you may find that the following events may turn better for you.
There is a saying that ‘you will always reach where you are supposed to!’ It is very difficult to believe especially when you have faced a rejection little while ago. But things always happen for a reason. So, do not take this rejection too personally and firmly believe that you can still reach on top irrespective of not studying in your dream college/university.
What do you need to do now?
Now when you have become stronger accepting your rejection, it is time to take some definite decisions. Here we provide some steps which you can take according to your own feasibility.
Choose your second-choice college
Most likely, you have applied to more than one college or university. Then probably you are going to be accepted at least in one of them. Enrolling in the best institution obviously makes sense but getting admitted in the second-choice college or university is equally estimable. But don’t choose any one of them blindly. Think about the features why you loved your first-choice institution at the first place. Campus? Programs? Infrastructure? Whatever may be your reason; your first choice institution is obviously not the only one to offer those qualities.
Even if your second-choice university does not match your requirements, go to the third one. College is the time of self-discovery and exploration. Investigate about those qualities which would allow you to enjoy the experience of studying in the college. Do not forget to emphasize on the working prospects, location, social and cultural ambience of your prospective college/university.
Use the transfer window
Sometimes it happens that when you arrive at the second-choice university, you realize that the institution has failed to live up to your expectations. If you are really displeased and equally desperate to be at your first-choice institute then you can use the transfer window. After a year, you can apply to your dream institution and if selected you can continue the rest of your degree in the college/university of your dreams. But there are few things you essentially need to be aware of before you apply through the transfer window.
Firstly, there are some colleges/universities that do not accept transfer students at all. Most of the institutions fill the vacancy through this transfer window, but if your first-choice college/university does not accept students, then this option is not for you.
Secondly, transfer requirements are always different from freshmen requirements. The accepted qualifications through the transfer window are always higher than the freshman requirements.
Thirdly, check with your present university to find out whether they have a transfer agreement with the university of your aspirations.
And then most importantly, you have already faced rejection from your first-choice college/university for some reason. Make sure that you have improved in all the areas so that your application receives the best possible appreciation from the admission officers of the respective college. Along with the stronger profile, you may also need recommendations from professors of your present college/university. Try to build a rapport and sufficiently connect with all the professors of your subject so that they feel confident and comfortable to write your recommendation letter.
Apply to a new course
There are some students who are extremely focused with the subjects that they are going to take in the tertiary level. If you are open to pursue your major in other subjects then you can apply in the same college/university (provided the deadline of accepting applications is not over) or in the new institutions. There are various universities which have a longer deadline or have rolling admission system which provides ample scope to the students to get them enrolled in the universities.
Most of the students have sharp inclinations towards any of the subject. When you fail to enroll yourself in those subjects then you can go for broader alternatives. For example, you can study Physics if you have a special interest in pursuing Electronics. It is possible that you get selected in the broader discipline in your first-choice college/university. Study hard in your graduation so that you can specialize in Electronics in your post graduation.
The universities of UK allow the students to apply for a new course through UCAS extra. Though most of the under-graduate students are not aware of the benefits of the UCAS extra, it provides the opportunity to make a choice when the five initial choices are unsuccessful. You will have time to find out about other universities and courses and then make your final choice after careful research and consideration. However, the number of choices is limited to one which cannot be changed later.
Wait for clearing
After the initial admission procedure is over, there are some adjustments in vacancies in every college/university. Some students after cancelling their admission in present college enroll themselves in better institutes (their first-choice institution) while some leave the course to pursue an education in other fields. This dropouts and adjustments create vacancies. If you do not get an offer from your first-choice university, you can give yourself some time and wait from these late-admission procedures. It is known as clearing. Through the procedure of clearing you can find a course and the respective university with which you are going to be really happy with.
Remember, as you wait for this clearing process, hundreds of students like you also wait for this moment. So, be very swift to avail this clearing procedure or your courses can get filled quickly. But as you will get some time, devote this time to research so that your clearing course decision is a carefully and considerate one. However, one of the major disadvantages of this clearing process is that you never know beforehand when the course at your favorite university will have vacancies and it will be up for clearing.
Take a break and re-apply next year (But be very careful)
If you are too passionate to study in your first-choice college/university and you cannot rely on any other institution, then you can take a break of one year and apply in the next session. This is a very risky decision which we don’t encourage. However, there are students who take this risk to re-apply in the same college/university after a year. Before you make your mind to do it, consider the following things:
- Scheduling a gap or a break in studies can only be sensible if you successfully enroll yourself in the university next year. In this one year, you need to do something exceptionally good to make your profile noticeable. Applying again without any significant improvement will again lead to rejection as it happened in the previous year.
- All your friends in college or university will move ahead in their life by one year. It is sometimes very difficult to accept. Staying in touch with your closest buddies can be really difficult.
- Starting the college/university life later also means that you will end the college/university year later. This delay, provided you can’t perform exceedingly well, will cost you immensely in your professional life.
- It may so happen that next year the competition among the students becomes much more intense and you face a stiff contest from the new aspirers. Most of the colleges prefer fresh students over the ones who are re-applying.
If you are very confident about yourself, then you can move forward with the idea. Try to escalate your skills and qualities in this one year hiatus by doing any professional courses or internships. Any form of qualification will increase your chances in getting selected.
Missing the first choice is never the end of the world. In fact, eventually it can lead to some pleasant surprises and experiences of life. Always keep your aspirations high to study in the best university of the country but you should also have an open mind and keep all your options open with regard to university, college and their courses. Here, we have given all the possible ways when your first-choice college/university denies you admission. Select the most suitable and appropriate ones to fulfill your aspirations. Lastly, always remember the fact that the more prepared you are, the better is the outcome!
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