Whether it is your best friend, sibling, child or simply a classmate, watching someone get rejected from college is always hard. Be prepared to help them heal the pain with these few suggestions.
1. Let them be sad.
Rejection (of any sort), but especially when it's from a school you worked so hard to get into, sucks. There is no other way to phrase it other than that it truly sucks, so let your friend be sad. Sit with them and give them tissues while they cry, let them vent about why they should have gotten in instead of the other girl and hug them as much as they need. Allow them get their tears, but don't let them wallow for too long.
2. Remind them it isn't personal.
At the end of the day, college admissions is pretty much based off of luck. A student could fulfill every numerical criteria of the college's statistic yet still not get accepted, so remind your friend, sibling or child of this harsh, but true statement. Remind them that it does not reflect who they are as a person nor does it reflect how hard they have worked – it was simply just how the numbers worked out.
3. Tell them how proud you are of their hard work.
Make sure you repeat just how proud you are of all of the hard work they put into their academics and college applications. However, more importantly, tell them how proud you are of the person they are. Keep repeating not only just how proud of you they are but also how proud they should be of themselves.
4. Distract them.
After you let them be sad and have dried their tears, it is time to get out of the house and do something fun. Suggest going to see a movie or going to their favorite restaurant – anything to get their mind off of college admissions. Also, as a tip, try logging them out of their Facebook to avoid them seeing the inevitable "*Insert college name* Class of '22" posts plastered all over their timeline.
5. Get them excited about other options.
Now it is time to officially move on, so remind them of all of the other amazing colleges that they applied to and would be lucky to have them. Start looking up their other potential college options and get them excited about all the fun clubs and interesting classes they can take at these other colleges. Soon their previous dream school will be just a distant memory of college rejections past.
6. Remind them that pain will pass.
Although it seems like the world is ending to them (and even you may be starting to worry that they will never get over it), remind them that this pain of college rejection will end. There are hundreds of colleges out there, so there is bound to be another school that they will learn to love equally as much. Remind them that soon enough they won't even remember why they wanted to attend that previous college so badly.
It can be just as painful to get rejected from college yourself as it is watch someone close to you get rejected from their dream school. Help your friend move on from this horrible experience as quickly as possible with these tips.
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