"Unfortunately, you are not competitive enough for the nature of the program. You possess a strong application and we wish you luck on your future endeavors."
I got this update on several universities I applied to. Because I resided originally in Calgary, Canada, I only pursued Canadian Universities. If I could not even join the Canadian university of my dreams, no way would I look down south towards high tuition US schools or high-living-expense European and Asian schools.
My name is Kasey. During the winter break of 2015-2016, I spent an entire day working on an application to the University of British Colombia, a west coast university about 10 kilometers away from downtown Vancouver. You should honestly have a look at the university, even if you don't reside in Canada. The campus sparks debates upon the best-looking college campuses in Canada. The programs are top notch: science, engineering, business and all fields of arts. There are so many different programs in such a diverse and gorgeous campus. At the coast of the campus lies the amazing Departure-Horseshoe Bay and a beautiful beach. Surrounding the amazing walkways and cherry blossom trees are tall yet stunning coniferous limbs.
Coming from an academically-oriented high school in Calgary, many of the students within my grade aimed for this university for all the reasons listed above, with additional factors such as its fairly close distance from Calgary as opposed to cities like Toronto or states like California. When all the students began applying to post-secondaries, I felt competitiveness and eagerness correspondingly. I was not even in the international baccalaureate program, which my high school was heavily known for offering. Because of the daily anxieties of, "What if I don't get in," or, "I don't want to come back to upgrade," I panicked and ended up applying to 10 different universities across Canada and a variety of programs. The benefits and parental expectations of pursuing UBC outweighed all my other university choices and my happiness upon receiving an acceptance letter. Who would want to fly across the country? Who would want to stay at home and commute to campus?
The day my wait-list update arrived, my eagerness, aspirations and keenness went down. I did indeed wait to see if the wait-list decision would change, but opposite of my hopes, within a week a rejection letter followed. A large amount of my friends and acquaintances managed to earn the acceptance letter to UBC, while others decided it was not worth their time to even apply. To let my parents, friends and myself down upon this unfortunate moment made me frustrated and feel unworthy; grade 12 was my decision year, and I blew too much time outside or playing video games and I knew it was all my responsibility. I always look back and think about what my life would be right now had I been accepted into UBC and started a science or business undergrad there. My end goals and ambitions definitely would have been slightly different knowing my goals and ambitions now at the University of Waterloo.
I have to say with full enthusiasm and happiness that I, being a UBC reject, am extremely glad I had gotten rejected.
Why? After a full first year at the University of Waterloo, I got more than all I could ever have asked for if I were at UBC. New friends, old friends from the same high school, new lecture halls, new cafeterias, new professors, new clubs, new volunteer opportunities and most of all, a new love for my university that exceeds the fondness and affection I had for any other university. Today, I am a biotechnology/economics student in the co-operative education program who volunteered for multiple organizations, made plenty of new friends including several very close friends, achieved fair grades, participated in intramural soccer and volleyball, made new connections with different professors and asked out a girl that I liked.
They say that the university you end up going to plays a role in shaping the package you are today. If you have enough patriotism, eagerness, commitment, ambition and fondness for your specific school, even if it was not originally the school you aimed for, never be afraid to go all out. Perform every single aspect you planned to do as if you were to be accepted to your dream school, and make the "back-up" your dream school instead.
Lastly, to put a final word out there: make life happen no matter which post-secondary institution you find yourself attending. Rejection is not failure, rejection is not the end and rejection only brings you higher. Having the determination to pursue whatever long-term goal one has while proving their dream school wrong by showing them what type of individual they missed out on makes any student in any university a champion. The school name will be there with you and your bachelor's degree when you enter that hall of fame, but your image, memories and achievements will always come first and foremost.
Have trust in the university you end up attending, establish your proud position as a student there and walk out as a proud alumnus with the achievements of a king.
Lead Image Credit: Kasey Fu