I got rejected from my dream college. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
Hi friends! Since it’s been a while since I’ve written on here, I bet you can infer what this is going to be about. However, this has been published in Grain of Salt Magazine! I’m overjoyed to have this personal essay of mine be my second publication. It’s only up from here!
Click the following link to read it on Grain of Salt: https://grainofsaltmag.com/i-got-rejected-from-my-dream-college-and-its-the-best-thing-thats-ever-happened-to-me/
December 15, 2021.
I watched the clock all day. Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock — 4:00 pm could not be coming any slower. I thought that hour would change the trajectory of my future.
At that time, my admissions decision from my dream school was being released- New York University. I had applied Early Decision; if I got in, I’d be going- and showed demonstrated interest to the point where I probably annoyed the admissions officers. My freshman year grades had been slightly below what they were looking for, but I had committed myself to show academic and personal growth. In my sophomore year, I got A’s and a couple of B’s, pushing through the sudden change from normal school to a COVID-mandated online school experience. The next school year, I got a single B as I traversed the challenges of such a non-traditional school experience. I became a leader in my extracurricular activities and did three virtual theatre productions in my drama club. Before I knew it, I had to narrow down my college list.
I started making a college list early. During my freshman year, I was convinced I would get a theatre degree and “make it” on Broadway. The senior girls around me in the drama club were stressing about college auditions, pre-screens, and what they would perform in their auditions — I decided if I was going to go through that process as well, I would start early, and make it a lot less stressful. I knew that New York was the home of Broadway and that NYU had a notable theatre program. Adding it to my list quickly, I dove deep into the website. Falling in love with everything about it, it quickly became my dream school.
Flash forward to senior year. My career aspirations have changed; now, instead of pursuing theater, it is my dream to be a professional journalist, eventually becoming a White House Correspondent. However, New York University stayed consistently on my college list. Through everything I did, it was my goal to see “Congratulations!” on my NYU decision letter. Before I knew it, I had submitted eight college applications — NYU being one of them.
December 15, 2021, moved painfully slowly. That morning, I was accepted to The New School, a university in New York City. Adding to the excitement, I received a merit scholarship and was accepted into a five-year BA/MA program. As amazing as that was to receive an hour before my NYU decision, it wasn’t on my mind.
After a day that had felt like forever, it was 3:59. One minute was left until my life would change forever. I was in the car with my mom and my best friend Jess on FaceTime. I watched the clock change to 4:00. I refreshed my portal. Soon, a conspicuous yellow box showed up in it. “VIEW YOUR ADMISSIONS DECISION”. Here we go.
Anxiously, I clicked on it. Looking everywhere for that one C-word, I zoomed in on the first paragraph.
“It is with regret that I must inform you we are unable to admit you to NYU this year.”
I looked over at my mom. Crushed, I croaked to her “…I got rejected.” Jess gasped, dumbfounded. My entire friend group, and most of the people I knew, were convinced I was going to get in. Brushing it off as not the biggest deal, I looked at Jess. She was at our other friend’s house, so I was able to break the news to more of my friend group. I texted some other friends, hung up the phone, and started sobbing. I cried until my tear ducts were empty. However, in a matter of days, my college process took a total 180.
One of the eight colleges I applied to was Simmons University. I found it on my Snapchat map, and I couldn’t be more grateful I did. It might be the total opposite of NYU, as a tiny historically womens’ college in Boston. On December 20, 2021, I got a text from my mom while I was at a read-through of the script for my school musical. It read, “You got something from Simmons.” Below was a picture of a package, and I knew I was in. I ran down the hallway to my best friends and ecstatically revealed the news. In a matter of hours, I was at my house looking through the package.
I was wearing the hat Simmons had sent me and began meeting other amazing people who had gotten accepted too.
If NYU had never rejected me, I would not be writing this and saying with all of the happiness in my heart that I very likely will be going to Simmons this fall. I wouldn’t have a friend group who bonded over a mutual love of Trader Joe’s, and we wouldn’t be planning weekly game nights. I’m sure I would have had fun at NYU and all, but I know now Simmons is where I’m meant to be — and with a price tag significantly less than what I would’ve spent going to NYU.
So thank you, NYU, for rejecting me. When your door closed, my Simmons one opened — and I couldn’t be more excited to walk through it.