I got rejected from my dream college. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

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.

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