How to handle rejection

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Rejected? Again? Don’t worry!

We go through our lives seemingly getting an endless stream of rejections, and unfortunately this does not stop at university. From the big rejections of your dream graduate job to the boy that rejected you as you made a drunken pass in Sugar, this article will help you to learn from the experience, mistakes or not.

Getting head first into my final year at Lancaster, I seem to be fearing rejection more than ever now that the time has come to apply for graduate schemes, teacher training, and even postgraduate study. Everywhere you turn the odds are stacked against you; but first of all it is important to not let the fear of rejection keep you from applying and living life. Rejection, after all, is better than a lifetime of regret.

Don’t hate the person/organisation that rejected you. This will only cause negative emotions; of course it is okay to feel disappointed and upset at first, but harbouring negative emotions against a certain individual causes more problems that it is worth. It uses up more time that could be spent moving forward, rather than looking back with disappointment and anger. Follow the wise words of Oasis, ‘Don’t look back in anger’, as this has never been truer.

Ask for feedback. If you have been rejected from a job, interview, or any kind of professional rejection, don’t be afraid to inquire as to why. They must have a reason for rejecting you and so use this feedback, take it as constructive criticism, build on it, and get back in the game. If you never know what you’re doing wrong you will never know how to fix it; by knowing your strengths and weaknesses you can become better at what you do, meaning you are less likely to get rejected again.

Do not take rejection personally! Sometimes it is simply a case of the huge number of applicants that go for a position, be it career wise or study wise, and they have no choice but to let some capable people down. Many people find the act of rejecting someone very difficult indeed and so will be able to understand how you are feeling. This is never personal, and, if it is, then maybe that particular position isn’t for you.

Talk, talk, talk. Talk to someone about how you are feeling; a problem shared is a problem halved as they say, and this is very true. Talking it over with friends and family will help you realise how amazing you really are, and that it is in fact ‘their loss’ that they are going ahead without you. These conversations will not only boost your self esteem but get you back on track to keep going. If you are feeling particularly upset about being unsuccessful whether this be with university work, job applications, or something more personal, then please do seek support that Lancaster has to offer; particularly NightLine, a student run, anonymous support phone line available every night during the week.

Finally, even if you do get rejected, try again – you never know what curve balls life will throw at you.

 

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