Whether this is your first time being rejected in your lifetime or your tenth (remember that time you didn’t make the team or you did not get invited to the Homecoming dance?) it hurts. It is a stinging kind of pain.  One that hits you at your very core and makes you wallow in self doubt. These are all natural reactions.  Allow yourself time to grieve, to be upset, to ask why me and not him? Eat that ice cream sundae with another friend who is in the same boat, and then wipe off your pants because you have some work to do and bigger fish to fry. Resist the urge to contact the school and ask them what went wrong. You will have an opportunity to reach out to the school, but that will have to wait until January. Your parents especially your mom may go into Mama Bear mode and want to call or email the school on your behalf.  They should not do that.  College admissions want the applicant to own the process and advocate for themselves.

Probably the last thing you want to do is log back onto the Common Application and see your dashboard with incomplete marks next to the colleges you initially listed, but that is exactly what you need to do. Finish those applications, put your best foot forward. Look at your personal statement, is there something that does not sit well with you? Now is the time to make some additional revisions.

Come January, you will need to make a decision.  Are you still interested in the school that has deferred you? If the answer is a yes, a letter needs to be crafted and sent to the admissions by January 15 to let the school know.  If there have been additional honors that you have received or activities that you have recently joined that are not already listed on your application include those in your letter as well. You may also want to do some additional research. If you indicated that you were interested in majoring in communication, describe why you are interested in the school’s program. Additional recommendations can often be added to your file. Is there a coach, employer, or a clergy who could add some additional information about you? Reach out and ask them to write a letter on your behalf.  For some this process is a sprint-they have been admitted early, for others it is a long distance event, but crossing the finish line is rewarding and can teach you so much about who you are.