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Being Rejected by my Dream University

Updated: Jan 28, 2022

Many people this year got into university, which is brilliant and I am proud of them. However not everyone got that victory this year. This includes myself.

I got rejected by my dream university - London Interdisciplinary School.

First of all it really freaking hurts. I had been looking forward to going to this university ever since I heard about it. I fell in love with the school’s philosophy and the idea it was somewhere where I could grow to be a better polymath. Getting rejected honestly sucked. Part of me wishes I could go back and change something in my past with the hindsight I have now. Although we all know that isn’t possible. So I have to move on.

Part of moving on is gaining constructive feedback. Whether this be from the university itself or from those around you. Both are usually better. With this let you sit down and reflect what happened. Yes there is nothing you can do about it but you can use this for clues on what to do on the next step.

The biggest question in that reflection is, do you still want to go to university? For a lot of people that will be a yes. Most of the time British society tends to push you to go through clearing or do any apprenticeship which might be good options but isn’t the only one. Personally I wanted to use university as an opportunity to become independent and be able to think. LIS was a place that to me didn’t feel restrictive to a single subject which would allow me to challenge myself and my style of thinking. So yes I still want to go to university but specifically LIS. I don’t feel the need to rush to any university and go through clearing. Neither should you.

Again, being rejected sucks. There are a whole mix of emotions. Being angry at yourself and possibly the university (there was for me), a sense of disappointment, and unfairness. The system feels against you. The best thing you can do is let yourself reflect on feedback and those emotions, be upset and use that to fuel your next step.

First of all figure out your long term goal. If you, like me, still want to go to university, ask yourself why? What do you want to get out of university other than the obvious, a degree. For me I didn’t want to have a space to explore new ideas, learn new techniques and make connections with various people in industries which is exactly why I wanted to go to LIS. Figure out why you want to go do that specific course. How does it help you reach your end goal? If you have no idea what you want to do, there is no pressure for you to know.

For example, my partner, they initially wanted to help people through nursing but later figured it out it was from family pressuring them. Instead now they are focusing on their mental health so then they can be ready to go to university, study engineering and work with trains, specifically high speed rail. Seriously ask them about it, they are so passionate about it. You will find the thing you are passionate about, and if that is a million things then so be it.

Follow that passion. That is your goal.

The next thing to do is to figure out the steps you need to take to get to your goal. It may be taking a year to acquire the grades you need to get onto your university course. For me I am taking the year off and reapplying next year. I’ve spent the last 20 years of my life studying in an environment that felt restrictive. I really needed a break. You too might need a break. However the idea of this break or gap year is not to spend your time at home, watching Netflix, playing video games or reading fiction novels. It is a time to be proactive and gain new experiences.

One thing that is important to do is get a job. You don’t have to love it. It can be working in a restaurant, at the local council, in retail. Anything. Just something that provides a decent income and work experience. We will all have to at some point do something we do not love. This is just one of them. Plus when you go to university in the next year you’ll have some spare savings that could make everything just a tad bit easier to deal with. Also if you want a job while at university you will have work experience on your CV. Well, I am doing graphics work for the galloping house wife during my gap year.

The next is to do some volunteering. There are loads of opportunities to volunteer your time or skills to help your local or wider community. Go to your local job centre or look online for volunteering opportunities. If there is a specific cause you want to help with, contact them and see what you can do to support them. My specific cause is political, I want to advocate for people, so basically annoy councillors and MPs consistently.

The final thing to do during your break is find something you can do regularly as a hobby. Preferably one that also gets you out of the house or off screens (your phone or computer). For me that is going to be going to Dog agility with my pupper. For you that could be textiles, photography, pottery club, roller skating, sports club, rock climbing with friends, the possibilities are endless.

If the answer to the question in bold above is no, then some of this still applies to you. Obviously you might not take a gap year but still do the same things until you figure out what you want to do. If you have a specific course or job you want to do then find the steps to get there.

Rejection hurts but how you bounce back is what is important. Be resistant and calm (Like King Bumi and Neutral Jing *) to get what you want and need to get the life you want. It is never easy but if you are patient and find another way you can get to your goals. Begin to be proactive. Being rejected has honestly just given me a year to work on my mental health and earn some extra cash. I can control what I do but not what others do. If they reject you, then they are missing out on you and what you can bring to the table or maybe you aren’t ready yet and that is also okay. There is no rush to go to university.


I should also say people with shitty parents, if you need to go to uni to escape them. That is okay. If it isn’t the perfect course but gets you out of your parents house that might be what you need to do for a year. During that time it is perfectly okay to apply to other universities and/or courses. How you handle your family situation is entirely up to you. Just do what makes you feel comfortable and as safe as you can be.

*If you know this reference we are automatically friends

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