First of all, thank you thank you thank you so much for the overwhelming amount of support from my last post! I am so glad that my story reached people who needed to hear it. 🙂
Now… as promised, I want to share with you 5 lessons that I learned from the seventeen rejections mentioned in my last blog post. Along with my one acceptance (to my dream school, might I add) I also learned a lot and I believe you can learn from your rejections too.
- You’re good enough for your biggest dreams
If you don’t know…or even if you do know, I’ll be the first to tell you I’m a HUGE UM fan. Some may even say a fanatic. Some may even refer to me as the tailgate queen. *insert Beyoncé hair flip.* Not only do I love University of Miami for their football team, but I always dreamed to be a ‘Cane myself, to graduate and take my photo with Sebastian after I cross the stage. That dream was really something that became important to me when my dad went back to school and got his MBA from UM when I was in high school. I’ll be honest, I have been a daddy’s girl my entire life so naturally whatever he did, I wanted to do too. Not only was UM my biggest dream, but at times it also felt like somewhat of an unrealistic dream. You know that saying “aim for the moon and you’ll land among the stars?” Well that wasn’t cutting it for me, I wanted to aim for the moon and land on the moon! My experience and what I went through to get into UM’s PT program truly sealed the deal for me, it showed me that I am good enough for my biggest dreams. I believe that anyone can make their biggest dream a reality as long as they are dreaming it for the right reasons and they are willing to be patient with the timing of their dream coming true.
Persistence is defined as a firm continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. And boy oh boy, was I firm. Now as a student in the program, I’ve apologized to our admissions coordinator for the copious amounts of phone calls and emails I sent her during the application process, I definitely kept her busy (Sorry again Jhelane, lol!). I’m pretty confident with how often I called to check up on my application status they had my phone number memorized. I remember sitting at the dinner table and my parents asking “Did you send another follow up email to UM today?” and my response always “I don’t want to be annoying!” or, “Won’t that seem over eager?” or, “Do you think they even read those emails?” Retrospectively, I’m glad I sent every single email and made every single phone call. I wasn’t annoying or over eager, I was persistent. Persistence displays passion and passion is definitely what University of Miami saw in me when they accepted me.
3. There’s always room for growth
When you apply to nine programs in one year and receive nine rejections, growth is crucial. (If you’re a little lost & you haven’t read my last blog post about my application process, you should go do that now!) Crucial to get you back up on two feet. Crucial to build back up your confidence. And most importantly, crucial to build a better “you” so that you’re ready for when your acceptance comes. After year one of applications, naturally I had to make changes before re-applying. The definition of insanity is to attempt the same thing over and over expecting different results. My rejections forced me to evaluate my own weaknesses and the weaknesses of my application. I retook some classes & the GRE, refocused my essays, and most importantly… I found the ability to remain positive. They always say at my church, growth will stretch you and make you a bit uncomfortable. I sure was uncomfortable, but I’m grateful for the growth that came along with it.
4. A support system is essential
I could NOT have made it through the process without my family and friends. Simple. There were a few roles my support system played, a shoulder to cry on, a push when I was feeling unmotivated, and a distraction from the disappointment. Many, many, many tears were shed during the application process. Sometimes I didn’t need a motivational speech, I just needed a shoulder to cry on with some wine and chocolate, and my mom always had both easily accessible and knew when I needed it. My family and friends were more than there for me, they saw the tears drip down my face and knew how to comfort me. I’m forever grateful for you guys, you know who you are! But sometimes, a shoulder to cry on wasn’t what I needed (even if it was what I wanted) and what I really needed was a reality check! My dad was always there and willing to be the bad guy for a moment to remind me that I was going to make it happen, that I was going to be in PT school, that I was born for this. I’ll admit Daddy, I hated you at times for not always choosing to be the shoulder for me to cry on BUT I am so glad you took the tough job of thickening my skin. And lastly, the distraction for the disappointment. This was huge for me. My friends knew what was going on, they knew my heart was being wrenched every time I got another rejection letter, but they also just kept living life. This forced me to do the same, sulking in my room every night wasn’t an option for me. I have a very specific memory of coming home from work on a Friday and my dad telling me I had a letter on my bed. I already knew by the look on his face it was a small letter … and acceptance letters come in big packets. I walked in my room, opened it, cried, wiped my tears, and starting working on my essay for next year. That was my ninth rejection in my first year of applications and the tough girl mentality my dad was trying to instill in me was starting to pay off. That night I had some wine with my parents and my dad told me how proud he was of me for just brushing it off and pushing on. The next day I woke up, put on some makeup & a smile, and headed to Orlando to spend the day with my friends (a.k.a. a distraction). My friends knew about the rejection letter, and that this meant I had to start the full application process over but instead of throwing a pity party, we had a real party. The bottom line is simple: find your support system!
5. God has a plan in place and you can’t rush His timing
I had to save this one for last because the value of this concept has grown with me over time. I recently discovered my faith and accepted Jesus into my life. In May of 2016, one of my best friends took me to church with her and instantly, I felt a peace I hadn’t felt in years and knew this church would be my home. To keep our timeline straight, I started at University of Miami in May 2015 so this lesson took over a year to fully reveal itself for me. As my faith grew, I really started to understand that I wasn’t being punished with those seventeen rejections. In actuality, my patience was growing, my confidence was growing, and very importantly my gratefulness was growing. I worked hard for the position I’m in which makes me value it so much more. Retrospectively, if I would have been accepted the first year I applied without any blood sweat & tears, I may not have passed that first summer semester. The amount of obstacles I overcame made me work hard enough to ensure it never slipped away from me, but if it was just handed to me would I have worked as hard? If you ask me, seventeen rejections and one acceptance — one acceptance into my dream school — it seems to be a lot like God’s plan.