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Saturday, December 31, 2005

Handling A Harvard Rejection

Very few people can say that they have been accepted to Harvard University. A few more can say that they have been rejected. The greatest majority of the world can look at the eggheads in the other two groups and laugh heartily at such concentrated social ineptitude.

I can not say that I am a member of any of the 3 defined "classes".

I am part of a transient breed - a breed that exists for a few months each year, only to perish on April 1. My breed is always replaced by others, each December, who don't know if being deferred is just another intermediate step before joining the rejected group or, perhaps, a lesson in patience after which the proverbial ticket to success will be punched.

Yes, I got deferred by Harvard. But that's alright. What is the worst possible outcome of my college application binge? At this point it is that I go to Georgia Tech, likely with a partial scholarship, to study computer science and business like I would at Harvard for 20% of the cost.

You never know. I might still get in. Stanford could admit me too, or I could choose to go to NYU where I will likely also be accepted and could become part of the vaunted Greenwich Village community 30 years after Greenwich Village was in vogue.

The lesson here though is what my response will be if, come April Fool's Day, I receive an exceedingly slim envelope in the mail. I won't be happy, of course. But I won't be drowning in my tears lamenting some "lost dream" either. If Harvard doesn't admit me, that's their mistake, and it is my job to prove to them through what I do with my life that they should have let me walk through Harvard Yard on the cobblestone paths.

If you are rejected by a college, employer, date, etc. never take it as an end in itself. Look at it as a challenge. Sure, you can't change the past. But you can act in the present and you can shape your own future.