Moving Forward in the Aftermath of Unfavorable Admission Decisions

Alright everyone, bring it in, time for a group hug.

* HUG *

Whether you are contemplating the waitlist option or appeal, or just trying to make sense of the decisions, my advice to you is to take charge of things that you have control over: evaluate your current college options, select the right path for you to move forward, proceed with the required steps to enroll (in four-year or two-year college) or make a plan (for gap year or another path), and, most importantly, keep up your grades and study for your upcoming school and AP exams (those academic skills and AP exam credits will come in handy later).

If you take up the waitlist offer or intend to appeal, do NOT bet your entire future on the hope that you will get off the waitlist or be admitted on appeal. Move forward with your life. If you do get off the waitlist or get admitted on appeal, GREAT! Reevaluate your options when that happens (compare financial aid offers; make sure you have somewhere to live – none of the UCs guarantee housing for students admitted on appeal; also find out if you can still attend orientation or how you will register for classes).

So you learned that life is not fair. All of us learn that at some point in life, you just got a head start. But the most important lesson, I think, is that you should NOT take college admission decisions as a judgment of who you are or as a way to determine your worth. Handling defeat gracefully is a sign of strong character and we should all practice that more often. Remember that Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be. Make the best of your journey ahead and you will succeed!

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