Re rejections, always listen to Groucho: "I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member."
The mean spirited letter from the safety school brings the mind the great Japanese novelist Kobe Abe, best known for Woman of the Dunes was a below par medical student, and they told him they didn't think he would never make it as a doctor. He said it was ok because he was doing to be a writer. "In that case we'll give you the MD on the condition you never practice medicine." Very Japanese. Everyone saves face.
College applicants have nothing on writers who may have to live through a rejection every day. Gone With The Wind was rejected 138 times. Emily Dickinson, who published only a handful of poems in her lifetime, got this letter, "Your poems are quite as remarkable for defects as for beauties and are generally devoid of true poetical qualities."
College rejection is just as subjective, and happens only once in a lifetime.