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Rejection-How to handle disappointment

sleeplessmom1sleeplessmom1 Registered User Posts: 151 Junior Member
DS was not admitted into his first choice (UCLA). We warned him that he had a small chance of getting in because his stats were on the lower end of the acceptance range. He has been completely focused on his first choice in the last 2 years. Of course, he is extremely disappointed, but more so , because one of his best friends was admitted with much lower stats. He now feels that he has worked extremely hard throughout high school for nothing. As parents, we know that much of college admissions is just the luck of the draw. How have you consoled your child and convinced him it's not the end of the world. And yes, our child is a drama king. He has been admitted to many other schools and this is his first rejection.
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Replies to: Rejection-How to handle disappointment

  • PentaprismPentaprism Registered User Posts: 337 Member
    I don't think you need to "console" your S. It is part of life, you win some, you lose some.

    The "problem" will be fixed with time.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 59,751 Senior Member
    edited March 20
    UCLA does have varying levels of admission selectivity by division or major. Perhaps he applied to a more selective division or major than his friend?

    In any case, if any of the many other schools is affordable, then he will have a place to go next year. Working hard in high school means that he will be better prepared to do college work than if he did not work hard in high school.
  • sleeplessmom1sleeplessmom1 Registered User Posts: 151 Junior Member
    @ucbalumnus You are correct. He applied to a highly popular major. We, the parents, have moved on. He has not. He has stated that he will place minimal effort into the rest of the semester, because his grades don't matter anymore. We are worried that his grades will just sink with this attitude.
  • CADREAMINCADREAMIN Registered User Posts: 2,692 Senior Member
    edited March 20
    That attitude of "I worked really hard and it didn't matter" can follow them. Yes, there are disappointments that we have to deal with, but these are still kids, and the build up to college has gotten so out of hand the last decade...kids feel like their worth is measured by their acceptances. It's not like someone kicked over their blocks or they lost a ball game, someone kicked 4 years (25%) of their life over with disregard (in their mind). The high level 4.5s that are denied - seem to fall the furthest. Not trying to be dramatic, and my kids will tell you they have heard "deal with it" many times, but this can be a blow to their confidence that they carry with them for a long time and into college, making for a rough start there.

    So maybe for OP it isn't a big deal and he will likely move on to his other great acceptances, but for some it casts a long shadow to be sensitive to. Just get excited about the one they do choose and that chooses them! Plan something fun now to do in summer that isn't about shopping for dorm bedding, something unrelated to college while you still have them. Distract them so they move on.
  • suzy100suzy100 Registered User Posts: 3,692 Senior Member
    Did he just recently get his decision? Yesterday or today? If so, give him some time to feel bad about it. I'd sympathize and let him vent and see how he feels in a week or so. I bet he'll turn around.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 59,751 Senior Member
    He has stated that he will place minimal effort into the rest of the semester, because his grades don't matter anymore. We are worried that his grades will just sink with this attitude.

    If his grades sink too far, he could be rescinded from his other colleges. Then his remaining choice will be to start at a community college. Of course, he could transfer from community college to UCLA, but UCLA is highly selective at the transfer level as well (particularly for popular majors). And doing poorly in his last semester of high school will worsen his chances of getting a good start in (any) college.
  • happy1happy1 Registered User Posts: 15,605 Senior Member
    This is not uncommon when an applicant is so focused on one reach college and reiterates why it is so important to have a number of reach, match, and safety schools that the applicant likes, that appear affordable and that he/she would be happy to attend.

    That said, after a couple of days of sulking I'd encourage your S to re-examine the other options available and not to jeopardize his college future by falling off the rails in terms of grades this semester. There are so many colleges where he can have a great 4 year experience and get where he wants to go in life and he will have to embrace a school that has accepted him.
  • bookguybookguy Registered User Posts: 163 Junior Member

    After letting the disappointment to sit for a couple of days, I would encourage him to focus on what he has rather than worrying about something that is not available. I remind my kids often that there are a lot of great universities in this country and you can get an excellent education and have a good experience at all of them if you put your mind to it. College admission is an insane process, and young people should not evaluate themselves in relation to it. The goal should be to make the most of the opportunities you have. Easier said than done for a young person, but it doesn't hurt to say it.
  • MaryGJMaryGJ Registered User Posts: 609 Member
    There's no reason why he couldn't take a year's worth of transferable basics at a community college....four point them...and try again for UCLA as a transfer student.

    Telling your kid "it's just the luck of the draw" is NOT helping him.

    There is a reason he wasn't admitted and you know what that reason is: His grades didn't match their selectivity.

    So,be honest with him. His grades were not good enough. Tell him to put his nose to the grindstone and four point a batch of transferable classes that apply to his major, and try for UCLA again if he absolutely HAS to have THAT school. If he's willing to do the work and make the scores, it's still possible.

  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 3,380 Senior Member
    Which schools have admitted him?
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 59,751 Senior Member
    MaryGJ wrote:
    There's no reason why he couldn't take a year's worth of transferable basics at a community college....four point them...and try again for UCLA as a transfer student.

    UCLA admits at the junior level but not the sophomore level.
  • redpoodlesredpoodles Registered User Posts: 2,109 Senior Member
    edited March 21
    It can feel like such a slap in the face when the goal has been a particular school.

    Gently remind him (over and over) that the real goal here is on building a life. What does he want to do? He can still do that--when he gets going with Plan B.

    There are a million ways to get from one coast to the other. So one highway closed--it will be ok and he will still get there.

    I think this can be very hard for 17/18 year olds to comprehend, but they do comprehend it eventually.
  • sleeplessmom1sleeplessmom1 Registered User Posts: 151 Junior Member
    His grades are good, but not tippy top great for UCLA He has been admitted to UCI, UCD, Cal Poly SLO, UofW, SCU, LMU. He has scholarships to UofW, SCU, and LMU (half tuition). We have already told him if he's pining for UCLA, he can transfer later. We told him that he is lucky to have so many choices.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 27,567 Senior Member
    edited March 21
    I'd tamp down the transfer talk. Tell him he can target it for grad school if he has plans that go in that direction. It is a recipe for unhappy undergrad years to think that the grass is so much greener at one specific college that you didn't get into. To be honest, you have done him a disservice to not pop that bubble sooner (like. when he put the school on a pedestal to start with). Don't keep feeding that illusion and helping him nurse his unhappiness.
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