Dealing with Rejection

by Sarah Webster

It’s almost a fact of life that at some point or another, you will face rejection. You apply to the graduate school of your dreams. You finally get the interview for that position you’ve always wanted. You ask the girl or guy you’ve been crushing on for weeks to get coffee with you.

The response? NO. We regret to inform you your application has been rejected. We’re sorry, but there are no openings at this time. Um, I think of you as more of a friend.

No matter what the situation, being rejected is hard. It makes you feel inadequate. It makes you feel small. It makes you kick yourself for even trying. What’s even harder is figuring out how to cope with that rejection. What do I do now?

The best immediate thing to do in the face of rejection is just to let yourself feel it. It’s okay to be disappointed and take minute to process. No one should you expect you to just let it roll off like it was nothing. It will sting–and if it doesn’t, then you probably didn’t care all that much about it to begin with.

Rejection is also the perfect opportunity to self-evaluate. That doesn’t mean to beat yourself up and tell yourself how unworthy you are. It just means being honest with yourself. What went wrong here? It may take rejection for you to realize that there are things you could improve–not only to help you reach your goals but also to make you a better student, employee or even a better person overall.

Okay so that’s easy enough. This next part…not as fun. In the face of rejection, it might be beneficial to have someone you trust give you feedback as well. They may be able to shed light on something that you are missing. As hard as it is to be self-aware and see where it you went wrong, it’s even harder to let someone else weigh in. I’ll emphasize again, this should be someone you trust–someone with your best interests at heart.

Another thing to consider is why you went for that position or school (or person). What was your motivation? Often times if we can’t answer this question, it becomes abundantly clear why things didn’t work out. Another tough question: was this goal realistic? Does it match up with the long-term goals you have for yourself? Make sure you’re shooting for things that align with your level of experience and abilities, but also things that are going to push and fulfill you.

Finally, you have everything you need at that point to turn rejection into redirection. Clever, right? This is your chance to make moves. Maybe there are things about yourself that could use improvement. Maybe you need to change up how you use your time. (Maybe its time to try dating nicer girls/guys haha). Make the changes, set your sights on new attainable goals and let your confidence bounce back.

“…turn rejection into redirection”

Take ownership of your rejection. Sure, they said no, but look at what it taught you. Look at the improvements you’ve made. Look at how much you’ve grown. Success is sure to follow. After all, the only person in charge of you achieving your dreams is you.



Sending out an S.O.S

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.”

There is discrepancy in the exact origin of that quote– some attribute the words to Henry Ford, while others insist it was President Theodore Roosevelt or Anthony Robins. Regardless of who first spoke the words, it’s how they’re applied in YOUR LIFE today that really matters.

Maybe your spring semester isn’t BEARing the fruit you’d hoped for this semester. With midterms behind you (and Spring Break upon you), it’s easy to ignore the warning signs and keep with the routine you’ve established. However, we want to challenge you to constantly keep improving, so we ask your faculty members to provide feedback at the midpoint in the semester to HELP YOU better understand your areas of improvement. If you receive a midterm report where you’re in jeopardy of not passing the class (or a Starfish message that asks for you to meet and talk about your progress), TAKE THIS AS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE CHANGE: do something that your future self will thank you for.

In fact, don’t wait until you get a midterm report or message requesting a meeting. Instead, YOU make the first move.


  1. Log into your MyMercer account.
  2. From your MyMercer Homepage, select the Starfish icon.
  3. In the Starfish system, select “My Network” and find your instructors and advisor listed. Click on their information to see availability and schedule an appointment.
  4. To connect with Academic and Advising Services staff, log in to your Starfish account and select “Services” in the top bar. Select “Academic and Advising Services.” Here, you can view each staff member’s contact information and schedule an appointment.

If your metaphorical “ship is sinking” this semester, send out an S.O.S.  There is a whole network of people who want to partner with you to help you do your best– and throw a life raft to help bring you safely to shore…. er, the end of the semester, when you need it!

Namaste on Track This Semester

by Amanda Carls

I’m not a “yogi” by any means, but I have found that I really enjoy the practice of yoga.  My first yoga class was quite comical—I spent the majority of my time trying to figure out how to keep up with what the instructor was saying and look good while doing it.  I was approximately three movements behind the entire time and found myself frustrated that my downward dog wasn’t the best downward dog of them all.

Truth be told: Rome wasn’t built in a day (that’s what I’ve heard, anyway).  My yoga practice started messy.  I didn’t know what I was doing so I measured myself against everyone else, and then found myself upset when I wasn’t what I thought I needed to be.  But then, revelation: the moment of clarity.  While Vinyasa Flow, Restorative Yoga, and Warm Hatha classes are all structured differently, they all end the same way: with people on their mats, lights off, and focused on our breathing.  Slow, deep breaths in and slow, deep breaths out.  I’m no rocket scientist, but I would have never imagined that JUST BREATHING could be so insightful.  There’s something powerful when you’re called to “just be” for a while—to relax, listen, and be kind to yourself for a few minutes.  That is only maximized by sharing the room with 30 other people you don’t know very well, realizing that their silence is just as reflective and special as yours.  When we take time to silence our lives—quit talking long enough to listen to our own breaths and the breaths of those in our community—we become connected.  You’re no longer just a person, on a mat, practicing yoga.  Instead, you’re a part of something bigger than yourself—doing life with other people—even for just a short moment in time.

I went to a yoga class earlier this week and, to my surprise, shared the practice with two Mercer students and another Mercer colleague.  About halfway through the class, I began laughing to myself about how anti “picture-perfect” my practice had become.  I was sweating, had my foot in someone else’s face, and was pretty sure my hair looked like I’d been riding down the road with my head out the window.  And then it hit me: who says it has to be “picture-perfect?”  Why is perfection my standard of measuring a successful yoga class?  Isn’t it enough to show up—to be there, do my best, and offer myself a little grace in the process?  And to take it one step further, why can’t that same rationale be applied to this spring semester and to life in general?

“Isn’t it enough to show up—to be there, do my best, and offer myself a little grace in the process?”

I offer you a semester challenge (inspired by yoga, but not confined to those who practice yoga): embrace the anti “picture-perfect.”  Don’t expect yourself to do everything correctly.  That’s part of the joy of college—you won’t do everything perfectly.  In fact, that’s HOW you LEARN.  You may literally fall on your face walking up the stairs to the UC (happened to me) or you may figuratively fall on your face when your first quiz doesn’t go as smoothly as you’d like it to go.  Regardless of how you’ll fall, it’s important to pick yourself up.  Evaluate what you did well and what you want to keep working on.  It’s all about progress: being a little better than you were the day before.  Just like our Orangeprint suggests, it’s important to have a PLAN—create your own four-year academic plan for your major>> and use our Orangeprint, a four-year blueprint for success in college>>.  Treat your plan as your guide, not your “rule book.”  Be flexible (yoga pun intended) and adjust accordingly when things don’t work out exactly the way you’ve envisioned.

After my yoga class earlier this week, I pulled my friends aside and asked them to take a picture—not because we looked “perfect,” but because I wanted a reminder of how far we’ve come.  We were sweaty and tired, but we showed up and gave our practice our all.  And for that, I’m grateful.  The important things aren’t always the ones that turn out being the best Insta-pictures or the ones that get the most “likes” on Facebook, but they are the ones we want to remember.  Embrace when your plan doesn’t turn out to be “picture-perfect,” because in the in-between, life happens—and that can be a beautiful thing that helps you see your truest potential.  Namaste.