Oberlin Blogs

For Those Who Are Disappointed

March 27, 2024

Phoebe McChesney ’25

I read several comments on the Oberlin Instagram by applicants who were disappointed by the admissions decision they received. And to those who wrote them, or feel similarly, I want to let you know that I felt like that too.

If you didn’t get in, if Oberlin was your first choice or one of your top picks, please don’t despair. I applied to about 19 schools for college and was not accepted by the majority of them, including my favorite selections. I actually recorded my reactions on a major decision day, logging into the application portals for several schools I had applied to and finding out I was rejected from all of them. During spring break of my senior year, I found out from many others that I hadn’t made the cut. Unfortunately, because I was on break, I had a lot of time to ruminate on the rejections/non-acceptances and felt like so many of them were personal or reflected poorly on me.

Some of my high school classmates were getting into schools I wasn’t, and although I was happy for them, I was also disappointed in myself. College acceptance meant everything to me at 18 and I worried about what my future would look like. Although I had great acceptances, including Oberlin, I couldn’t see my future and I didn't know if things were going to turn out the way I had hoped.

But I knew I still had things to learn and figured that perhaps the places that accepted me would teach me what I needed to know, not just inside the classroom, but outside of it too. The next four years would be about transitioning from a teenager to an adult, figuring out what I didn’t want, and learning how to live independently. (There's still a lot I'm learning as I have a year left here.) I ended up at a school that met me where I was. In hindsight, had I been accepted into my first choices, I’m not sure I would have been happier there or more comfortable in those environments. I think that admissions officers at those places probably figured that too. I know this sounds cliched, but the common saying, "rejection is redirection" was true for me. I ended up just where I needed to be.

So if things feel really tough right now and rejection seems personal, please know that there is still hope. And if the school you do go to still doesn’t quite feel like the right fit, Oberlin just may welcome you as a transfer sophomore or junior. You're not alone. It's not the be-all and end-all.

Similar Blog Entries