Who are you?

It wasn’t suppose to happen this way.  My son has been working hard for the last four years doing everything he was suppose to.  A multi-sport athlete, student council, 4.2 GPA, every honors class offered at his school, part-time job, community volunteer, leader in his school, team captain…shall I go on?

All he’s talked about for the last four years was attending his first choice university.  We’ve encouraged him because why not?  Even with a ridiculous price tag and no opportunity for financial aid, we still encouraged him.  We saved all of his life so he could attend any university he could get into.  Yes, any university.  We are not wealthy people but education is at the top of our priority list and our children have excelled in every aspect of the word.

So how did we get here? I can’t remember. Oh yes!  All hell broke loose on March 28, 2017 when he opened his portal to find a rejection letter from the dream school.  The dream school was not a reach and it was very realistic and yet, the rejection was plain as day.  They don’t want him.  My reaction was like any mother’s trying to console her devastated child.  “It’s their lose” I said.  Feeling a little bit relieved because this, although a selective school, I’ve been on campus several times only to witness first hand the parties, the vomit flying into the trash can as the beautiful yet almost naked girl holds it tight to her chest.  I’ve seen the coolers being carried onto campus and set under the canopy in the quad next to the beer pong tables and the music blasting all the while campus security is watching.  And yet, we allowed him to apply because it seemed like the right academic fit and he would certainly not allow himself to get wrapped up in the party scene.  Ya right! Our kids know that although we have saved for their education they get four years to get it done and that’s it.  They know C’s won’t get them a job and our expectation is a job at the end of four years and few internships leading up to the end.  No more kicking back during summer break.  Get ready, life happens and it’s happening.

So why the attitude? Ungrateful. Entitled. Selfish.  So what if they didn’t accept you.  Are you really going to allow that to destroy you and everything you have worked so hard for leading up to college? Give me a break.  No school is worth that.  If they don’t want you do you really want them? Lick your wounds and move on my friend because opportunity only knocks once and I hear it ringing at three other colleges that you loved.  They love you and are offering you the opportunity to join them and they’re footing the bill.  Well not all of it, but a portion of it is better than nothing at your dream school.

So why is it that rejection kills us? It doesn’t have to be this way.  Mourn your loss and move on.  Don’t let it destroy you or your hard work.  Stand proud and be excited for what is right in front of you.  Be grateful to those who have loved and supported you. Look beyond the moment and try to get a glimpse of your future and what awaits.  This isn’t the first and certainly won’t be the last time you’ve been disappointed.  I know it hurts but be the bigger and better person.  College won’t define you, you will define the college.  Take the “I’ll show you” attitude. When you’re able to make a sizable donation to your Alma Mater, kiss that check and tell the dream school to shove it where the light doesn’t shine. Make something of yourself and become the person your parents taught you to be.  Don’t be “that” guy who turns his back on those who love you.  Be “the” guy who makes a difference.  You want to make the world a better place.  Now go out and do it.

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