How I handled being rejected by my first choice uni

You don’t always get what you want in life. That’s what they say. But how do you cope when something you really wished for, something that impacts your life, doesn’t happen? What about being rejected by your first choice of uni? Heartbreaking, right? I know the feeling too well. Here’s how I handled being rejected by my first choice uni…

I was sat on a train (slightly drunk) on my way to a gig in Glasgow when I received an email. It was from Glasgow Caledonian University inviting me for an interview to study BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism. I instantly jumped up and down on the train carriage, unable to contain my excitement. Before I knew it, I was on the phone with my parents telling them the good news.

A few months passed by and then I was off to the interview. It was exciting and nerve-wracking all at once. As I wandered throughout the modern building, I was in complete awe. I almost found myself getting lost and closely followed the group I was in. Before I met with my interviewers, I was told to do a few assessments. One of these was a written test, involving questions on current affairs and news. I sat down at my desk and quickly glanced around the room. We were left alone with no instructors or lecturers to watch us, and everyone was sat close to another person. I turned to the questions and answered them to the best of my ability. I left a few blanks, not wanting to guess a wrong answer.

I felt frustrated at myself for not being prepared enough for the test and I began to feel my confidence deflate. When the time was up, staff returned to the room to guide us out.

Once both assessments were finished, we were placed in a waiting room. The waiting room appeared to be where the current students write for the university’s magazine. I started talking to the others, trying to gain an understanding of their experience and knowledge. Many of the others were already working as journalists through freelancing or had already completed some of uni. I became more nervous. The clock ticked away slowly as I waited for my name to be called. It appeared that I was one of the last people to be seen, but finally, I was beckoned into a room.

The interview went well, I can’t for the life of me think of anything I said that was wrong. The conversation bounced well, and I seemed to make the interviewers very interested in what I have to say. So, why is it then that out of all the universities I applied for, all the interviews I went to, Glasgow Cali was the only place to reject me? I was heartbroken when I found out. I kept replaying it all in my head. What was wrong with me? Why wasn’t I good enough?

It hurts when you don’t get what you’re aiming for in life. I’d been so excited to go to Glasgow Cali; the course was amazing, the placements they offered were incredible. For me, it had been a tie between RGU and Glasgow Cali. They both offered very similar courses, but one was closer to home while the other was up north. To get rejected by my first choice uni, Glasgow Cali, also made me think it must be a better school, why would I be good enough for one university but not another? Was the one that accepted me doing so because of a lower standard?

So much went through my head, but eventually, I let it all go. I realised RGU was the one for me. I’d always been excited to go, and loved the idea of travelling far from home, being able to start all over. I’ve never regretted it once. Because of RGU, I’ve been able to study in Tennessee and travel all over America, work in London as an Online Journalism Intern on placement and work at STV News. I gained so much experience working for the different media groups and made incredible memories. I don’t know what life would be like if I hadn’t done the things I have or met the people I have.

And you know what the funny thing is? A girl on my course went to the same interview day as me for Edinburgh Napier. We both got offers. We both chose RGU. Only, she also got interviewed at Glasgow Cali, I just never met her at that one. She got an offer for that. It hurt when I heard, and I asked how she managed it when the test was so difficult. “The test? Oh, that was EASY! I just sat and googled all the answers!” she replied.

No longer did I care what Glasgow Cali, my first choice uni, rejected me. At least I knew that I had kept my integrity. I didn’t land myself a place on the course by cheating, I landed myself a place on the course I was meant to be on by simply being me. I wouldn’t want it any other way. And oh, yeah, maybe Glasgow Cali wouldn’t have landed me the First Class Honours degree I just achieved at RGU! Remember, everything happens for a reason.

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