“It is with deep regret that I write to inform you that the Admissions Committee is not able to offer you admission to our college”
I stare at the screen, my eyes dumbly blinking as I try to comprehend the words upon the page. A hurricane of thoughts engulfs my mind, spraying words in lieu of debris, but I can’t seem to string together a single audible sentence.
There is little I can write in this letter to lessen the impact of our decision. I do want you to understand that our decision should be interpreted neither as a negative evaluation of you as a person nor as a denial of accomplishments or strengths you have demonstrated.
For over four years, I struggled with getting out of my protective shell. Slowly but surely, I joined clubs and sports that genuinely fascinated me. Why did I waste all my time, using my own original thread to fabricate and display who I am, when the college of my dreams wasn’t in line to accept the finished product in the first place?
When we can offer admission to only a limited number of applicants, we are forced to choose among well-qualified candidates who have strong records of academic achievement and demonstrated talent and accomplishments in other endeavors.
How can “demonstrated talent” and “accomplishments” be showcased through preselected prompts? We’re told as teenagers to be original and unique and then told to sign up to do the Common Application. We’re told to reduce our identify to 650 words.
The college admissions process is like Anubis’s scale. But instead of your heart being compared to a feather, it is your dream versus someone else’s. This process forces students to shed their self-expression like mud-caked clothing and hold out their arms for the tattoo of a number.
This number, becomes their new name, their record of waiting in a holding cell, and their fate is held carefully in the hands of admission representatives like an origami crane, angular and sharp, yet inexplicably delicate. And when that crane returns with its wing crushed you’re supposed to be grateful you even had the chance to hold it in the first place.
I am certain you will discover several colleges that will interest you as much as our university. You have my best wishes.
Thanks so much for your best wishes, you pale piece of paper. The pain of rejection barely stings now that you’ve sent me your empty wishes.
So when you receive a rejection letter, don’t obsess over every word, as if the acceptance was hidden in between the lines. Spend as much time evaluating their letter as they did on your application, reconstructing the shards of the mirror image of yourself they’ve shattered. Remember you are worth so much more than 650 insignificant words.