One of the hardest conversations to have is to tell your boss that actually, no, you won’t be resigning your position in a few months, because you didn’t make it in. 🙁
Telling other people that your applications were rejected is a tough thing indeed. It involves so many emotions, most notably shame. The mere fact that your app is rejected is a bad-enough blow, but then you have to announce it to other people who you respect and admire? (Or who maybe you don’t respect that much, and you were hoping to escape from because you would soon be flipping them the mental bird as you submitted your resignation letter to go gallivanting off to your MBA.)
When you tell your mom you didn’t make it in, you’re likely to get sympathy and kind words. When you tell your friends, they’ll be like, “Aw damn, I thought you were gonna make it!”
When you tell your boss — the person who spent a lot of time and effort writing recommendations for you — it’s embarrassing. You’re admitting you weren’t good enough in some way.
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Given the emotional turmoil that comes from getting rejected, we don’t expect you to be thinking through all of these scenarios very clearly. All of us require a period of processing and the passage of time to give us distance from the hurt and new perspective on what happened, before we’ll be able to take action in a way that makes sense and is most productive. Don’t rush into anything right now if you can help it.
Some people will know that you got the news, and will ask, and those conversations can be tough. Awkward. Painful.
It might even be an experience where talking to a mental health professional can help. If you aren’t seeing a counselor right now, then maybe your company employee benefits package includes one of those services where you can call up and speak to someone for half an hour. Those one-off support services can be surprisingly helpful.
For most everyone reading this blahg, regardless of what part of the application process you’re in — haven’t yet started, still working on apps, waiting on final outcomes, nursing the pain of rejection, or sitting with a few options in hand and figuring out next steps — you’re in a long-term planning cycle. Whether you knew it or not. There is some part of your future that you’re putting seeds in the ground for right now.
For most of you, it’s fine to feel overwhelmed or blah or depressed and put all of those plans to the side for the moment. We’ll be here, coaxing and cajoling you to think through some options, and are doing our best to offer posts targeted to each category of applicant who’s coming around right now. If you’re brand new, don’t worry, we will soon be going hot and heavy on “how to apply this year!” posts.
For now, there’s still some nurturing needed for those who are working through the final phase of the admissions cycle that’s slowly coming to a close.