Keep college acceptance — and rejection — letters in perspective

Mid-December. Jan. 15th through the 30th. February, especially the 8th. On these days, dreams come true, tears are shed and hearts are crushed, as the anticipation continues to lurk through March and April, all leading up to a decision in May. The process of hearing back from college decisions has been daunting for years, with this year becoming particularly painful for Gator fans.

The University of Florida is becoming more competitive and has developed a prestigious reputation with its ranking being held in the top 10 public universities in the United States, with the acceptance rate only continuing to drop. With this in mind, there were very few people I knew who didn’t apply to this “holy grail” of a university, and as decisions rolled in, I continue to feel surprised.

As I look at some of my fellow classmates, and see the emotion and heartbreak that goes into this process, I’m left wondering what all of this is really worth. We continuously talk and think about what our next steps will be, as most of us stress out so much over one day that everything else in our lives become a blur.

Don’t get me wrong, this can be a great thing. We are motivated, sharp and confident about what our future holds, and we care about what others think of it too. Yet, as the months go by, it becomes harder to concentrate, and to even enjoy the last fleeting moments of senior year all due to one admissions office. We spend weeks checking into the admissions portal just to see if it has updated, only to await the day decisions finally come out.

Looking at the results of who has recently been admitted to the University of Florida, I sit with despair. I see my classmates, some of the most talented and bright minded students who I have looked up to all of my high school career absolutely fall apart, all due to one college.

One answer. All this time we have spent, emotionally and mentally invested… was it worth it? In my opinion, not at all. In no world do I view my classmates as failures due to one decision, and you shouldn’t either.

I am surrounded by one of the most accomplished group of students to be graduating from this school, we strive for perfection, and don’t stop until we get what we want. We are lifelong learners and are going to succeed in whatever path comes our way, whether it is going to UF or not even going to college.

When we really ask ourselves what matters, I would hope to think our answers would be to find happiness and create a better world for those to come. Who says you have to go to UF to do this?

Fellow seniors, I want you all to know, that no matter what has happened with this school or any other university, we all deserve the absolute best.

And if your dream school ends up rejecting you, than it isn’t where YOU are meant to be. Pick yourself backup and go for the next opportunity, dare to accept that you are better than this. We cannot let one school, one decision, one answer define who we are.

We are the next generation, the ones who are supposed to fix what is wrong with our world right now, and part of that is accepting who we are. I challenge all of you, to let go of the hurt feelings, and take a minute to just enjoy these last months, because our time is running out.

So as college decisions continue to come in, look around and start enjoying it. You will end up where you are supposed to be.


By Anna Wilder