Introducing The Next Generation Of Leaders And Thinkers

Lessons I learned After Getting Rejected From NYU

This time last year, I was one of the millions of high school seniors across the country that annually deal with the fears of the impending doom of post-high school life. What happens after graduation? Which college do I wanna go to? Do I want to go to college? Is this essay good enough? What if I get rejected? Do I have any assignments due tomorrow? Am I forgetting to do something? Did I eat today? These were the questions I was asking myself everyday for the beginning of senior year. There’s so many topics about the last year of high school that I could write about. This week I want to write about being denied admission to my dream school. When it happened, I was so hurt. Now, I can look back and find how it made me stronger. I love helping people feel better, and the only way I know how to do that is through stories and lame jokes, so here it is.

I’ve always had a deep love for music. I love talking about the history of all types of genres.  I love hearing all the memories that people connect to different songs. I don’t mean to brag, but my aux cord skills are honestly out of this world. So, during the summer of 2015, between my junior and senior year, I attended the LYNX National Arts & Media Camp (I highly recommend this camp for anyone that wants to go to school for music. It’s awesome.). I had the opportunity to visit Denver for two weeks and record music with other music lovers from across the country, but the best part for me was learning about Music Business. As I said before, I love listening to all kinds of music and I love sharing my favorite songs with other people. So, I figured that the camp would help me find a career that would allow me the share good music with as many people as possible, and it did. I discovered that I wanted to become a Music Publisher.

Now fast forward a couple of months later and it was time for me to start applying to colleges. My number one pick was New York University (NYU). Everything about NYU just seemed perfect to me. I knew I wanted to go somewhere far and completely different from home; I live on the Tohono O’odham Reservation in the middle of the Sonoran Desert which is very, very rural so moving to a huge city on the East Coast would definitely be a change. I wanted to go to college to learn about the Music Industry; NYU has one of the best Music Industry Programs in the country, They have so many music business internships, and the legend Rick Rubin started Def Jam Records from his dorm room! NYU was calling my name, I was completely in love with the idea of going to school there. I have no idea how many times I watched their Virtual Tour video.

I worked on that application for months. I never liked writing during all my years of school, but I put my soul into those essays. The application was due in December but I wouldn’t hear back from the school until the end of March. I also applied to other schools and I was accepted by every one of them, but I had my heart set on NYU. Yeah, I was whipped.

For the next couple of months, I struggled with a heavy case of senioritis (I still did class assignments it was just really hard to find motivation to do them). Then came the day, March 31, 2016.  I waited with bated breath to finally receive an e-mail from the admissions office. I was anxious the whole day. I checked my e-mail when I woke up, between classes, at lunch, every “restroom break” AKA ten-minute walk around campus, and every five minutes in-between. That evening, I was hanging out with a couple of friends after school. My phone went off, I checked it, and my stomach turned. Stretched across the screen was a notification for an e-mail from the NYU Admissions Office that read “The admissions committee at New York University has carefully considered…”

I unlocked my phone to read the rest.


The admissions committee at New York University has carefully considered your application and supporting credentials for all programs in which you expressed interest on your application It is with regret that I must inform you that we are unable to offer you admission to any of our NYU campuses this year.

As you likely suspect, we receive a high numb-”

I didn’t event want to read the rest. My heart had been ripped out of my chest. I was crushed. I was with some friends, but I didn’t even tell them I finally received the e-mail. (I didn’t know how to communicate emotional distress with anyone back then, but now I can write it for the world to see. Life is funny sometimes). On the outside I remained calm, but on the inside I was crying my eyes out (which I did later that night when I was alone).


At the time, I was heartbroken. The only school I really wanted to attend, *wipes tear* rejected me. After all the work I put in, I wasn’t good enough. I felt like my world was ending. Three months after the letter, I started working a dope job as a DJ for the local radio station, O’odham Hewel Niok, and I realized I actually enjoy writing (crazy).

Now here’s the most important part of this article. I’m assuming you’re reading this because you’re patiently waiting for that e-mail from your admissions office and you’re getting a little nervous. Maybe you just got denied from your dream school and you’re looking for relief. Listen to me when I tell you, you are going to be okay. If you’re still waiting, just make sure you’re staying on top of your class assignments. If you get accepted, It’s not going to look good to have a drop in your GPA in your very last semester. If you just got denied, it’s going to sting for a while. Cry it out. Write about it. Go work out. Whatever helps you feel better, do it. Pick yourself up and make a new plan. You are going to be successful with or without that school. As long as you tried as hard as you could, you have that to be proud of. You are going to learn from it. Honestly, now that I look back, I can see that my essays could have been a little stronger. Most importantly, don’t get discouraged. Whatever school you go to, does not define your worth. Do not be afraid to fail. One day that school is going to beat themselves up because they passed up the opportunity to have you represent them. Now go be amazing 🙂

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