The Student Room Group

Dealing with rejections and failures

As a first year uni student, I wanted to see if anyone else was/is in a similar position as me.
All my life the only thing I was good at was academics. When I started uni, I recognised that kinda all changed.
I was getting rejections all around, with every spring week application I was putting in, any form of work experience I had applied for, even housing applications.
To say the least, it’s been really deteriorating on my mental health. I don’t think I’ve ever had to deal with so many rejections before. Not just rejections, but not even passing the assessments for some of the spring week applications. I haven’t reach the interview stage once with any of them. I know they require practice and they have benchmarks but I’ve never felt so useless as a person. Fair enough if I failed the interviews but the assessments? That’s kinda the basics that I really should be passing for someone like myself.
It really started making me question whether I can get through uni if life after uni is all going to be about rejections like this, something I’m not sure if I can mentally handle.
I also feel like I have this massive pressure from my family being the one who was first to go to an actually decent uni. Even my parents said to me that I was probably the only one they could rely on to gain a good academic qualification.
It’s been really weighing down on me, taking so much time out of uni time to apply for things, doing the assessments and then to be rejected almost straight away - it’s not doing great on me.
And I kinda feel alone in this, partly due to also struggling to find any good friends at uni where we aren’t just having a surface level friendship.
So I wanted to know if anybody else was going through something similar and that were not alone in this
Original post by Carrotsroom
As a first year uni student, I wanted to see if anyone else was/is in a similar position as me.
All my life the only thing I was good at was academics. When I started uni, I recognised that kinda all changed.
I was getting rejections all around, with every spring week application I was putting in, any form of work experience I had applied for, even housing applications.
To say the least, it’s been really deteriorating on my mental health. I don’t think I’ve ever had to deal with so many rejections before. Not just rejections, but not even passing the assessments for some of the spring week applications. I haven’t reach the interview stage once with any of them. I know they require practice and they have benchmarks but I’ve never felt so useless as a person. Fair enough if I failed the interviews but the assessments? That’s kinda the basics that I really should be passing for someone like myself.
It really started making me question whether I can get through uni if life after uni is all going to be about rejections like this, something I’m not sure if I can mentally handle.
I also feel like I have this massive pressure from my family being the one who was first to go to an actually decent uni. Even my parents said to me that I was probably the only one they could rely on to gain a good academic qualification.
It’s been really weighing down on me, taking so much time out of uni time to apply for things, doing the assessments and then to be rejected almost straight away - it’s not doing great on me.
And I kinda feel alone in this, partly due to also struggling to find any good friends at uni where we aren’t just having a surface level friendship.
So I wanted to know if anybody else was going through something similar and that were not alone in this

@Carrotsroom

It might be an idea to give yourself a bit of a break from all of the applications. It may be that you are so stressed with trying to get accepted on to different things that you're not able to focus on building good friendships or enjoying uni life.

It's great to get internships and to be accepted on to different programmes etc but maybe you can focus on one or two rather than applying for anything that is available. Perhaps if you spend more focused time on one or twoapplications, rather than trying to send out lots things out, things might improve. All that being said when I completed my first degree, I applied for jobs and did not always hear back. I got rejections and had hopes dashed and it was tough, so it is something that everyone faces in life at some point.

It's difficult, but try to not base your worth on a successful application or on academia and how successful you are because if things don't go well, then you may be more likely to struggle with your sense of worth, rather than being able to rest in the knowledge that you're worth does not go up and down like a yo-yo it's constant. Circumstances change, but your worth doesn't!

First year should be the year that you are enjoying independence, getting to know new people, forming new friendships, joining societies and discovering more about yourself (what's important to you and what's not). You should be enjoying your degree, while also getting used to studying at university level, so enjoy first year!

Second and third year are likely to be stressful as the work increases/becomes more difficult, so do make the most of the time you have this year to build a good support network and to find your feet at uni.

All the best,

Oluwatosin 3rd year student University of Huddersfield
Original post by Carrotsroom
As a first year uni student, I wanted to see if anyone else was/is in a similar position as me.
All my life the only thing I was good at was academics. When I started uni, I recognised that kinda all changed.
I was getting rejections all around, with every spring week application I was putting in, any form of work experience I had applied for, even housing applications.
To say the least, it’s been really deteriorating on my mental health. I don’t think I’ve ever had to deal with so many rejections before. Not just rejections, but not even passing the assessments for some of the spring week applications. I haven’t reach the interview stage once with any of them. I know they require practice and they have benchmarks but I’ve never felt so useless as a person. Fair enough if I failed the interviews but the assessments? That’s kinda the basics that I really should be passing for someone like myself.
It really started making me question whether I can get through uni if life after uni is all going to be about rejections like this, something I’m not sure if I can mentally handle.
I also feel like I have this massive pressure from my family being the one who was first to go to an actually decent uni. Even my parents said to me that I was probably the only one they could rely on to gain a good academic qualification.
It’s been really weighing down on me, taking so much time out of uni time to apply for things, doing the assessments and then to be rejected almost straight away - it’s not doing great on me.
And I kinda feel alone in this, partly due to also struggling to find any good friends at uni where we aren’t just having a surface level friendship.
So I wanted to know if anybody else was going through something similar and that were not alone in this

Hi @Carrotsroom,

I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling with this, it sounds really tough.

As the other reply said, I also think it would be a good idea to take a break from the applications. First year is to really find your footing in a new place, make friends, experience new things, and find out what you really like,so I think it would be beneficial for you to do this and take some time for yourself. Yes, work experience, internships, jobs, etc are important, but just remember that you have time. Knowing what is out there is great, and applying to a few places could be beneficial for you, but applying to everything you can find is not.

Expectations from your family can be hard too, but try not to put so much pressure on yourself this early on. It's a big jump to university-level work, and it is still early in the year, so be kind to yourself and don't feel disheartened.

I'd also recommend reaching out to your university's support and well-being services. They can help you with a lot of the things you have described, such as negative feelings, academic and personal struggles, and feeling alone, and can also point you in the direction of other people who can support you with applications and anything else you need. Don't be afraid to make use of these services - they are there for you, and people are more than willing to help!

I hope this helps,

Isabella
Third-year Geography with a Year Abroad BA (Hons) Student
Original post by Carrotsroom
As a first year uni student, I wanted to see if anyone else was/is in a similar position as me.
All my life the only thing I was good at was academics. When I started uni, I recognised that kinda all changed.
I was getting rejections all around, with every spring week application I was putting in, any form of work experience I had applied for, even housing applications.
To say the least, it’s been really deteriorating on my mental health. I don’t think I’ve ever had to deal with so many rejections before. Not just rejections, but not even passing the assessments for some of the spring week applications. I haven’t reach the interview stage once with any of them. I know they require practice and they have benchmarks but I’ve never felt so useless as a person. Fair enough if I failed the interviews but the assessments? That’s kinda the basics that I really should be passing for someone like myself.
It really started making me question whether I can get through uni if life after uni is all going to be about rejections like this, something I’m not sure if I can mentally handle.
I also feel like I have this massive pressure from my family being the one who was first to go to an actually decent uni. Even my parents said to me that I was probably the only one they could rely on to gain a good academic qualification.
It’s been really weighing down on me, taking so much time out of uni time to apply for things, doing the assessments and then to be rejected almost straight away - it’s not doing great on me.
And I kinda feel alone in this, partly due to also struggling to find any good friends at uni where we aren’t just having a surface level friendship.
So I wanted to know if anybody else was going through something similar and that were not alone in this

Hi there

I am sorry to hear that you are struggling with your studies at the moment. However, you are not alone in this position. Going to University can be an overwhelming experience, given the amount of information that is thrown at you, and all the opportunities that have opened up to you.

It is great that you are the first in your family to go into University, that is already an amazing achievement. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself though, and enjoy the University experience (I know this is easier said than done, but Uni can be quite an enjoyable experience, and it is not all about studies and work experience).

Perhaps you are taking on too much at the same time? As you are only a first year student, it can be difficult competing for work experience, job opportunities etc. (especially since there are many second/ third year students, graduates etc.) applying to the same role. (Depend on the role, do remember that there will be many highly qualified applicants competing for these positions). So do not be too harsh on yourself, job positions can be very rare, with hundreds maybe thousand applicants.

Learning to cope with rejections is a large part of personal development, it has only been one term since University has started, so please do not be discouraged. It is important to reflect on where you may have gone wrong, what you have done well, and continuously improve across your years at University, also when you graduate. (it is a learning curve, so take your time).

If you are looking for work experience, perhaps doing work for local firms/ applying to local businesses will help? These will give you basic knowledge, and show on your CV that you have experience in the field. (I still think first year is very early to be applying, it means your on top of your game.) Don't be put off by set backs.

I hope this helps. Keep looking out for opportunities to boost your CV, and it will only be a matter of time before you secure a good work experience. :smile:
Chloe
University of Kent Student Rep

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