The Student Room Group

Dealing with a university rejection

I just want to start by saying that I am lucky to have offers from 2/5 universities. Currently, I am feeling this sense of jealousy and embarrassment about getting rejected from my top choice uni when all my peers are getting 5/5 offers. I go to a grammar school which makes the competition so high and I feel that I'm alone in getting rejections. Is there anyone who got rejected from their top choice uni who has gone on to accept this fact?
Reply 1
I am first year so I was in your situation last year. I applied to 4 unis with two subjects at my top uni. I got offers only from 2, with my top uni rejecting both subjects. Even though it did suck and the people around me were getting the offers they wanted, once it came to results day it was a completely different story. Most people missed their offers and had to go to 2nd choice or even do clearance. I myself nearly missed my 1st offer. One can say that others and I should have worked harder but what happened - happened.

What I am getting at is this - see yourself as being more likely to go to your top choice with the options you have now. On the other hand, the people who have all their offers are more likely to miss their 1st choice go to their 2nd. It all evens out at the end.
Original post by wanttoknow123
I just want to start by saying that I am lucky to have offers from 2/5 universities. Currently, I am feeling this sense of jealousy and embarrassment about getting rejected from my top choice uni when all my peers are getting 5/5 offers. I go to a grammar school which makes the competition so high and I feel that I'm alone in getting rejections. Is there anyone who got rejected from their top choice uni who has gone on to accept this fact?

I've been rejected by my top choice twice.

First time I applied to do Medicine. Like you, I went to a grammar school. Had stellar predicted grades, a killer personal statement that even had the personal seal of approval of one of the harshest teachers of the school. I got an interview at Oxford and then I blew it and I got rejected. It was very hard, and then I proceeded to not get a single offer for Medicine anyway. That wasn't fun at all. I can confidently say that was the second lowest moment of my life. But I just largely got on with my days. I let out my thoughts and feelings to the people I knew that were there for me, and thought to myself that it was the university's loss and that I'd go do great things no matter where I ended up. It was also at this time where I came up with the car analogy - universities are cars, they're a mode of transport to get you somewhere in life. In my case, I thought of Oxford as a Ferrari. Obviously, getting a Ferrari would have been amazing but I didn't, and in the end of the day, another university, another car (say, a Vauxhall?) will get me where I want to go in life too, which is all that matters in the end. That analogy helped me.

That first year though I only received an offer for Biomedicine at Newcastle, which I saw as an unacceptable vehicle - nothing more than a scooter that I can't even take out on the highway, so I went for round 2, this time applying for psychology. I applied to Oxford again in what can only be described as a terrible "Oh what the hell, why not?" moment, and I was rejected again. I did see that coming from a mile away though so it didn't hit me too hard the second time. This time around, I did get an offer I was happy with and so I went for it. In fact, I was so happy with this offer I eventually ended up withdrawing my application for KCL because I knew I'd rather go to Queen Mary than face going to KCL. Was rejecting KCL a power move? A moment of sheer madness? I like to think both.

I'm not going to lie to you and say that Queen Mary is as good as Oxford. But, you know what? It was possibly the best thing that could have happened to me. I don't want to bore you with my life, but I just fit here. I'm happy, I'm myself, I do great things that are massively setting me up to succeed in the future, I do silly things... and I just don't see all of this coming together as seamlessly and perfectly anywhere else. So, the second thing that also helps me deal with failure, is that I know life has a funny way of making things work out in the end.

Hope you're OK :smile:
SY
Original post by Scotland Yard
I've been rejected by my top choice twice.

First time I applied to do Medicine. Like you, I went to a grammar school. Had stellar predicted grades, a killer personal statement that even had the personal seal of approval of one of the harshest teachers of the school. I got an interview at Oxford and then I blew it and I got rejected. It was very hard, and then I proceeded to not get a single offer for Medicine anyway. That wasn't fun at all. I can confidently say that was the second lowest moment of my life. But I just largely got on with my days. I let out my thoughts and feelings to the people I knew that were there for me, and thought to myself that it was the university's loss and that I'd go do great things no matter where I ended up. It was also at this time where I came up with the car analogy - universities are cars, they're a mode of transport to get you somewhere in life. In my case, I thought of Oxford as a Ferrari. Obviously, getting a Ferrari would have been amazing but I didn't, and in the end of the day, another university, another car (say, a Vauxhall?) will get me where I want to go in life too, which is all that matters in the end. That analogy helped me.

That first year though I only received an offer for Biomedicine at Newcastle, which I saw as an unacceptable vehicle - nothing more than a scooter that I can't even take out on the highway, so I went for round 2, this time applying for psychology. I applied to Oxford again in what can only be described as a terrible "Oh what the hell, why not?" moment, and I was rejected again. I did see that coming from a mile away though so it didn't hit me too hard the second time. This time around, I did get an offer I was happy with and so I went for it. In fact, I was so happy with this offer I eventually ended up withdrawing my application for KCL because I knew I'd rather go to Queen Mary than face going to KCL. Was rejecting KCL a power move? A moment of sheer madness? I like to think both.

I'm not going to lie to you and say that Queen Mary is as good as Oxford. But, you know what? It was possibly the best thing that could have happened to me. I don't want to bore you with my life, but I just fit here. I'm happy, I'm myself, I do great things that are massively setting me up to succeed in the future, I do silly things... and I just don't see all of this coming together as seamlessly and perfectly anywhere else. So, the second thing that also helps me deal with failure, is that I know life has a funny way of making things work out in the end.

Hope you're OK :smile:
SY

That such an excellent reply! And entirely right too. (I am going to nick the car analogy!).

I have always described it that too many students are given the impression that education is a conveyor belt and if you miss your chosen course, you are off and it is the end.
I see it as more like a river where there can be many little streams branching off and joining up again. It doesn't matter which branch you take, you will get there in the end anyway.
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by Scotland Yard
I've been rejected by my top choice twice.

First time I applied to do Medicine. Like you, I went to a grammar school. Had stellar predicted grades, a killer personal statement that even had the personal seal of approval of one of the harshest teachers of the school. I got an interview at Oxford and then I blew it and I got rejected. It was very hard, and then I proceeded to not get a single offer for Medicine anyway. That wasn't fun at all. I can confidently say that was the second lowest moment of my life. But I just largely got on with my days. I let out my thoughts and feelings to the people I knew that were there for me, and thought to myself that it was the university's loss and that I'd go do great things no matter where I ended up. It was also at this time where I came up with the car analogy - universities are cars, they're a mode of transport to get you somewhere in life. In my case, I thought of Oxford as a Ferrari. Obviously, getting a Ferrari would have been amazing but I didn't, and in the end of the day, another university, another car (say, a Vauxhall?) will get me where I want to go in life too, which is all that matters in the end. That analogy helped me.

That first year though I only received an offer for Biomedicine at Newcastle, which I saw as an unacceptable vehicle - nothing more than a scooter that I can't even take out on the highway, so I went for round 2, this time applying for psychology. I applied to Oxford again in what can only be described as a terrible "Oh what the hell, why not?" moment, and I was rejected again. I did see that coming from a mile away though so it didn't hit me too hard the second time. This time around, I did get an offer I was happy with and so I went for it. In fact, I was so happy with this offer I eventually ended up withdrawing my application for KCL because I knew I'd rather go to Queen Mary than face going to KCL. Was rejecting KCL a power move? A moment of sheer madness? I like to think both.

I'm not going to lie to you and say that Queen Mary is as good as Oxford. But, you know what? It was possibly the best thing that could have happened to me. I don't want to bore you with my life, but I just fit here. I'm happy, I'm myself, I do great things that are massively setting me up to succeed in the future, I do silly things... and I just don't see all of this coming together as seamlessly and perfectly anywhere else. So, the second thing that also helps me deal with failure, is that I know life has a funny way of making things work out in the end.

Hope you're OK :smile:
SY

Your analogy really puts things into perspective thank you for that. I think I agree with the sense that I need to realise that I can still be successful at a uni that's not my top choice. It's hard when you have everything aligning for the university but I guess the game is the game. I'm glad you feel like you fit in with Queen's Mary University and I hope I can feel the same way too.
Reply 5
Original post by wanttoknow123
I just want to start by saying that I am lucky to have offers from 2/5 universities. Currently, I am feeling this sense of jealousy and embarrassment about getting rejected from my top choice uni when all my peers are getting 5/5 offers. I go to a grammar school which makes the competition so high and I feel that I'm alone in getting rejections. Is there anyone who got rejected from their top choice uni who has gone on to accept this fact?

OK so I also go to a grammar school. I got rejected by Cambridge so yes, I know what you are currently experiencing. Loads of my peers are ending up with 5/5 offers meanwhile I am stuck on 3/4 (still waiting on one decision from Durham. I applied to Cambridge, Imperial, Edinburgh, Manchester, Durham.) but the thing is the places I've applied are far better than theirs for my course (and in some cases theirs as well) so it's not a valid comparison.
Generally - if you’re not getting at least 1 rejection then you’re probably not being ambitious enough. What’s the point in 5 choices if you don’t use one or 2 to take a risk. It’s very rare to have such a safe environment for risk taking and a shame so many applicants don’t use it.

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