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Coping with Rejection

Coping with Rejection

My Medical School Journey

Nothing stings quite like rejection. Whether that be from a significant other or acceptance into medical school, the feeling of not being “good enough” can break even the strongest will.

When I received the final rejection letter this past cycle, few words could describe the level of disappointment and frustration I felt. After dedicating years of my life pursuing a career in medicine, I thought, how could this be the outcome? What do I tell my friends, my family, myself? The phrase “I failed” rang in my head like an echo chamber. What followed was a tornado of emotions ranging from depression, frustration, anger, and even a hollow indifference. I wanted to give up and move on with my life. How much more time and money am I going to pour into what now seems like a pipe dream? Clearly there was something wrong with my application.

What knocked me out of this endless loop of self-pity was simply taking a moment to remove myself from it. The application cycle is over. Take the time to reward yourself for all the hard work you have put in over the past year. Accepted or not, you put in just as much time and work as those who were accepted and that is no easy feat. Go on that hike you have been putting off. Go to the beach you have not been to in ages. Crack open that beer at 2 pm. Take the time to decompress and do whatever it is that you love to do with the freeing knowledge that the anxiety is over for now.

And then, when you feel you have recollected yourself (and don’t rush it), come back with a vengeance. Take a look at the potential flaws in your application and take the necessary steps to remedy them. This is your chance to prove to yourself just how much you want this and an opportunity to go into the next cycle stronger, wiser, and with more confidence. But I do not recommend doing it alone. I spoke to my parents, my friends, my tutor, my therapist -- basically anyone willing to listen. You may feel as though you are just complaining, but sometimes it takes just getting it all out to realize what you need to do next.

-- CJ Curry

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