Shekinah Jedidiah M. Alima

“You are qualified for admission to…”
“You are granted a scholarship from…”

After tassels were turned and medals were served, the real battle began – college life.

The congratulatory messages are endless. It took over the vast world of social media in the blink of an eye as students passed by the season of Senior High School graduation. It marked a new endeavor to navigate, with the gray clouds of uncertainty and anxiety piling up on the minds of the youth. 

For some, it is a field of daffodils with all their needs served on a silver platter, with getting admitted to not just one but multiple universities and bagging scholarships. 

However, for others, it is a journey through pain. Rejections from dream schools, especially the top universities with low acceptance rates, can be a crushing blow.

Highly competitive institutions in the Philippines according to independent metric-based ranking Edurank – which includes the University of the Philippines (12% acceptance rate), De La Salle University (35%), the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (40%), and Ateneo De Manila University (42%)  – can leave non-passers feeling like entering a needle’s hole. 

But what if a “no” from a specific program or university is not the end of the story but rather a redirection?

Consider other schools

Your dream university might have said no, but other colleges and universities are on their doors, waiting to nurture your potential.

Institutions like National University, University of the East, Far Eastern University, Adamson University, and Technological Institute of the Philippines, among others, are still accepting admission applications for upcoming first-year college students for the academic year 2024-2025. 

They offer vast programs, an excellent faculty roster, and a vibrant student culture that may suit your interests and provide the quality education you seek.

Explore different programs

As universities and tertiary institutions are still open, this can also be your chance to delve deeper into your interests.

Check those programs and courses you have not explored before; maybe a practice major sparks your curiosity, or a whole new field ignites your hidden passion. 

Be open to possibilities, which might be the key to an even brighter future. 

Gap year, then relaunch

If you think life cannot give you another chance to continue your academic journey this upcoming school year, you could pause for a year to regroup.

This time, you can find more opportunities and hone your skills through volunteering and internships. You can even apply for a part-time job that will help you gain financial independence and a valuable work ethic.

After some time refining yourself, you may return to the application process stronger and shoot your shot at your desired university. Again, it’s better late than never – and as the P-pop girl BINI says, your (college) life is not a race.

Fight for your dream

Some universities are open to reconsideration; you must take the first step and know the process.

You may start by drafting a reconsideration letter expressing your desire to enter the university, highlighting your achievements and explaining why you are a perfect fit.

Remember, acceptance to a college is always subject to slot availability. Every accepted student who declines an offer has a chance for another’s prayers to be fulfilled.

Figuring things ahead

Feeling grief and uncertainty after rejection is natural, as the future might seem unclear and the path ahead bumpy.

Financial, emotional, and mental struggles may come in all at once, but take in mind that healing takes time.

The coveted diploma we are eyeing is still on the other side of the hill, and it will take us a lot of ups and downs to accomplish. It might seem like running away from you, but really, the finish line is not moving.

Know that you will make it there. For now, take a pause, heal and await for the possibilities that lie ahead.

This is just the beginning of your journey.