Reject the Rejection Letter

Getting a rejection letter from a college can be a difficult blow.  Especially this year with a college admissions scandal in every major newspaper, it may seem that the process is rigged or unfair to the core.  You may wonder, “Why was I not accepted? What else could I have done?”

The answer – nothing.  College admission is competitive and some rejections are part of the process.  Although the recent exposure of an admissions scandal has shocked the country, at its heart the college admissions process is made up of individuals who care deeply about students and the universities they represent.  You put your best foot forward with your application, and admission officers have done their best job to choose a class that fills the needs of the college.  Unfortunately, not everyone who applies will be accepted but that doesn’t mean that your application wasn’t given a thorough review.

You can call the college to ask for more information.  They may be able to shed some light on your decision – how many applications did they receive, how many were accepted, what was the profile of the students who were admitted, etc.  Although it’s not likely to change your decision, sometimes understanding the facts can help soften the blow.

Additionally, writing a “Reject the Rejection” note for yourself can be a good way to tame your inner thoughts.  This is for your eyes only – do not send this letter anywhere.  Refer back to it as needed for your own self esteem boost.  Here’s a sample to get you started:

I was shocked when I received the rejection letter from [xxxx college].  Then I realized I’ll be happier attending [yyyy – college you plan to attend].

I know [xxxx college] receives more applications from qualified students than they can admit.  Unfortunately for you, you did not recognize the reasons I will be successful freshman like…




It’s too bad for [xxxx colllege] that you won’t have me as a student.  But I’m happy I’ve been admitted to [yyyy] because…




I can’t wait to get started there

Take Action

Focus on the positive and all the options you do have.  Begin to connect with the college that you will attend, join their private student-only FB page.  Connect with your future classmates, sign up for orientation, and consider attending one of the freshman camps they are offering.  All of these things will make the transition much easier.

SAT/ ACT and Anxiety

Congrats!  You are surviving your years in high school, and now it’s time to get serious about college. That’s right, It’s time to start test prep as the SATs/ACTs are coming. There’s no doubt these tests can be intimidating, but they don’t have to cause a panic attack. These simple practices can ease your test anxiety and help you ace that test!

One of the most important things a student can do to ensure that they are prepared for the big day is to check out what tools are allowed to be use on the test. Both the SAT and ACT websites provide information on what can and cannot be brought into the test room. Both of these sites provide test prep materials which give a glimpse into what kind of questions are going to be on the test and will allow you to feel more prepared.

How disappointing would it be to be turned away from testing simply because you forgot your photo ID!? Permitted items can range from simple items like that to a much more detailed list of requirements. Be sure to check those resources well before test day and familiarize yourself with the approved tools.

Something many students don’t consider is that the room will be cold. This may seem trivial, but it can definitely impact your ability to concentrate. Think about it; if you’re in a cool room wearing summer clothes, you are likely to have nagging thoughts about how uncomfortable you are, instead of concentrating on the question you’re supposed to be (quickly) solving. Make sure to bring a sweater or jacket on the day of the test to ensure you are able to focus.


These tests are timed, and there is no better way to prepare for that than to follow those same timing requirements when you practice. You might be taking an English based test with 45 minutes to complete it, and 50 questions to answer. That tells you that you have less than a minute to complete each question! Teach yourself to pick up on keywords in each question so that you are not using up too much time reading word for word.  Taking a SAT or ACT test prep class can help you understand how the timing will work.  There are lots of amazing Test Prep Companies but one of my favorite free Test Prep options is Khan Academy  Being Prepared will go a long way in preventing test anxiety

A college admissions coach can certainly help you navigate not only the timing aspect of test-taking but how to determine your strengths and weaknesses in each (the SAT vs. the ACT). Smart, consistent coaching will help you unlock your full potential and get the best score possible.



Built up anxiety leading up to these tests is completely normal. However, there are many simple tricks you can use to keep your anxious thoughts and feelings at bay.

If you find yourself overwhelmed, remember to fuel your body with oxygen by taking deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose, filling your upper lungs, and exhale through your mouth while pursing your lips. During stress, our breathing rates and patterns change, and there are many breathing exercises proven to relax an anxious body.

Yoga and meditation are also very effective and easy to do at home. There are plenty of free apps and resources online that can walk you through some simple moves or meditation sessions.

Many students put a substantial amount of pressure on themselves as they prepare for the SATs/ACTs. While these tests are important, a cloud of anxiety constantly looming over you will certainly affect how you perform, and not in a good way. The more prepared and at ease you are, the more your concentration and confidence will improve!


The classic expression “get a good night’s rest” doesn’t always cut it. This advice isn’t wrong, but you don’t want to shock your body with a morning routine that it isn’t used to the day of the test.

Create a new routine 10 days (at a minimum) before the test. Start with setting a sleep schedule as if tomorrow were your test day. Getting enough sleep has been proven to increase concentration and memory, as well as mood and energy levels. Committing to this schedule prior to test day will allow your body the time it needs to ease into the swing of things.This goes for breakfast as well. If you have cereal every day for breakfast, don’t suddenly have eggs and bacon the morning of the test. You’re asking for a stomach ache, you’ve got enough nerves as is! Create a plan of meals that are similar in ingredients and try to eat each at about the same time of day. Remember the worse thing you can do is wait until the night before to start your test prep, you can not cram for these test and it’s going to send you into an emotional tail spin.  Start test prep early and implement the things we have talked about and you will do well on the test.