I decided to write this post after I found out that I was not selected to go on a trip sponsored and subsidized by my school. It was a really great opportunity to visit startups in New York that I was looking forward to, but there were only a limited number of seats available on the trip (understandably so, seeing as it was highly subsidized) and my application was not selected. This isn't the first time I've applied to something and been rejected, it's happened countless times throughout college. However, I didn't decide to write this post because I've experienced rejection. I decided to write this post because I observed how I dealt with it. See, when I found out that I wasn't chosen for this great opportunity, I had about two seconds where I was really bummed and then I immediately started brainstorming other ways to get a similar experience. Turns out, a flight from Raleigh to NYC is pretty cheap, and I have a dear friend who's studying at Columbia University who has said he'd love for me to visit. In reality, I could make this trip happen on my own accord.
The way I look at it, rejection isn't a setback - sometimes it's just a way of saying "you're gonna have to be more clever than this." It's a redirection. Going back to my river analogy, sometimes you come across resistance in your path and you have to change course and go around. Just look at the photo below. Why not just follow a path from point A to point B? Well, sometimes you can't. Each gold star along the path is a rejection, where the river was forced to go around and find another way. While the path may be arduous, rejection shall serve no more purpose than to redirect a determined mind.