As semester stress piles up, rejection is not end of world

Courtesy of City of Newport News

04/11/2019

By Alyse Kaminski | Staff Columnist 

April has to be the most stressful month of the year. Finals are approaching and some students are figuring out summer internships or jobs. In the past two months I’ve dealt with two internship rejections and the to-do list for finals is piling up. Needless to say, I am very stressed, but I have been doing the best I can to find a silver lining in the midst of all this chaos.

My first internship rejection arrived in my email inbox the first day of February. Let’s just say I did not handle it well, and I found myself crying in the bathroom of my boyfriend’s apartment for an hour. Was I being dramatic? Maybe, but it was honestly the first time I had been told no. It was the first time I was told there were better writers out there than me. Of course I knew that, but hearing it from a company I respected and wanted to work for put a damper on my ego.

I realized in the next few weeks that I absolutely needed this rejection. I needed to reevaluate myself. I know I am good at what I do, but being told no put a few things into perspective for me. There will always be other people who deserve a job as much as I do. Sometimes you just are not what a company is looking for, but that doesn’t make you bad at your craft.

My second rejection arrived about two weeks ago. Again, I cried. I cried a lot. I felt really confident about this one, and I was sure I was going to get it. Disappointed would be an understatement, but again, I made it out alive and well.

So I learned that rejections are not few and far between. There will be plenty, I am sure, before I find an internship or major-related job that is right for me. This is going to happen to a lot of us. There are going to be people who seamlessly get the opportunities they want, but don’t let that be a discouragement. The best thing I have learned through this experience is that comparison is not healthy. Focus on you and your worth. I promise that just because a company did not choose you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are not good at what you do.

Finally, finals are coming up and that has been causing me just as much stress as my internship search.

If you’re anything like me, you put a heavy amount of pressure on yourself when it comes to school. I always carry with me a desire to be perfect. In recent years, I’ve toned this down, but I still deal with it. However, I have found various strategies helpful in keeping a healthy mindset when things get tough at school.

First and foremost, take a break. Cramming or overworking yourself will not work. Rarely have I ever crammed for a test and done better than I would have if I would’ve relaxed more about it. Take a study break and go for a walk. Hang out with friends or take a nap.

With that being said, try not to use “taking a break” as an excuse for procrastination. Set a schedule for specific tasks. Have days dedicated to studying and others set aside for writing papers or doing projects. Overloading on different tasks will make it easy to want to put it off.

Finally, be nice to yourself. When it comes down to it, grades are not everything. Yes, they are important, but your grades do not ever determine your worth. Remember that you could be a 4.0 student, but oftentimes what really matters is your heart and soul. Try practicing more mindfulness techniques this finals season. I know it can be difficult, but in the end it is totally worth it.

If you take away anything from this article, I hope it’s the idea that things will not always go your way, but that doesn’t make it a bad life. Employers will reject you and sometimes you will get a C on something you wanted an A on. When the day is done, what matters is not your grades or how many people want to hire you. I will always argue that is better to be a good person over anything.

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