The Best Rejection Letter
A Writer’s Book of Days (01/02): Write About A Time Someone Said No
The best rejection I received was from my first choice for college – I was wait-listed at Villanova University. At that point, I was applying for scholarships and couldn’t hold on to the hope that I’d get in at a later date. Instead, I semi-reluctantly sent in my acceptance letter for my second choice, Fordham University. I grew much warmer to the school as August came closer, but there was still a nagging “what-if.” I’d really loved Villanova.
A week after I started classes at Fordham, a plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center and the world turned upside down in an instant. But unlike many of my new friends, I lived closed to home – something that turned out to be very important to me during that tumultuous first year of college. Many weekends were spent back on Long Island as I dealt with the stress of 9/11, a horrible roommate, and the worst two semesters of my entire educational life. This is something I wouldn’t have been able to do had I been anchored to the Philadelphia area.
I sometimes wonder if I would have stuck it out at Fordham if I didn’t have that escape. I soon found my place there by joining the school newspaper, The Ram, where I started as a news writer and quickly rose to the ranks of editor and eventually editor in chief. The latter position secured me quite a few interviews post-graduation, and I quickly settled into the world of business journalism.
I wonder where I’d be today had it not been for Villanova’s rejection. Would I have lived in New York? Would I be a journalist? Would I have had all the great experiences of the past 10 years? Would I have traveled to as many places? Would I have such a diverse, wonderful group of friends?
I wouldn’t trade what I have today for all the Villanova acceptance letters in the world.