“Everything happens for a reason.” Oh, how many times have I heard this phrase after getting rejected by fifteen companies for an internship? It is a stressful feeling when you were the smartest kid in high school but suddenly when you transition to college you are no longer the smart one. You start competing with people that are on the same level as you and now you have imposter syndrome. Rejection is something I did not encounter until I started college. I did not quite understand this concept of ‘everything happens for a reason’ until something good finally came along.
As a responsible college student, I felt heartbroken and insecure with each rejection on an internship application, especially since I felt I had tried my best, stayed active in school, and had a better than average academic performance. Was there something wrong with my accent, my style? Was I somehow not smart enough for these jobs? There are many times I wanted to give up and never try again for an internship, job, or even a leadership position. That is when I encountered mental health problems.
It is not fun to be depressed and sad and stressed all the time. It affected my academic progress. I could not concentrate in school because I felt like it was pointless. However, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Coming from a South Asian household, I have seen my immigrant parents who came to this unknown land, having the same feeling where they are lost and stressed. No idea where they might get their next meal. I used their hardship as my inspiration to never give up and to keep moving forward. I utilized three techniques to overcome my rejection by continuing to: move forward, keep trying, and networking.
When it comes to rejection, it is best to move forward because taking things personally will not help you move forward in life. You can be sad and depressed all day, but that won’t help you get the job that you desperately want. Yes, rejection may be the worst feeling, but opportunities are always within our reach. Learning to trust the process is the biggest confidence boost anyone can ever have.