Dealing with rejection in grad school

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll already know that I recently received a rejection letter from a funding proposal that I submitted last semester. I am quickly realizing that rejection is inescapable in academia. Continue reading to find out some tips that helped me cope with this rejection and that I will take with me in future disappointments.

Let yourself be upset, then move on

Initially, you may feel hurt and that’s normal. Allow yourself feel those feelings for a moment, even let out a cry if you need to (whoever said big girls don’t cry was lying). But then make sure to move on from it. Don’t wallow in your rejection for too long, you don’t want to get stuck in a negative mindset… plus there’s work to do!

Realize it is inevitable & don’t take it personally

DSC_0527Awareness of the process for funding, or journal publications, or whatever it is you applied to, is key. Being realistic about your competition and odds is important. There was a very slim chance that I was going to receive this funding, especially in my first year, and I knew that before applying. No one is perfect and everyone faces rejection, so remember to not take it personally. If your research wasn’t important, you wouldn’t be where you are today.

Reach out to those who understand

Find companionship in people who actually understand academia and its processes. Sure, reaching out to a family member or friend might help in a way but someone who understands what you are going through because they themselves have gone through it, will allow you to normalize the situation and ground yourself.

See it as a learning opportunity & don’t give up!

Now that you have let yourself be sad, talked it over with colleagues and supervisors, its time to get back to work. Ultimately, if you can view rejection as a learning opportunity in order to grow and improve on whatever it was that was rejected, will only put you that much closer to success in your future. Ask for comments and feedback to improve it for the next time around, if possible. So stay in the game, make sure to celebrate your small wins and keep on grinding!

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset


How have you faced rejection in grad school? And what are some ways you cope with it?

Until next time,

Christine xo




P.S Don’t forget to use #ScholarCulture #ScholarSquad #ScholarSunday to keep me updated on your experiences as grad students.

P.P.S Applying to grad school for the 2018/19 school year? Check out this FREE eBook on 5 steps to a successful grad school application. Are you in grad school and struggling to find easy lunches to bring to campus? Check out three FREE recipes and full nutritional information here.


Leave a Reply