Recently, I received a rejection e-mail for a big grant application that I applied for in the Fall. I knew the chances for an acceptance were slim, but I thought I would at least move to the next stage.

This was also my second time applying for this particular grant. However, I surprisingly felt less disappointed than last year when I applied and was also rejected. And to be honest – I see this as great progress.

If you plan on having a career in academia, like myself, rejection is something that we need to get more comfortable with. We will be constantly applying for jobs, grants, journal articles and constantly getting rejected. But we can’t let that stop us!

It’s important to keep in mind that everyone has an agenda, and maybe your research just doesn’t fit within that mandate or agenda – it doesn’t necessarily mean its ‘not ready’ or ‘bad’.  With that said, I still think there is a lot to learn from rejection.

So today I wanted to share with you 6 tips for dealing with rejection.

Tip 1: Acknowledge your emotions 

Allow yourself time to feel your emotions. Take some time to yourself, or with a loved one, to go through the emotions of rejection; sadness, anger, denial etc. It is okay to feel disappointed, this is completely normal. Rejection sucks.  What is more important, is that you allow yourself this time in order to be able to move on.

Tip 2: Journal  

If you still feel upset and unable to move on, journal it out. Sometimes these feelings can go so deep that we can’t necessarily pinpoint why they hurt so much. Journalling offers us that opportunity to get to the root of these issues. So be kind to yourself. And remember, you have put yourself out there and you are pushing your limits. That my friend is awesome.

Tip 3: Call a friend/loved ones

You don’t have to go through this alone. Meet up or phone someone who you know will be able to listen. Right not, you don’t need to solve any problems, you just need a friend to cheer you up and assure you that you are still amazingly awesome! If you don’t have anyone to talk to, try speaking to a counsellor, someone who can give you an outside perspective.

Tip 4: Exercise

I always feel good after I exercise. Now it can be a struggle to get there, especially when feeling so disappointed. But force yourself to get to the gym, put on some uplifting beats and get those endorphins going.

Tip 5: Learn from it

After you have taken some time to deal with your sadness, make sure to go back to your application to see how you can learn from it. Ask for feedback if possible and learn how you can improve it for next time.

Tip 6: Don’t let it stop you – Apply again! 

Last but not least, do not let this stop you! Do not let fear get in the way. Sometimes these application processes are difficult and are more like a lottery draw then an actual competition. So keep your head up, learn from it and keep applying!

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And if you haven’t already heard about the #GradSchoolFeels series,  head over to YouTube and check out the video now!

This series discusses some of the typical feelings grad students face. These might include; anxiety, depression, feeling like an imposter, feeling lonely… the list goes on.

The idea behind this is to:

  1. raise awareness about mental health for grad students,
  2. for grad students to feel more open talking about their feelings with themselves, friends, colleagues, family members or professionals and
  3. to create free mediations and tips to help ya out when you are facing these feelings.

This month feel is:

Dealing with Rejection

You can find the guided meditation for this feeling here.

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Now I want to hear from you!

  • How do you cope with rejection?
  • Have any of these tricks ever work for you?
  • And what do you think about the #GradSchoolFeels series?
  • Are there any particular feelings you want me to feature in the coming months?

Comment below! And stay tuned for next month’s #GradSchoolFeels.

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 2019/20 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.

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