Let me say it again: rejection really, really sucks. I’m not talking about the romantic type either, although that does suck too.
No one likes to deal with rejection, no matter the situation. Personally, in all the times I’ve faced rejection, they all have the same outcome: me feeling sorry for myself/not good enough, and compensating with a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s chocolate fudge brownie ice cream. (Best flavor out there, no debate) Except for this time, this time I didn’t devour a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, I was too defeated and disappointed in myself to do anything but just feel sorry for myself. I’d lie if I said I didn’t cry a little, but gimme a break, I’m only human. Then it hit me, this isn’t the end of the world. This was one opportunity that I honestly didn’t work hard enough for, I didn’t give it everything I have, which is completely uncharacteristic of me. Why didn’t I try harder? Why didn’t I study more? Why didn’t I push myself to do better? And I realized, it was honestly because I was scared.
While this opportunity would have been an exciting chapter of my life, I was scared to go after it with my all. I was scared I wouldn’t have what it takes to succeed; this was going to be unlike anything else I’ve ever done. Instead of using that fear of the unknown to drive my desire to succeed, I let it dwindle it. The unknown (cliche, I know) can be extremely scary. Where will I be in 5 years? Who will be there with me? What will I be doing? I find myself asking these questions at least once a week, and I don’t know the definite answer for any of them (although I have some ideas/hopes, don’t get me wrong!). Some people enjoy planning that far ahead into the future, and for others, that’s way too much anxiety for them to handle (hello, me). I just hate not knowing what’s next for me, more specifically career-wise. Here I am, with a college degree feeling like I just can’t find anything that’s right for me, and if I do, I feel like it’s unobtainable. I got news for you though, I know deep down that’s not true.
So, advice guru time! Here we go, advice tip #2: don’t give up on your dreams for fear of the unknown and stepping outside of your comfort zone. There are going to be opportunities that ask a lot of you, or jobs that you might think you’re not qualified for, or things you’re just too scared to go after, but don’t let that deter you. Use your fear to drive you, use it to push yourself forward and to succeed. Otherwise, you just might miss out on some really cool things, like oh I don’t know maybe studying at Clemson University for your master’s degree doing research on barred owl ecology and urban ecology. Seriously, I’m going to be kicking myself about this one for a while. There is a light at the end of the tunnel though, because now I know that I can do graduate school, and I’m going to make a kick-ass research or teaching assistant some day. Where will that take me? Who will be there with me? Well, we’re all just going to have to stick around to figure that one out!
Until next time, my friends.