The sting of rejection still lingers in the air. It reminds me that I am not good enough, it reminds me that I am not worthy of such an opportunity. To move on from this glorious defeat will take perseverance.
“Where do we go from here?” That is the question. I sit in my bed and ponder my every desire. “Am I worthy?” This is still a question that haunts my existence. I can’t go on, but I will go on. I realize the fault in my argument. I treat this newfound realization like a terminal diagnosis, that I’ll never have the opportunity to parade around the campuses that are mere dreams to high-schoolers. But I accept this possibility with dignity. Does it really matter which university I attend? Surely there are more pressing issues in the world than a young coward’s doubts. My mind wanders into the position I was in only three weeks ago. Through a book, I experienced the life of a dying man and walked in his shoes. In these strides, I came to recognize the insignificance of it all. The GPAs, the SATs and some other three-letter abbreviations that equally share my disdain. In this instant, I came to realize what it felt like to get in the ring and spar with death.
Now that I look back, I know where I go from here. I go forward without a glance elsewhere and focus on the things that truly matter. For today is a gift, and rejection is nothing but the small root that juts from the ground and causes us to stumble. But still, it is a root that anchors our tree and allows us to grow.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.