Turn Disappointment Into An Opportunity
A loss can become a win
I stared at the screen. I was in shock. In front of me was a letter from a local college. I had applied for their Graduate Certificate program in School Leadership. I was attracted to the program for its online component and short duration. I was especially excited about the program’s antiracism component. I felt that the certificate would be a great addition to the leadership program I had recently completed in June of this year.
The letter stated that I had not been accepted into the inaugural cohort for the program. I wasn’t given any details as to why my application was rejected which frustrated me. I had two interviews with admissions representatives and had answered their questions to the best of my ability. I was upbeat and confident. I hoped my eagerness to do the work for the benefit of Black and Brown students would seal the deal for me. I guess not.
Like anyone, I hate it when I don’t get what I want. My anxiety and depression start to rear up, adding to my already stressed emotions. I reflected on my interviews. I questioned my responses. Was I too confident? Too self-assured? Did they think I didn’t have enough experience? Were they turned off by my excitement? Had someone told them something that ended my candidacy? I wanted to know but was also afraid to ask.
I sent the director of the program an email asking if there would be another cohort in the summer or next fall. She informed me that there would be. The director didn’t provide any further details about my application. I wanted to ask but was afraid of the answer. I don’t take criticism well. That stems from my days as a bullied girl in elementary and middle school.
But I didn’t let anxiety and depression weigh me down. I won’t give up my leadership dreams. I reached out to a representative at another local school to see if they were still accepting applications for their fall program. I’m eager to read her response. I’ll continue to search for leadership programs or any other learning opportunities that can help advance my career. There are also my doctoral applications. I’ll be sending those out before the end of the year. Hopefully, I’ll be a doctoral student in the fall of 2022.
Disappointment stings. It hurts the ego. I don’t get a lot of wins in my life. So when I do, I feel like I hit the lottery. I hate rejection. I take it personally. Maybe this latest one wasn’t personal, but my fragile ego still had me feeling down for over an hour. But I bounced back and like I said before, I’m not giving up. My path to leadership is out there and will reveal itself when the time is right. I will continue doing what I can to build my leadership skills. I want future applications to be more yes’s than no’s.
Don’t let disappointment hold you down. You can be sad but then take action. Find out what your options are. Regardless of what you’re trying to do or become, there is always more than one path you can take. Sometimes the path finds you before you find it. When the opportunity presents itself, take it. Sometimes, it’ll turn out better than what you didn’t receive.