Love, Riley | A letter to my 18 year old self

Riley Wilson, Print Editor in Chief

Rejection sucks. In the bluntest way possible, rejection is horrible. Especially the type of rejection that acts as a crane, knocking down future plans, causing an earthquake that shatters how you view your life.

18 year old you dreamed of attending John Hopkins University. You worked hard in high school, determined to achieve. When it was time to write your college application for the university, you spent hours slaving over it, tweaking it, perfecting it.

When the letter came in the mail that signified a rejection from your dream college, everything shifted. You will take the news really hard, your mom letting you stay home the next day and lay in bed as she would bring you cups of tea to try and warm your spirits. But no amount of tea would do the trick.

You will think your future was ruined. You will spend time contemplating every decision you made, analysing if it was the correct one. You will not believe in yourself anymore. But 18 year old you promised that things will get better, they have to.

Right now you feel stuck. Hurt. Rejected. You will have a hard time trying to return to normal, a hard time looking toward the future. Time was not wasted, but you will feel that way, especially right now. Endless dedication and hard work seems to fail in comparison to your future plans.
Just because you will feel beaten down does not mean that you don’t have the means to build yourself back up.

Grab your cement, grab your concrete, grab your plaster and brick. One level at a time, you will begin to realize that things happen for a reason, that this reason may not be known, or understandable at the time, but just because your future won’t be the one that you plan that doesn’t mean that you won’t have a future.

The world will not end. You will be okay, even if it takes time. You will learn to believe in yourself again, and take pride in every moment that turned you into who you are today. You will learn to understand rejection, and will soon realize that it was nothing personal. You will soon learn not to beat yourself up about rejection, and instead be proud of everything that accomplished. But most importantly, you will learn that your future is what you make it.