Finding a New Dream
Something went amiss though. It turns out that your dream school wasn’t dreaming for you.
And that news is crushing. With blinders keeping your focus on that school, there’s not much to get excited about. How do you get excited about another school when you only ever wanted the first?
Start by taking the night off
No problem was ever solved by stressing over it. Albert Einstein saw the possibility of splitting atoms when he wasn’t looking for it. Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin by spilling bread crumbs. These problems were solved when they weren’t stressed about them.
Many times you just need to distance yourself from the emotions before you set about fixing them. Take a night off to go out to dinner, take a nap, or pursue a hobby. Find a way to calm yourself. Only then will you be ready to take a look at your potential.
Take a look at “dream school’s” resume
What was it about the dream school that you liked so much? Was it the small class sizes? Was it the research? Was it the integrity of the program or the greatness of the professors? Identify the reasons you put them on a pedestal and write them down. These will usually reflect the most important aspects of a college that you would like to attend.
You will soon find that those characteristics aren’t limited to that school. Your next step is to find out who else offers similar options.
Compare the competition
Really open your eyes to what the other colleges are doing. Find out everything you can about competitor’s programs. Start with the programs you applied to.
Find all of the positive aspects of those schools. Compare those positive aspects to the dream school’s resume. In what ways are they similar? In what ways are they different? Are you willing to concede any of the points in favor of the competition? After all, no institution is perfect. Maybe you can find something better in the competition.
Pick a new dream
The beauty of dreams is that you can always find a new one. Pick a new school that most closely fits what you want to do with the rest of your life.
Many in similar circumstances find reasons that the second dream was a better choice in the long run. They receive an opportunity, experience, or field of study that wasn’t available at the other school. In retrospect, they are often glad that their dream school sent a rejection. That one moment shaped them for the better.
Losing your first dream doesn’t mean the world is over. Find a new dream that is suitable and pursue it with all of your heart. You may find a better life there than you could ever have imagined.
Megan Wickes is a graduate of the Master in Business Administration (MBA) program. She currently works for Independence University, managing its online presence. In addition to her love of marketing, Megan enjoys wakeboarding, boating, and spending time with her husband and new baby boy.
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