Not Ivy League? Not A Problem | Alyssa J Freitas: Not Ivy League? Not A Problem

January 14, 2016

Not Ivy League? Not A Problem

I applied to three Ivy League schools. As the valedictorian of my high school class, with a ton of extracurricular involvement and above average SAT scores, it was possible for me to snag a spot in one of those exclusive classes. After great alumni interviews and crafting killer applications I held on to hope that I would gain entry. As embarrassing as it is to admit, I even filmed myself opening my letter from Princeton in hopes that I could play back again to relive a moment of accomplishment.
Not Ivy League? Not A Problem
Well, that moment never came. Despite my best efforts, I did not make it into my top choice, reach schools. I felt a keen sense of disappointment and failure. What was all of my hard work for, then? Reluctantly I examined my other options and chose the college I am at now: The College of New Jersey (TCNJ).

What I didn't realize at the time is that going to TCNJ was the best possible option for me. I am going to the best business school in the state (Princeton doesn't even have a business school...), getting an amazing value as I pay for in-state tuition, and am studying sales with the most fantastic professor while getting the opportunity to compete nationally.

Going to TCNJ has allowed me to gain exposure to professionals in my field who I never would have had access to had I attended a school without a sales program. I have taken sales classes with one or two other people, which is basically like getting private lessons! I am surrounded by the best students New Jersey has to offer, which also means I can spend time with all of my friends over breaks :) I was able to be on the collegiate rowing team despite not having former experience (I can hardly imagine that happening at an Ivy League!).

At the time I made my college decision I was far from excited or happy. In fact, I felt like I was settling. Yet, per usual, I went in with a positive attitude and the intention of taking advantage of every opportunity. Unsurprisingly this lead to amazing things including incredible friendships, close relationships with professors, awesome coworkers, and discovering my professional passion.

What does this all come down to? If you don't get exactly what you want it may just be the best thing that could have happened to you. If you don't  get admitted to that school, or get that guy, or get that job, the school you are going to excel at is going to beckon you in with open arms, a much hotter/smarter/funnier guy is around the corner, and the job where you will be challenged and grow is where you will be hired. This is not to say that everything that happens is awesome (some stuff is downright depressing and upsetting), but I am saying that if you allow yourself to behave as though what has happened is the best possible scenario, then it will be.

Don't spend your precious time and energy worrying about what you can't change. Focus on what you can do right now that makes you happy and that your future self will thank you for.

Have you faced a disappointment only to realize that it was a blessing?

-AJF  

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