Rejection. Failure. Just a few of the words we use that somehow feel inadequate to describe an event where we don’t succeed. As much as it hurts to admit, writers experience a lot of let-downs before they get a single “yes.” I know I’ve gotten my fair share of rejection letters for publications. But I didn’t know true despair until last week. Despite my love for thesauruses, I have yet to find a word to capture my recent disappointment when I discovered I wouldn’t, in fact, be going to graduate school this fall to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.
As an honors student, consistent earner of the dean’s list, active orchestra member, Phi Beta Kappa inductee and editor for a student-run creative arts journal, I didn’t think there was any doubt I’d get (back) in to my alma mater to continue my education. I mean, I’m about to defend an undergraduate thesis written with the help of a MFA admissions board member for god’s sake!
But there in my arrogance is my downfall and, perhaps the best lesson to be learned from this sort of thing. Time and persistence are required and, even for the most successful, more than a few rejection letters will litter the road along the way.