Accepting Rejection

by David Glovsky | 10/10/07 11:45pm

Rejection: Thy sweet nectar never tasted so divine. Rejection is a typical part of the Dartmouth experience, since organizational elections, applications for various programs and late nights in frat basements will at one point or another make 98 percent of Dartmouth students feel the sting of the generic rejection blitz (41 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot). I certainly can't remember all the things I've been rejected from.

For those freshmen that have yet to experience this phenomenon, remember the rejection letters you received from the other supposedly illustrious institutions you applied to (early decision monogamists, I'm sorry, you can't understand):

"Dear (name of student, hopefully spelled correctly),

While you were more than qualified, unfortunately we did not have nearly as many spots as we would have hoped for this year. Therefore we are sorry to tell that you have been denied admittance to (name of said university/college), but we are sure that you will be fine in the long run.

But thanks for applying!

(Name of Dean of Admissions)

(Possibly fake signature)"

With the falling leaves of early October come the twin pillars of rejection in the Dartmouth community: rush and recruiting. No other rejection at Dartmouth even comes close. Let's be honest here: Girls, if you don't get into your favorite sorority, your life is over. You have no more social capital. Guys won't talk to you and neither will your newly cool girlfriends. And guys, it's even worse. Rejection from rush means an inability to attract members of your favored sex and to maintain friendships with your ex-roommate or even your current one who's now a sweet frat dude.

As someone who successfully rushed, I feel it is my duty to impart this wisdom on you. Now that I watch my sophomore residents embark on the most important step they'll ever take at Dartmouth, I worry for them like a mother hen watching her baby chicks. They're so young and so frail. They're being sent out into the world with nothing but the shirts on their backs, and I only pray they'll find the strength to carry on.

I'm kidding, of course. Rush is nothing compared to the real rejection of corporate recruiting. If a Greek organization rejects you, no one outside the Dartmouth bubble cares (whether they care inside is debatable, too). But being rejected by the corporate world invalidates one's entire college experience, and makes me wish I hadn't majored in the humanities. In fact, fellow humanities majors, good luck getting interviews after all of your classes with no real world application.

In all truth, I don't pretend to know what the corporate world is looking for. I just know it is one more rejection I can't take. I'm ducking recruiting, and using my four classes as a convenient excuse that means no resume drops, no cover letters and no real world for me until January at the earliest. As a friend of mine said over blitz, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO I'm sick of corporate hoes. I don't even know what it's about. Write about what all the un-corporate people are doing on campus. Like being old and dying." I edited this blitz for spelling and grammar, but I think the point comes across. I'm just over a week shy of my 22nd birthday, but I feel middle-aged. And I've never held a full-time job for more than three months.

Thinking about the rejection of recruiting makes me feel old. Who am I to have a real job? Or my friend who emailed me late Sunday night asking, "What's capital markets?" I don't want her in charge of my money. The same goes for the kid I saw sloppily blacked out on Friday night. I can't trust him or her, at least not until I see him or her sober and wearing business attire. I've made it past the first pillar of rejection, and if I can avoid the second, I can survive college with my sanity intact.

In the long run, it's all pretty much meaningless. Your Dartmouth degree (even in the humanities) doesn't come with a Greek affiliation on it, and your first job in no way determines your last. So crack open an ice cold Bud Light Class of 2008 (not you, Class of 2010, you all are underage), and enjoy the sweet nectar of rejection. Your Dartmouth experience wouldn't be complete without it.