Celebrating rejection?

Celebrating rejection?

Months on months of studying, working, practicing and waiting all lead up to one of the most important days in a high schooler’s life. The day they get accepted/ rejected from college. Celebrations and days of recognition follow, but what happens when you get rejected? Too often we decide to focus on the positives and leave the negatives out of the picture. 

This idea of rejection being bad is universally accepted; however, it shouldn’t be. Rejection should be accepted and used as motivation for future success. Failure should be an opportunity to learn. One school in Massachusetts decided to take this idea and use it as fuel for their students to continue to pursue their goals.

Wayland High School in Wayland, Massachusetts decided to adopt and implement this idea through The Wall of Rejection. It has been in use for over 10 years according to Sasha Libenzon. The wall of rejection is a wall composed of student’s rejection letters to various colleges bringing positivity to people who were denied by their dream schools. The purpose of the wall is to let students know that they are bigger than an accepted or denied title that the colleges give them. The letters of rejection are then written over with sticky notes reminding the students that there are more possibilities in their lives and that particular college may not have been the one for them.

The polar opposite to the Wall of Rejection would be the Wall of Acceptance, a wall on which students’ accepted letters would be posted and publicized. A wall like this would be important in order to recognize those students who actually got accepted. Doing both of these would encourage people to be more positive and supportive to everyone around campus. While not directly being a Wall, a similar thing is implemented in high schools all around the world. People who get accepted to the schools they want to attend are celebrated pretty frequently. 

However, not everyone thinks a Wall of Rejection/ Acceptance is a good idea. Counselor Victor Chaidez said he did not like the idea of a wall of rejection, “Adopting this wall is not necessary and people could be cruel to those who didn’t get accepted.” 

Critics of this viewpoint may argue that having a college bound celebration may also bring on negative actions from fellow students. However, these people fail to realize that in such celebration we are celebrating a positive accomplishment and not the failure that others may have had. Celebrating the positive will inevitably motivate the students who failed to keep pursuing their dream of college or career acceptance. 

Here at Alisal we have neither a wall of rejection nor a wall of acceptance; however, we still do celebrate Trojans with their future planned out. This celebration first started four years ago and had some rocky beginnings, but now celebrates all seniors regardless of their commitment to community college, university, military, or a career. I believe this celebration makes up for a lack of a wall of acceptance/ rejection almost entirely, but misses on one key point – to motivate lower classmen. 

I believe a more public celebration should be held in order to show lower classmen that getting into the college of their dreams is possible with enough hard work and dedication. This celebration would check all the boxes by focusing on the positive achievements of the seniors in a very public way, which could inspire the lower classmen.