University offers: how to cope with rejection

It’s coming to that dreaded time: universities are starting to hand out places, and you’re patiently waiting to find out your fate.

But how do you cope when all your friends around you are receiving good news? And what do you do if your offers aren’t what you hoped?


Waiting to hear back from universities is often the worst part. When you have a decision, you can make plans. When you’re left in limbo, it can be really hard to picture your future, which school has had you planning and preparing for so long.

No matter what your offers are, you have a long, fun summer ahead of you. Distract yourself from the stress of waiting for offers by planning your summer, preparing for your sixth year holiday, and looking for jobs to earn a bit of cash.

It might only take your mind off it for a short while, but planning something fun will lift your spirits and ensure you have something to look forward to, no matter what the universities say.


When you’re waiting to hear back about your choices, and everyone around you is getting good news, it can be really difficult. It feels like there’s less of a chance for you, because all the places are being filled up.

But ultimately, the people in your year will have applied for so many different courses, at so many different universities, it’s unlikely anyone is taking away from your chance.

You just have to be gracious, and congratulate through gritted teeth. Your responses are coming, and it’s a good sign they’re taking so much time to consider, rather than handing out offers willy-nilly.


No one wants to receive a rejection, and universities don’t want to reject you. But there are so many applicants for so few places, securing a place isn’t as straightforward as it used to be.

First of all, if you receive a rejection from a university, it’s okay to be sad about it. It’s okay to cry, and mope and feel sorry for yourself. It’s okay to not want to tell anyone, until it’s fully sunk in and you’ve accepted the situation.

But it’s important to remember – as cliché as it sounds – that everything happens for a reason, and what’s for you won’t go by you.

Maybe you didn’t get into the uni of your dreams, and it hurts right now. This opens your life up to other opportunities: maybe you decide to take a gap year and travel. Maybe you decide to work full time and apply again next year when you’ve saved up a bit of money. Maybe you do both of these things, and decide, actually, you don’t want to do that course you applied for a year ago.

Taking some time out is a good idea, to think about what you’re going to do instead of university. You can look into apprenticeships, college, employment or travelling. The world is your oyster.

And, looking back in five years time, you’ll be thankful you didn’t get in, because if you had, you would have missed out on all the wonderful experiences you’ve had instead.


If you would like to discuss your options after receiving a rejection, you can call the UCAS undergraduate helpline on 0371 468 0468

Student Minds


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If you’re struggling with the admissions process, you should also be able to ask your guidance teacher or school counsellor for support.

**Image credit to @chibird**

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