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Dealing With Rejection

Yesterday, I found myself in a coffee shop, on the brink of tears, staring at an email and trying to process it.

I applied early decision to UCLA’s autism testing clinic. Multiple people proofread my cover letter, I updated my resume all the way in the summer, obtained all recommendation letters way in advance, and applied the second that the portal opened. Then, I waited.
And now I stared at the opening line: “Unfortunately, we are unable to offer you an interview…”. They decided I wasn’t good enough before they even met me, I thought to myself.

The bottom line assured me that my application was automatically sent to be processed for general acceptance. I was rejected from early decision, though, and general acceptance doesn’t let you know the results until March (which is too much of a risk with practicum– all other sites would let me know and want an answer by February). Basically, UCLA was out of the picture.

I got in as an undergraduate and I can’t even get in for a trainee job? I berated myself.
For some reason, this rejection compelled me to act. I needed an outlet for my disappointment, so I channeled it into researching and emailing other places that I previously ignored because of my laser focus on UCLA’s autism site.

There are other really good options. For example, Cedars Sinai. It’s a prestigious neuropsychology testing position that I’d be really lucky to get into. I immediately set about writing more cover letters and planning. However, I could not get UCLA off my mind.
Where did I go wrong? I kept asking myself. I felt like I did all that I could have.
In any case, this monologue played on loop in my head, all the way until the evening. I stood in front of a Shabbat candle that night. I closed my eyes, said the prayer, and waited.

Surprisingly, instead of asking for anything, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace. It was as if my practicum anxiety suddenly melted away.
I remembered that I didn’t have to control everything, and in fact, I wasn’t able to. That’s what God was for. If I didn’t get UCLA this time around, despite my best efforts, then this is what was meant to happen.
I figured I’d update you all because as the saying goes, “we make plans and God laughs”. For now, instead of strictly Autism testing, I am going to broaden my choices to all neuropsychology sites, many of which are really good. Wherever I end up next year, I know it is where I’m meant to be.


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Hi everyone! I started my doctorate in clinical psychology in fall 2020. A google search revealed that there are no current grad school blogs for psychology students. Anyway, I happen to know a girl who wants to document her journey to getting a doctorate (spoiler: it's me). Welcome. Hope you stay awhile!

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