As I grow up, and as I’m trying to reach my goals, I learned that there will always be rejections. Even the most successful people, the ones we admire, the ones we look up to, they received at least one rejection in their life. Their success and their achievements are probably the results of moving on and not giving up after those rejections.
The young might have not yet reached that point of life where they can mention what is the worst rejection they have ever received, but then that’s what makes it interesting. During that stage of life where they try and learn as many things as they can, they experienced, maybe not yet the worst one, but probably the one that hurt them the most so far. And it can be anything. Including the ones you might thought would never hurt anyone.
I talked to 12 young people, asking them what is the worst rejection they’ve ever got and what is the story that goes with it. The results pretty much show how each of us experiences different things with one another.
What is the worst rejection you’ve ever got?
1. “I was rejected to enter the junior high school I want.” – Rilo,Indonesia
I met him in junior high. I hope that made the rejection less upsetting.
2. “Does being bullied count as rejection?” – Nada, 18, Indonesia
She was bullied during her first year in junior high. From being locked inside the bathroom, had her bag thrown into the garbage, to verbal abuses.
3. “No from my dad to the dreams I had when I was younger.” – Cosmin, 23, Norway
He fancied the army when he was 13, and his father said “over my dead body”. At 15, he wanted to be an archaeologist, but again, his father said no. He never bothered more with his father after that second time.
4. “University entrance exam. I wrote the wrong code.” – Katherine, 21, South Korea.
The disappointment should have been paid off seeing her academic achievements during her 3 years in university. She’s now going on an exchange to South Korea.
5. “A few years ago a friend and I saw Enrique Iglesias live and we were really close to the side of the stage and at one point he came right to where we were standing so we put our hands out, probably screaming hysterically, and he “high fived” every single person who was standing there, maybe 15 girls, except me.”- Matilda, 18, Finland.
It was on YouTube.
6. “Haven’t got any because I haven’t tried anything big.” – James, 22, Australia.
He believes that the few bad rejections he got are because he hasn’t put his full effort.
7. “When I was about eleven, I was in middle school, and I used to do artistic gymnastics and I was even very good at that! Anyway, during one summer I started growing up faster and faster, I was becoming taller and taller! So, in September I wasn’t able to do many exercises that I could do easily in the past! So they told me I had to stop with gymnastic! It was horrible because I loved that and it wasn’t my fault if I was tall!” – Michela, 20, Italy.
She was very mad that for many years she kept saying “I wish I was shorter”. She didn’t like the fact that she was tall and she was kinda mad at herself. But as time goes by, she is now perfectly fine with being tall.
8 “One time I leaned in to kiss a girl and she pushed me away and called me a loser, haha” – Brett, 20, lives in Alberta, Canada.
I don’t know him well, but he looks fine enough to have a better chance next time.
9. “When I was expelled from my piano school because I failed two times.” – Putri, 18, Indonesia.
She tried her best by practicing everyday and spare her time for the final exam, but it turned out she didn’t get any luckier. She said “They still think I wasn’t good enough, no matter how hard I’ve tried.”
10. “When my thesis topic got rejected.” – Saraya, 21, Indonesia
Her lecturer didn’t directly reject her thesis topic. But the way he delivered his criticisms gave enough sign for her to change her topic.
11. “When I had a crush on one guy and he had a crush on me and when I returned from holiday he didn`t answer any of my messages and then he proposed to meet me and told me he was dating someone else.” – Ondrej, 24, Germany.
He got over it very fast though, which is good. But then he said again that what he hated the most was not knowing.
12. ”Probably this girl I was crushing hard on, head over heel, and then she told me she didn’t see me like that at all.” – Andreas, 22, Norway.
It became awkward between him and the girl that they couldn’t even be friends anymore. But the good thing for him is now he has a great girlfriend.
Every story is unique and worth telling. Even if it’s the story you prefer not remembering. I myself believe that people’s stories are the most interesting. We might live on the same earth, comply to the same rules, and have the same political views. But in the end, as Bill Nye said, everyone you meet knows something you don’t.
Elsa Hestriana, 2014.
Illustration by Mi-Kyung Choi.