I was a young, newly-minted graduate student with not much work experience, but a lot of talent and heart around the occasion of this rejection letter. I was applying to the University of Wisconsin at Madison for a number of counseling types of positions. This letter would be one of four rejection letters in two months that I received from the University and, as you can imagine, that sort of thing can be quite frustrating.
Yet, this particular letter for me was a turning point in how I perceived the process of achievement and “getting in.” It was the first letter that articulated not just the obvious point that I was no longer being considered, but it made it clear that I was close. It gave me confidence that my opportunity was around the corner and that if I just kept applying, and applying myself, then I would be successful; and not too long after I was victorious in landing my first full-time position.
It is true about that last line in the famous poem, “Don’t Quit.” It goes, “and you can never tell how close you are, it may be near when it seems so far.” Thus, “stick to the fight when you are hardest hit, it is when things seem the worst that you must not quit.”