It’s the self-doubt that gets me. That clawing, ugly, dark feeling that creeps in and tells me I’m not good enough.
These past few weeks have marked the time for internships and jobs to send out acceptances and rejections. After weeks of researching, narrowing down options, filling out and editing applications time and time again, it all comes down to one email. One email that may elicit a sigh of relief or a sigh of defeat, one email that may be polite and encouraging, or a monotonous, emotionless response to the other unlucky “over 800 applicants.” This one email decides whether I’m a competitive applicant, whether I’ve displayed myself to the best of my ability, and whether my hard work has paid off at all…at least that’s what it feels like.
And for the most part, I’ve been let down. I’ve gotten too many generic rejections, and too many robotic “we wish you the best in your future endeavors.” When the adrenaline rush of opening an email is constantly met with a crash of disappointment, it’s not hard to start feeling frustrated. I don’t know what’s pulling me down in the applicant pool. I don’t know why none of my efforts seem to be paying off. I want to know what’s missing because I don’t know what’s holding me back.
All around me, it feels like my peers are finding their plans falling into place. It feels like I might be the only one reading the disappointing emails. I’m wandering in a limbo between struggling with the responses I didn’t want, and hoping for the remaining ones that I do. And it’s so easy for myself to fall into the trap of doubt. I search for more opportunities, but find myself wondering if it’s even worth it.
Yet, as I am caught in a web of anxiety and doubt, my friends and family continue to support me. I’m constantly told that it’s okay, that I still have time to find an opportunity, and that I need to keep waiting and hoping because the right thing will fall into place. And no matter how much I enclose myself behind the walls of “I never get into anything” and the belief that words of encouragement are easy to give, I know that they’re right. No matter how many rejections I’ve gotten, and no matter how far away a tangible opportunity feels, I have to remember that I’m here. I have the chance to be at Hopkins, which is something I never expected and never knew I wanted. In fact, on college decision day, getting into a school I wanted seemed near impossible. But when I came here, it was one of those moments when I realized that things might actually happen for a reason. So as I wait for my remaining decisions, I’m trying to remember to keep an open mind. I keep telling myself that whatever opportunities I’m presented with will outweigh the disappointments of what I didn’t get, and that whatever ends up happening will work out for the better.