No one likes when things go wrong, or don’t work out the way we want them to. Unfortunately, disappointment is pretty much inevitable in our lives, despite us trying to prevent it as much as possible. When it does hit, it can be really difficult to get back on our feet, or try to understand why this thing has happened. For me, if I’ve been working really hard for something and it doesn’t work out, it’s almost like a pit opens up in my stomach and the world ends. That’s pretty much how I felt last week when my first choice university E-Mailed me telling me I hadn’t gotten in. Gutted doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt, it was a feeling way beyond that. I cried and I cried and I just wanted to sleep and not think about it. Even so, I got back up, and here I am, writing a blog post that I hope will help someone else in a similar situation. It’s awful, it’s horrible, but we live and we learn, and things can get better. The day after my rejection, someone asked about my plans for the future, and it took all my strength to say the name of a different university to the one I had been planning for. But I did it, and from that moment I realised I needed to feel what I was feeling, but I also needed to accept what had happened and move on. After all, even if it felt like it, the world didn’t end.
“I promise you, it’ll all make sense again” – dodie
Usually when something disappoints us, we want to know why it happened. I for sure wanted to know why I had been rejected, especially when I had worked so hard on getting in to this particular university. Was there more I could have done? Was it something I had written? Was there a specific reason? Was the course full? I probably won’t ever know. This is usually the most difficult bit because there isn’t always a reason for us getting knocked down, or one that we can find out anyway. You can blame the universe, god, yourself, but these things don’t help. Sometimes things in life just don’t make sense, and that is okay. It’s hard – almost impossible – to accept at times, but it’s true. If we focus too much on what went wrong or what could have been, then usually it will stress us out even more than we already were, and that isn’t healthy or helpful for anyone. Stress is something we generally want to avoid, obviously. Maybe one day, in the future, we will understand, and it will, as dodie says, all make sense again. Maybe it won’t. Either way you have to find a way to pick yourself up and keep moving along with life. As you invest more time and effort into your Plan B, it can become beautiful and just as great as your original plan. Maybe it still won’t make sense, but at least then you have a way to get past your upset and a new thing to get excited about..
I heard somewhere that having a Plan B means you aren’t completely focused on your Plan A. While this might be true in some smaller cases, such as diets (“If this doesn’t work for my body I can try this”), I couldn’t disagree more. In big cases such as university, buying a house, etc., it is vital to have a Plan B, or it’s likely that if the worst happens (which we all hope and pray that it doesn’t,) you aren’t stuck going nowhere. As well as this, your Plan B can’t be absolutely horrible compared to your Plan A. I am so lucky that my Plan B is still in my favourite city, and is actually closer to a lot of important things than my Plan A was. Even though it was not my first choice, I can see that it will start working out, and though I’m disappointed, the fact that I still like my Plan B, is a major plus. Having a Plan B can also be really helpful to look to while you’re trying to deal with being disappointed. Having something to focus on, put time and effort into, can distract you from thinking about your original plan, and give you a project. While I had a Plan B, I didn’t have it figured out in nearly as much detail as Plan A, so that’s what I have been working on and focusing on these past few days. It has been really beneficial to work on how things are going to work out now that I know where I am going for university and how my life in five months time might look. Plan B can be hard, knowing it’s not what you truly wanted, but if you can make it better in any way, if you can find a new way to look at it, then you might just find yourself feeling better.
This past week I have realised how amazing my friends and family are. They have all been so supportive, and that is so important. I realise not everyone has that kind of network, but even talking to people online (seriously the blogging community is so full of amazing people), and petting dogs can be good for support. Anything to get you a bit more relaxed about everything. Having people who don’t just tell you everything will be okay, but let you ramble, and try to understand, are really important. Those are the kinds of people you should cling to and cherish. Without people who listen, life and emotions and difficult times can be made a million times worse. Looking from the other side, if you are trying to support someone who has been disappointed; listen to them. Be there for them. Bring them ice cream – it nearly always helps.
It’s Okay To Be Upset
As much as everyone tells us to move on when something disappoints us, it is perfectly alright to be upset. These things can be heartbreaking, and keeping emotions in is always much worse in the long run. Getting upset about things is a natural part of life, and, I find, the quicker you get upset about things, and get the feelings out, the quicker you can get over them and move on to creating the best Plan B, and the best life, that you can. As well as that, upset is usually paired with, or followed by, self care. After you’ve had your breakdown, you’ve been angry, you’ve cried, whatever you need to do, it’s important to relax and look after yourself. This might mean doing something as simple as going for a walk, having a bath. But for other people, self care is cleaning up houses, or replying to E-Mails, or getting some work done, as the disappointment has been so overwhelming they haven’t had time or energy to deal with it. I am not trying to link disappointment with depression here, but sometimes we can be overwhelmed, and that is okay. You are always allowed to feel whatever you need to feel, but remember to look after yourself. Listen to some music, read a book, take a nap. Do what you need to do to make your mind calm and peaceful so that when you reach that state of mind, you can easily get back on track with your life and your new plans.
While I realise this isn’t everyone’s thing, I really urge you to try it. Write down what has happened, what you hoped had happened, and what has to happen now. This could be in a text to your friend, it can be in a journal, it can be on a blog, as long as all of it is written in one space. Writing is so therapeutic, and sometimes physically writing and getting it down on paper (or screen) can feel like the thing is actually being taken away from you and put elsewhere. It also really helps with trying to figure out emotions and what kind of things you are feeling. Writing doesn’t have to be shared, it can just be for you. The best bit about writing down disappointments is that in a few months time, when things are working out, you can look back and understand that it really was for the best. Alternatively, if you’re really upset, you can burn the page (be careful!!) but that’s not quite as nice in the long run.
While I must say I was beyond upset when I got the news, knowing these things really helped me. I have fully moved on, and am excited about my fresh start in September, even if it isn’t where I really wanted it to be. Until next time lovelies xo