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BWW Blog: Don't Be Dejected Because You Got Rejected (and Why It's Actually Kind of a Good Thing)

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Um, NO, I’m NOT still bitter.

Do you remember that super annoying girl in your theatre company who seemed like she always had her way? You know, the girl whose water bottle is an actual part of her personality, the girl who won't shut up about how much training she's been through and how she recently starred as Patrice in "13" at her school. She seems almost robotic, unhuman, and incapable of talking about anything other than her lucky red audition dress. Tragic as it may be, I didn't just know that girl--I WAS that girl. And that girl needed to be taken down a peg.

They say you never forget your first--rejection, that is. I went to a performing arts high school where I was abruptly thrown into being the tiniest of fish in a massive pond where everyone seemed lightyears ahead of me in competitive edge, real world experience, and, of course, height (kind of unfair how I stopped growing after 4'11!!). At the age of fourteen, I had yet to witness anything quite like the nonstop, almost manic energy of arts school; especially having come from a smaller private middle school. Despite my "small fish" complex, when I had my first audition for the all-school-musical, I was fully convinced that I would get a part; like, oh my GOD, how COULDN'T I have with my YEARS of training and performing arts camp, right?!

Needless to say, that way of thinking was incredibly naive and unrealistic. Little Miss "I Played Red Riding Hood At French Woods This Summer" was faced with the difficult reality of an actual human being when my name wasn't on the list. Not getting cast felt like the LITERAL end of my fifteen year screlting career, when in reality, my life wasn't any different than it had been five minutes ago. Basing my self-worth on a list of names created by a high school drama teacher was helping absolutely nobody, and yet for years, I let my rejections rule my mental health--I went from being that cocky, LaDuca wearing, high-belting DIVA to being an anxious, nail biting, insecure little girl.

Rejection sucks. It just does. Though we may not always admit it, validation is something that everybody craves, and not getting it constantly can feel like a real punch in the gut. I didn't see it this way then, but being rejected was quite literally the best thing that ever happened to me. Although my coping mechanisms started off as "Gossip Girl" reruns and Chinese take-out, it forced me to stop being that perfectionist robot who tried WAY too hard to be THAT girl all of the time and actually be, like, a PERSON.

Not being in a play for the first time allowed me to pursue other interests and make other friends, and I was able to recognize my passion for writing and that maybe I'd rather work in film and television. I became less Rachel Berry and more Rachel Brosnahan, I stepped out of my safe little bubble, and I actually grew up. If you're feeling dejected because you got rejected, consider your rejection an opportunity for new things--not as a personal failure, but as a window for a kind of success that you never thought possible. I know I sound like your Mom, but she's honestly probably right.

So I just got rejected from my first season of shows in college, and I handled it as I probably should've been handling rejection all along. I simply shrugged it off and saw it as an opportunity to hold a position on a school magazine or my sorority or maybe even an on-campus television network--all of which I would never have even considered had my rejection not led me to expand my horizons. Accepting rejection as a part of life is imperative to entering adulthood, and I am forever grateful that I was rejected from my high school production of Les Mis all those years ago (I know, I'm a walking cliche) because I would not be writing this article if I hadn't. And BTW, if you ever feel bad about yourself, just remember that I genuinely cried for months over not playing YOUNG COSETTE. It gets better.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Chloe Hechter