Dear whomever finds themselves opening this,

First and foremost, you are talented, you are unique, and you have a place.

Rejection is a part of life whether it be from someone you thought you wanted to be friends with, a job you wanted, or a team you wanted to be a part of. Just because it’s natural, though, doesn’t make it hurt any less. When this happens, you feel down on yourself for a good amount of time. And you should, you invested a lot of yourself into this. But what I can tell you is this: it gets better.

You wake up, you shake it off, and you find other opportunities. Throughout my college experience, I’ve gone out for various positions in everything from clubs to sororities to leadership roles. A lot of times, I made it pretty far in the interview process, but I kept on finding myself opening the dreaded email that’s filled with “unfortunately” and “I’m sorry”. The first few times, it’s fairly easy to shake off, especially in college where opportunities are abound. But eventually doubt begins to creep in. You start questioning what made them say no. Was it something you said? Or did? Or even worse, didn’t do? Questions like that turned me into a bundle of stress and nerves that made a lot of the interactions I had seem rehearsed and not genuine.

For all of you out there who are facing rejection for the first time: don’t let it get to you. Just keep on putting yourself out there and don’t stay down. Talk to the people who sent those letters, ask for an exit interview. Take every opportunity to improve yourself, and people will start to notice.

To the ones in a rut, remember this: when a door closes, a window always opens. When you get turned down for something, it opens your future to bigger and brighter things. And who knows? Maybe the opportunity you’re meant to have is just a shot away. It took me getting rejected from two opportunities I wanted to get the one that is a perfect fit for me.

Overall my advice is, when faced with an opportunity that you really want (like “can’t imagine your life without it, don’t want anything else” kind of want), look back at the times you got told “no” and use them to find and hear that “yes” you’ve worked for.

Cheer up, chin up, and don’t give them a reason to reject you.