I Didn’t Get into Grad School [and other failures]

Wednesday I received an email from Pratt Institute. It said something along the lines of:

Dear Cap,


Okay, they didn’t say it quite like that, but that’s what it felt like in my gut/heart/tear ducts/legs.

Pratt was supposed to be my “sure thing”. I’ve applied to a few other dream schools, but Pratt was my safety net. To be honest, I’m still really confused why I got rejected. I mean, I may be a hot mess in real life, but I look pretty dope on paper. 

I got the email mid-way through my 13 hour work day, which meant I had seven hours to somehow figure out how to fake being okay and keep my shit together. I left work around 8:45, took a 35 min train ride home, walked a mile through a dark park, opened the door to my apartment, and headed straight to my bed to cry.

This wasn’t my normal Cap Cry. This was one of those devastating cries.

The ones where you feel like your life is ruined and you’ve got no future and everything you’ve worked for has gone up in smoke and you’re trying to live a life you can’t handle and you’re about to break from exhaustion and if you have to go to one more god damn PR meeting you’re going to break down in the middle of your office like a two year old who can’t reach their goldfish.


I cried for a solid hour still wrapped up in my wool coat, work shoes, and dress pants on my bed. I think at one point I even screamed “I just wanna write shit that matters!” (#kanyedramatic)

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset


Today, I’m still sad. I woke up with a little less faith in myself, a little less pep in my step, and a very bitter heart.

I couldn’t figure out why I felt so defeated. My career is always filled with rejection. I write something, send it off, get no answer, and try again.. and again.. and again. Sometimes it pushes me to work harder – sometimes it makes me want to build a tree house in Canada and change my name to something really hippie and carefree like Margot Sunshine. (Not sure why Canada is part of the escape plan) 

The blow shouldn’t have hit me so hard. I’m actually lucky to be doing PR for a great company, but there is still a side of me that just thought I wasn’t ready to give up on the end goal.

I’d actually just asked a friend – “When do you stop trying?”

I’m still curious. When do you realize what you want to do and what you can do are not always the same thing? I thought I would never settle, and while I’m lucky to have a great job – the idea of grad school made me feel like I still had a promising future. It made me feel like I was still on the path of becoming a writer.

Now, I feel like I’m done.

I think it’s okay to accept that some things don’t work out. Sometimes life does feel unfair. Sometimes your input doesn’t necessarily match up with the output. Sometimes you have to accept failure.

I’m not suggesting you give up on your goals. Try with everything you have to get what you want.

But if there comes a time when you realize you’ve given it all you can to no avail – It doesn’t mean you won’t be happy.

It just means you have to build a new dream.





8 thoughts on “I Didn’t Get into Grad School [and other failures]

  1. Really interesting. People tell you your whole life to chase your dreams, but what if your dreams are wrong? What if they moment you gave up is the moment you should have kept going? What if it’s better to find a new dream?

    It’s pretty existential.

    I think what you need to think about is what you want your life to be.

    I knew a guy who turned down an offer to coach a college basketball team because he wanted to be a family man. He told me he doesn’t regret it but…

    He wakes up every day and wishes that he tried.

    This is the worst comment ever, but I guess I’m just saying it’s easy to give up when your down or angry or defeated.

    It might not be you need a new dream. It might be you need to approach your dream from a different side.

    Try flipping it over and see what it looks like then.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think being realistic about your strengths and focusing on them is the best.
    Also reframing how and what you do can help. I remember Tony Robbins saying once that he wanted to be a rock star. While he isn’t exactly that he does get on stage in front of thousands of people and “perform” and gets to hang out with celebrities so it all in how you view it.

    I recently watched a great interview Gary Vaynerchuck that I think is pretty poignant too. 🙂 http://youtu.be/yPKzoah6A4c

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Um. Canada’s new PM is 🔥🔥🔥😍😘😉 so that’s why. You have to go to grad school to be a writer?! Shoo no. You ARE a writer. Grad school is a triangle scheme. Dodged that bullet! 🔫 love you! xoxoxo Bri

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Margot Sunshine,

    I’m no authority on the matter, but I know where you’re coming from. Everybody else’s parachute looked so perfect—WTF?

    Stay true to you, leverage your strengths and know that every endeavor, every failure, every up, down and in between is part of the Plan.

    Chin up, okay? You’re a star.


    Liked by 1 person

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