There aren’t many things that I’m afraid of trying. I like to think of myself as fairly adventurous. I love to try new food and travel to new places. Generally I like to meet new people, although there are still certain groups that never fail to intimidate me. Even then, I try to not let that get in the way of my participation. I suppose I always liked the idea of putting in effort and making the attempt, even if I wasn’t sure it would really work out. I remember my dad telling me a long time ago, “If you don’t ask, the answer is automatically no.” So I suppose I always liked the idea of trying for the yes.
But rejection isn’t easy. I’m not perfect, of course, and I haven’t always tried. Sometimes nerves do get in the way, but I feel like when I have found something I’m really passionate about, I’m less likely to let my nerves interfere. I’m passionate about my book, so I faced rejection when I attempted to get my book signed with a publisher. I’m passionate about Blue Cupcake, even though I had no idea if anyone would actually buy them. Now I’m setting myself up for potentially more rejection because I’m in the middle of applying for nursing schools. Although I know I need to try (because I’ve already put thousands of dollars toward my pre-requisite education) there is the ever-present fear that comes along with every decision to try for the yes.
On Monday night, I attended an Open House at a college I’m applying to. Their method of admissions is to look holistically at the whole student — GPA, grades, personal essay, recommendations. The whole enchilada. I asked if there was anything that the Admissions committee looked for, and the director was fairly vague.
I tried again and asked, “So why did students get rejected?”
Because that’s sort of what I always wish I knew. Even though I always try if I think there might be a chance, I also like being able to prepare myself for a rejection. When I applied to my first school of choice, I knew it was a long-shot. My GPA is much lower than their minimum, and I only had two out of their pre-reqs finished (although that’s not a requirement to apply, just a requirement before you actually enroll). I applied at the beginning of January. And I still haven’t heard anything. I’m sad, but I’m also not surprised. It could still turn around, but I feel like trying was safer because I had some idea of where it might go.
I try to have faith in myself that this whole nursing career — and thus diabetes educator career — will pan out and actually happen. But each phase of this process seems more nerve-wracking than the last. Someone has to accept me into a nursing program. I have to graduate the nursing program. I have to pass the NCLEX (the nursing equivalent of boards). Someone has to hire me to be a nurse. Someone has to hire me to be a diabetes educator. I have to pass the NBCDE exam. There are a lot of phases. A lot of potential rejection.
So I get a little nervous. My nerves over the process was the entire reason it took about ten years to finally convince myself that I actually needed to stop pretending I was a diabetes educator and actually become one. And now that I’m actually trying, my nerves are freaking me out. Some people are worried they’ll never find their calling. Well, I know what my calling is. But will I actually be able to live that out?
My faith in myself has always been a little shaky. But this is something I’m passionate about, so I’m trying for the yes. But I wish I had more confidence in my abilities to know that this will happen, instead of crossing all my fingers and toes, hoping that it will. I wish I had as much confidence as my husband, my family and my friends when I tell them I’m worried I won’t get in. I know I won’t get in if I don’t try, but how do you prepare yourself for rejection? Is it even possible?