Guest Post from Genna: The Girl Who Has Everything

After joining Theta, there are a few people I have met who have truly shaped my experience at Bucknell and Genna is definitely one of them. I am going to miss you so much next year when we are studying abroad at different times! Thanks so much for guest writing this week (and doing an amazing job). Happy Thursday!

Picture this: You’re waiting to hear whether or not you’ve been selected for some major position that you are dying to receive so badly. You know that you fit the bill perfectly, you’ve worked hard, and you just look so darn good doing it too.  How could anyone possibly say no to you?

The day finally comes when you will be hearing about who has received this position.  You start practicing your excited face in your room and how you’re going to call your mom later and do the smug “act-sad-as-if-you-haven’t-gotten-it-and-then-immediately-resort-to-surprising-her” routine. Of course, you are only considering success, because honestly, who has this more in the bag than you?  

Fast forward to later in the day and to your disappointment and shock, there is someone more qualified than you. It’s the girl who seems to be more qualified than you or anybody for absolutely any position in the entire world.  When you see her later, you are forced to say “congratulations” so as to not sound bitter.  If that weren’t enough, people who are discussing the choice later will talk about how there could not have been a better pick than she, which of course you are forced to agree with in the moment, while on the inside, the green poisonous vine of jealousy wraps around you and takes hold of your entire body and mind.  

Sound familiar?  We’ve all had to deal with the girl who seems to get everything she wants. A la Bridesmaids, we’ve all been the hard-working Annie to the glamorous Helen who’s trying to take away our life long best friend.  We’ve all felt the need to get even with this person and make sure people know that even though this person has received all of this recognition, we really are the true deservers of a certain position, possession of a friend, or even the last say in a speech at a bridal shower.  

However, in real life it is often the person who receives the acclaim over us that is not the person to brag about their success to the world or steal some brilliant idea of a Paris themed Bachelorette party and claim it as their own.  You try to find some reason to critique this person in the light (or darkness, depending on which side you are on) of their success, but the worst part can be that you ultimately find nothing, other than that she gets everything she wants, so you would obviously appreciate the reward more than she does.

As someone who’s faced a great deal of rejection, whether it has been in my dance experience, in the admissions process for college and even at Bucknell, I’ve often had to grapple with the notion of extreme dedication and effort not paying off in the short run.  Now, I’m not here to elaborate on the cheesy, worn-out claim that “everything happens for a reason,” but rather to point out that the person that you think may have everything may not actually have it all.

You know that hypothetical story I used to set the scene for this article?  Any person who will make the best decision of their life to read this article (#humblebrag) will be able to envision themselves in the exact time and place when they faced such rejection against the person who seemed to get everything.  And yes, that includes the people who you, yes you, think get everything. We’ve all been there, even if it seems as though a certain golden few never have to face any rejection.  No matter how much it seems as though some people have it much easier than others, I will respond by saying that everyone else’s life looks better than it might actually be from the outside.  This is something that I’ve only come to terms with as I’ve really grown up after having to handle copious amounts of rejection and seemingly perfect people.  In light of this, I’ve devised a list of the 3 most important things I’ve realized upon being figuratively slapped in the face by rejection with no one to blame.

Bucknellians, take a look around you. We live, study, eat, sleep, super, what have you, on a campus filled with impressive students for literally any position.  So if the one person you feel like gets everything receives yet another position over you, that doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t have been qualified for that position or that you weren’t a really impressive candidate.  We are all highly qualified students in frequent competition with one another for the same highly selective positions.  The good news is that in many cases, there are often many more options available for leadership positions on campus, and may provide you with even more memorable experiences than you would have had in your original desired role.  I know I said I would avoid the cheesy expressions, but to hell with that because here’s one comin’ right at you: Where one door closes, another one opens.  My advice would be to always to keep your ears open to upcoming leadership applications, as you never know where you could make new friends and learn a lot more than you would if you let yourself be sad about being rejected for the one selective position.

Every dog has his (or her) day. While it seems as though that one person continually gets everything, keep in mind that you have only known them for so long, and those successes could be the greatest thing that has ever happened for them. They might be having their ultimate peak moment right now after a string of hard times that you’re only now witnessing in dismay.  Maybe the reason that they are so nice and are so qualified is because they’ve had to work through struggles and have ultimately come out successful from them.

Plot Twist. You may be someone else’s Helen. You may feel like nothing is going your way immediately in the face of rejection.  However, one thing I always try to remember is that while you may feel undermined by the one over-achiever, there is a good chance that people may look at your life and think that you get everything you want, or at least deservedly hold many great accolades.  So you didn’t get one really selective leadership position, but you may be a member of a highly selective on-campus performing group, or have been recruited as a varsity athlete, or achieved admittance to a highly selective liberal arts institution (ahem, ‘Ray Bucknell), that someone else really wanted and didn’t get. Remember, everything looks better from the outside looking in.

I wish I could say that as soon as you finish this article, you will get every award/job opportunity/ leadership position/ etc. that you’ve always wanted, but unfortunately I can’t promise that.  On top of that, I definitely can’t promise that you won’t ever have to encounter people who seem to get everything they want over you.  But the good news (you didn’t think I was going to end the article right there did you?) is that you’ve made it this far in life and have many great things ahead of you.  So in the upcoming season of applications for internships, leadership positions, and countless other selective opportunities, you’ll no doubt have to witness the sting of rejection in at least some capacity.  Allow yourself to have one good cry, but then pick yourself back up and keep your ears open for other opportunities that might allow you to have an even better experience than you may have anticipated. Just take a deep breath and know that good things come when you least expect it.

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