Got rejected from grad school (+And now I feel depressed)


Author bio

Page last updated: 10/11/2022

This article will discuss how people that are rejected in grad school can get depressed. For that, the article will explain what depression is, and how rejection can cause it. Not only that, the article will discuss ways people can cope with being rejected in grad school.

Why am I depressed after being rejected from grad school?

Choosing a grad school is always important in a person’s life. You are choosing it based on what career paths you want to follow, what dreams, expectations, and goals you have.

You choose the grad school you will apply to with a lot of care, and being rejected by it can be a traumatic experience. You can feel as if all your life’s plans and dreams are crumbling down. It can be a traumatic experience.

Going through it, you can feel depressed. Extremely sad, and lost. You can feel as if you can’t find another possibility or direction in life. This can be a temporary condition, or it can turn into a disorder. Let’s discuss what is a depressive disorder.

What is a depressive disorder?

Depression is a mental illness that causes people to experience sadness, emptiness, and loss of purpose. It makes people lose interest in doing things, even the ones they used to love. Along with that, they can feel less energetic, guilty, and irritated.

Depression can make your life turn black and white. You can lose your ability to focus and decide what you want. It can affect your eating and sleeping pattern, and lower your self-esteem and sense of self-worth.

You may feel more fatigued, and ashamed. Depression can also make you consider self-harm, and in some cases, it can cause you to have thoughts of death and even suicidal thoughts. A person is considered to have a depressive disorder when they intensely experience its symptoms for more than two weeks.

How do rejection and depression co-relate?

Being rejected from a grad school can cause you to feel some symptoms of depression. They can be fleeting, or go on for long, which will characterize a depressive disorder. 

Most commonly it is a fleeting situation, in which the person will feel like that until they adjust to the news. Some symptoms of depression such as low self-esteem and a decreased sense of self-worth can be felt when you go through grad school rejection. That is because you may feel as if you are incapable of doing it. 

Going through a grad school rejection can also make you lose direction in life. You may have put too much of your life’s direction on going to this grad school, and being rejected by it can make you question “what now?”. Which can make you feel empty, lost, and without purpose.

If you feel like this after a grad school rejection, let’s discuss ways you can cope with those feelings.

Got rejected from grad school (+And now I feel depressed)

What are ways to cope with being rejected in grad school?

When you go through a grad school rejection, many negative feelings may arise. Coping with this rejection may not always be easy. But here are some ways you can cope with grad school rejection.

Be kind to yourself 

Dealing with rejection is never easy. You can begin to question yourself, your worth. The first thing to do is to accept those feelings, fighting it will only make it harder. Be compassionate of yourself, understand that this pain is due to frustration, and with time, those feelings will change.

Discover what rejection means to you 

People usually have a history of rejection throughout their life. And how they deal with it is related to that. Although it is never easy, some people find dealing with rejection easier than others. This is usually related to their self-esteem and self-worth.

If a person has a bad history with rejection, it can be that going through another one, has a terrible effect on the person. But if you have a well-established sense of self-worth and self-esteem, maybe the rejection won’t hit you so hard. It can be that it is only a part of life.

Look for feedback 

If you feel like it is hard for you to understand why you were rejected, getting in touch with the admissions office and asking for feedback can be a way to cope. 

It can help you understand what happened, it can make you feel less guilty, and even allow you to think about ways to improve yourself or the application for future tries in that institution or others.

No, it is not necessarily about you 

Having in mind that not getting into grad school is not necessarily a reflection of your abilities can be hard. You may start to question yourself, and how capable you are. But try to keep in mind that grad school has a lot fewer spots to fill, and they are very specific on their requirements.

Maybe you weren’t the right fit for this grad school, but maybe it wasn’t the best fit for you as well. Try to distance yourself from the rejection.

When you are ready, look for other possibilities

And when you get some distance from it, try to take a look at what tour options are. There are many grad schools and many career paths. Try to find one that suits you. You can choose to apply again to the one you were rejected from, or even look for other possibilities. 

Through this process, remember to give your best, but also have in mind that rejection is a part of life. Going through doesn’t take all that is good from you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Why am I depressed after being rejected from grad school?

Can I apply again to a grad school after failing? 

Yes, some students can re-apply to a school after they fail if they fill out some requirements. They must be going through something that can impact how they will handle school. For example, they should be going through life-changing events like serious illnesses, going through accidents, and family problems.

To do that, they need to get in touch with their admissions counselor to discuss if what you went through is justifiable to allow you to re-apply. It may require you to do a semester of open enrollment so you can continue your education from there, by applying for academic renewal,

What are the reasons I may have been rejected in grad school? 

There are some reasons why you may have been rejected in grad school. It might have been that there was a lot of competition. If you choose to apply only in high competition schools, that is why it is important to have some safe schools.

It might have been that some students apply as soon as they can. And the committee may approve some that are to-tier candidates and reject others that don’t feel so good. But the ones in the middle might be tangled to fill in the spots that are left. And if you get too late, you may not get those spots.

Also, keep in mind that you can also be rejected by your grad school because you might just be where you want to go to college and your major. Committee of Ivy league schools may not understand what a Liberal Arts major wants to do in their grad school, and this may cause them to reject you.

What can I do if I get kicked out of college? 

Getting kicked out of college is not necessarily an easy situation. It can raise many feelings, including rejection. This is not something that happens easily, it can happen due to inappropriate behavior, poor grades, or because you plagiarised something.

But if it happens to you, the first thing to do to deal with it is to try and understand why it happened. Try to talk to people from your university and understand what happened, this will make it easier for you to handle it. 

And through this conversation, you can discuss if you can return to the school. Ask what are the requirements for you to enroll again and if there is a time you should be out of it. 

Once you know that, you can start to reflect on what went wrong. If and what you could have done differently. This will help you take something out of this experience. Taking some learning out of it can make it easier to deal with.

Now that you are out of college, you should try to discover what are ways to make good use of your time. If it is working, maybe taking a year off, or even volunteering, but to move on, try to do something meaningful to you.

How can I maximize my chances of getting into grad school? 

If you want to maximize your chances of getting into the grad school of your choice you must first know what the requirements are, and start to plan it early. This way you can follow all of their requirements to make sure you are a competitive candidate.

If they require any coursework, start by them, and try to do more than the minimum that they require. It will show you are interested in learning more about the matter and are doing all you can. Keep in mind that grad school usually wants students that have gone through relevant experiences such as an internship, or a volunteer.

If your college has a Career Service department, take advantage of that before graduating. It will help you create a network, know more about when there will be grad school fairs, and give you space to search as much information as you can.

In the same way, as said before, try to be an early bird in determining your list of grad schools. This will give you enough time to consider where to apply, and plan. And once you define what are your grad schools of choice, you can get in touch with former students to know more about the school and the program. 

What degrees take longer to get?

The degree that takes longer to get is the medical major, which takes from 4 to 10 years. The second one is dentistry, which goes on from 6 to 8 years. The third one that takes longer is a Law degree, which can last from 3 to 9 years.


This article discussed how some people can get depressed because they were rejected in grad school. For that, the article discussed what depression is, and how rejection can relate to it. Along with that, the article showed what are ways people can handle being rejected in grad school.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write it in the section below.