Bouncing Back from Campus Recruitment Rejection

Lack of success at campus placement interviews can give rise to many negative emotions. Here are some mental health tips for students to use the experience as a stepping stone.

Bouncing Back from Campus Recruitment Rejection
Bouncing Back from Campus Recruitment Rejection

It is every student’s dream to get a secure job and become financially independent. That is why on-campus placement interviews are extremely competitive affairs. However, where a lot of students vie for a limited number of vacancies, some individuals are bound to be disappointed. Today, we will discuss mental health tips for students to deal with campus placement rejections in a healthy way.

Why Placement Rejection Can be Emotionally Difficult

Very often, students appearing for campus recruitment interviews will have worked hard and waited a long time for the opportunity to join the ideal employer. Hence, not being selected can be heartbreaking and demotivating, since for many of the students it is the first real ‘rejection’ of their work lives.

Perceived failure or rejection can bring up a range of unpleasant difficult emotions like anger, jealousy, frustration, self-doubt, and insecurity. Here’s what students can do to deal with these emotions in a more healthy way.

Mental Health Tips to Deal with Campus Interview Rejection

Take a constructive approach instead of a self-critical one:

It’s very easy to blame oneself for the rejection that one faces. Any rejection by default can lead you into thinking “I am not good enough” or “I am not capable” but having a more practical approach toward the situation will help.

Ask yourself “Does this one result dismiss all the hard work I have done so far?” Look for evidence of where you have succeeded and things have worked out for you. Focus on what this rejection taught you, instead of blaming yourself and doubting your capabilities.

1. Avoid comparisons:

If you find yourself comparing your journey with someone else’s, stop right there. Everyone’s starting point is different. Every individual is built in a different way, has different ambitions, and has a unique pace. Just because X is getting the job offer does not mean you are less talented than X. In today’s competitive world, there are always going to be plenty of opportunities where you will be competing against someone. Someone reaching their goals faster does not take away anything from your hard work and effort. Your direction matters the most.

Focus on the controllable factors
Focus on the controllable factors

2. Focus on the controllable factors:

Identifying and making a list of factors that are in your control would also be a good way to focus on strengths. For example, in this scenario, a controllable action could be reaching out to people in your network, gaining information on the organisations you want to target, developing your skill-set, prioritising your goals, etc. This exercise will enable you to build a healthy perspective in a rather challenging situation.

Creating a Supportive Environment for Students

3. Optimise your energy:

Stressful periods can be tough to deal with physically also. Have a healthy routine. Make sure you are eating healthy meals, keeping a tab on your physical and emotional needs, and focusing your energy on the things that matter to you. This will create a healthy and nourishing environment for your body and mind.

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4. Make an action plan:

This action plan could include various resources that you could make use of. It could be your seniors from your college/institution whom you can talk to, resource persons, mentors who will be able to guide you, or courses that can help you grow professionally. Having an action plan will help you to not feel overwhelmed or directionless.

Have patience
Have patience

5. Have patience:

If you’re unable to get an opportunity that you’ve been working hard for, don’t lose hope. Feeling demotivated, let down, or even angry is very natural. Feel all those feelings, but also understand that it was not the only opportunity. You will have multiple opportunities in the future and one setback does not define your worth.

6. If things get tough, reach out for help:

It’s possible to have tried all the above things and still feel overwhelmed. It’s completely okay to reach out for additional support. Talking to a friend, mentor, or a family member is always an option. But sometimes, that’s not equivalent to a counseling session with a professional.

How to Spot the Signs of Distress

So, if you have a campus counselor, reach out to them for professional help. If not, you can also consider reaching out to organisations or individuals who provide mental health services. Just because it’s your journey does not mean you have to go through it alone. A mental health professional will allow you a safe and helpful space to recognise your emotions and equip you to manage your emotions better and deal with challenges more effectively.

Progress won't always look the same
Progress won't always look the same

7. Your progress graph won’t always look the same:

Sometimes realising what you do not wish to pursue any further in itself is also a very important milestone. The graph for your progress won’t always have only highs. Sometimes, the lows are also the biggest lessons in your journey when you look at the bigger picture.

Did you find these mental health tips for students useful? Please check out more stories related to student and campus mental health here.