Embracing the Detour

By: Adrianna Woodburn

It’s the time of year. The special moment young adults are all rushing home to open the large letters in the mail from colleges and universities. Do they get accepted? Is there a scholarship? The past two years I myself have had this experience. The overwhelming sense of joy and amazement. You feel a buzz deep inside you. Maybe you can’t contain the excitement and open it alone in your room, or at the dinner table with all of your family.

There is the wondrous moment when you read the first line. “Dear Miss, welcome to our school” And someone always cries, I know I cried. But what is even more nerve racking, when all of your friends seem to be getting in to every single program in the entire universe and you just received your first “We regret to inform you” no thanks we do not want your money letter.

It totally sucks. Rejection is the worst feeling I have ever experienced. There is nothing worse than putting all of your hopes and dreams into one school, one program and not getting accepted. You feel utterly defeated, like you’ve just wasted all this energy on what you now see as some pipe dream that was never going to come true anyway. It stings, you won’t recover from it quickly, if you ever do.

There is a saying I think about when I feel that sort of devilish rejection, “Some detours lead to the best paths”. I believe hole heartedly in this. I am sure many people think it is very cheesy and not at all something to even give notice to. It sounds just like another stone to toss away. But I think about my life, how I took a year off school and for lack of better words found myself alone in my own sadness, thought what the hell am I doing here? Why am I so upset by this? And why can’t I just move past this whole mess? And then I heard the saying.

A detour took me from being under prepared and afraid of the great and powerful world. I’m not saying taking a year off is the best solution for everyone, but I’m glad I didn’t get accepted to that program last year and has it only been a year? It feels like I’ve aged a 100 times over since then. I think school or no school, whatever you do after high school will shape you into something. Even the summer right after will change you. Once you pull away from your high school that last time, you will have the same feeling I had. You will eventually have to realize you must move on from it all.

What’s the point in being upset, if some school doesn’t think you are good enough to pay attention to you, than they simply don’t deserve the opportunity to teach you. You will go on to something bigger, maybe it takes a year or two or three or even four. But you will find whatever it is you need to find. Maybe it’s an influential relationship, a coworker who sticks their neck out for you, or the satisfaction of acceptance from the dream school. You will find it, as soon as you are ok with waiting for your moment, you will feel so peaceful, and shortly after the detour will come, right out from under your nose. 

After all, if it weren’t for detours you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

This post was originally published in The Guelph Mercury Newspaper, December 2015.

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