Rejection is your friend – My experience

Howell Davies

By Howell Davies,

If I have one tip for my fellow students, it would be to embrace every opportunity you are presented with. You’ll get rejected along the way, but rejection is vital in the uphill battle for success.

Students’ Unions offer an unimaginable range of opportunities. During my three years at university, I’ve presented countless radio shows on student station Surge, written over 200 articles for the university entertainment magazine The Edge, performed in a musical, presented a news report, attended press conferences, and taken part in a whole heap of other things. It has been a roller-coaster of a journey, on which I have met legions of incredibly diverse people.

Just a couple of months away from graduating, I am now in the library, for the sixth evening in a row. Looking back at my university life, I have a glassy-eyed fondness for the opportunities which I have been given. I became Records Editor for The Edge at the end of my first year, and 12 months later I fought off competition to become Deputy Editor. It may have been stressful at times, but it has been the most rewarding experience of my life. The Edge has given me lots of incredible opportunities, including interviewing Marina & the Diamonds.

That said, it certainly hasn’t all been plain sailing. I’ve been through those terrifying days of feeling anxious and inadequate. Panicking about the gargantuan changes which are on the rapidly approaching horizon; finding a job, moving out, and transitioning into the unknown.

I’ve put myself out there, and I’ve been rejected:

  • I ran at the Surge Radio AGM in 2012 to be Head of Music, and lost.
  • I ran in the campus-wide elections in 2013 to be Editor of The Edge, and lost.
  • I ran at the Surge Radio AGM again in 2013 to be Social Media Manager, and lost.

“A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success” Bo Bennett

In those moments, I felt worthless, and although I didn’t realise it at the time, falling at those hurdles wasn’t such a bad thing…Howell Davies 2

  • Sure, I didn’t get to be Head of Music for Surge Radio, but instead I managed to secure a student job working for The Independent.
  • Sure, I didn’t get to be Editor, but I became Deputy Editor and have enjoyed the role immensely, gaining innumerable skills and competencies.
  • Sure, I didn’t get to be Social Media Manager for Surge Radio, but instead I’ve just been presented with a part time paid role in marketing.

Life is full of those little knock-backs, but I’ve learnt to roll with them. If my time at university has taught me anything, it’s that rejection only makes you stronger. In my quest to find a full time job after I graduate, I know there will be more knock-backs, but my new found optimism will help me through.