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Feeling disheartened


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Hello all!

I just received my first rejection letter from UC Boulders chemistry program. I had it in my head that this was where I wanted to go and I was under the impression my application was very strong. The rejection letter did say though that they were forwarding my application to the Biochemistry department, I attached the statement below. Has anyone else here had a similar experience? I'm concerned because I really would rather not be rejected twice from my number one school. 

"We regret to inform you that we are not able to offer you admission to our program. In review of your application materials, we believe that your background and interests may have been better suited for the Biochemistry program. For this reason, we have requested that their department review your application for consideration. At this point, you will receive an official notification from the Chemistry department informing you of our decision, but do expect to hear from the Biochemistry division as well."

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The good part is that 

a) You were right, your application was strong. Unfortunately, that does mean that you got accepted into the program you wanted. I really hate this part of academia, where having a strong application is not the same as being accepted/granted funding/offered a job. This is part of what we are getting ourselves into, and it's better to get acquainted with it now. 

b)Someone "applied" for you and you didn't have to pay for that, yay!

c) Your interests were taken into account, which seems they were clear and strong because of a)


The not so good part is

d) Yeah, you might get rejected, but rejection is a part of the life we choose. Unfortunately, our world doesn't prepare well enough for these moments. There are many things I could say to you but at this point, when you don't know, it is pointless (so fingers crossed).

e) You might get in the Biochemistry program and still resent not being in the Chemistry department. Do you see this as a possibility? 

f) It's not up to you. I know you know this, and I know you've heard it a million times but it's never a bad to hear it: It.is.not.up.to.you. Letting go and allowing Adcomms do their job is VERY hard. And it happens with every grant, every job, every anything you will apply for. You just want to stand right there, in front of the committee and tell them, 'Admit me, I am awesome!' But if you can come to grips with the idea that you did your best, and that is a great accomplishment, then you'd feel (maybe) a little less disheartened. 


Anyway, the only thing that will help right now is a hug and some liquor. 

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In my field, this is actually very common because of how interdisciplinary we are. Often, people apply to the department with the same name as their undergrad (e.g. Physics or Astronomy) but they write about work they want to do on exoplanets and solar system planets (which happens mostly in the Planetary Science department here). So, these applicants gets moved over to our department for consideration. So, if you are working on something that is "in between" two fields, you might get transferred in this way. 

Basically, I'm saying it's not a bad thing since this means you get another chance and you might even have a better chance due to the better fit than your original department.

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