Got Rejected? It Might Be Time to Celebrate

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Rejection is normal and happens to all of us, but it still never feels good to get that email or call from an admissions officer or potential employer saying you weren’t “the one.” In a recent article for The Atlantic titled “A Toast to All the Rejects,” NPR producer Rhaina Cohen writes about the power of turning one’s rejections into a celebration with friends or colleagues. Cohen’s article was inspired by a graduate student lab at UC Irvine led by social sciences professor Barbara Sarnecka where they created a group spreadsheet to collect everyone’s rejections from jobs, academic journals or grants. When they reached 100 rejections as a group, they threw a party. “Instead of shying away from rejection, they’re asking us to run straight toward it—and to do so together,” writes Cohen. We explore the idea of reframing – and even celebrating – rejection.

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Rhaina Cohen, producer and editor, NPR; author, The Atlantic article "A Toast to All the Rejects"

Barbara Sarnecka, professor of Cognitive Sciences and associate dean of Graduate Studies and Research for Social Sciences, UC Irvine; author, “The Writing Workshop: Write More, Write Better, Be Happier in Academia”