It’s an exciting time for students who got into one of their top-choice schools. But what about all the kids who didn’t? At 18, that kind of rejection can be devastating. And perspective on how the college you go to doesn’t determine the rest of your life takes a few years to kick in. Tom Brokaw has said publicly that his rejection from Harvard helped him realize that he needed to party less and study more. He got a degree from the University of South Dakota and ended up becoming one of the most highly regarded household names in America. Warren Buffett didn’t get into his first choice for business school, and he’s done alright too.
Brokaw and Buffett’s paths to impactful careers offer a basic and important lesson: Your first act isn’t your last. In that vein, here are three pieces of practical advice for dealing with college rejection.