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Rejection 101: Stuff they don’t teach you in college

Everybody has faced or will face rejection at some point in their lives. Be it academic, professional, or romantic, we’ve all been there, we’ve all done that. So shouldn’t all colleges have a comprehensive course covering rejection so that young adults like me are better equipped to deal with it in the real world?

Fret not, m’dear laddies and lassies I will tell you how I dealt (or to be fair, am dealing) with rejection from a guy I used to like.

I met a guy some months back at an event arranged by a certain CCA that shall not be named. Needless to say, what would have been a normal fun conversation between friends quickly became a romantic one (at least for me) because it happened under the stars, quite literally I must add. Seriously? Me? Falling victim to something as corny as this? I think at that moment I ceased to be a normal, rational girl and became a big blubbering mass of blargh. Something like this:

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Anyway, long story short, I misconstrued all his attempts at making conversation as “OMG HE LIKES ME WE ARE PERFECT TOGETHER” even though I didn’t know anything at all about the guy. On his part, he never ever led me on, so I can’t blame him either… for my having fallen so hard for him. Most people can comfort themselves with the fact that their crush is a douchebag – but the person I liked? Nuh-uh, he had to be one of the nicest, most perfectly perfect (read: annoying) guys ever. So I couldn’t even hate him after he rejected me.

I confessed to him 2 months ago, on a stormy night (aptly reflecting my state of mind). His reply was short, sweet, and to the point – one of rejection. No, he was too nice to reject me outright, but instead he called my feelings cute, and kept diverting the topic to a project we were doing together.

I can’t say that it didn’t hurt. The first half of the next day I spent muttering to myself, “You idiot what have you done” under my breath, and broadcasting the news of my rejection to each and every person privy to my crush and the whole shindig. In the next half, I went through work like a robot, not actually understanding anything. And at 3 pm, I finally broke down and cried.

I called my best friend, who counselled me. She had been rejected (cruelly) by a guy before in high school, so she knew what she was talking about. I listened to her. I re-read all the supportive messages my friends had sent, some of them littered with ‘colourful’ abuses aimed at the guy, some of them pitying me, but most of them lauding me for being so gutsy and ballsy, assuring me there would be more (and better) guys in my life who would like me back. I felt an immense rush of love for all these people, and realised I was basing my self-worth on what a guy thought of me without even knowing me. These friends of mine have seen my best and worst (my absolute worst too), and still stuck by me and supported me. They liked me.

Accepting that he doesn’t like me (and will probably never like me) has been hard. Who am I kidding – it still is FRIKKING hard. I still think about how it will be if I run into him on campus someday and he confesses his feelings of undying love and devotion for me – like in the movies. Or even better – and more realistic – if he just asks me out on a plain ole fashioned date. But the probability of that happening is close to nil, and the sooner I get over these feelings, the better it would be for my mind and my heart.

Anyway, these are the 5 things I did to make myself feel better. It is hard to kick-start the process of getting over your crush but it is essential that you do it as soon as possible to prevent further heartache.

  1. Talk it out with your friends.

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There’s a reason why God gave you friends. They are there to listen to you and tide you over rough patches in your life. Bitch and moan however much you want, and keep talking about him till they are sick of him; till YOU are sick of him. You will eventually stop mentioning him to your friends. That is a good sign – this means he is not that important anymore.

  1. Throw yourself into schoolwork and CCAs.

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Study till you’re like Ross in this picture. Kick ass at your extracurriculars. Friends will ask you what’s up and why you’re working yourself so hard. The more work you have, the less time you have to think about him.

  1. Avoid him like the plague.

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It’s okay, we’ve all done it. While it may be in your interest to talk to him and understand why he doesn’t like you and figure out how to go about changing it, the best thing to do is accept that he doesn’t like you and move on. Ever heard of the saying “Out of sight, out of mind”?

Two days back I saw my crush approaching the bus stop. My avoidance game was so strong that I climbed on the approaching bus without even checking where it was going. I ended up at a completely remote part of campus, around 2 km far from where I was supposed to go, but it was TOTALLY worth it.

  1. Stop overanalyzing.

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Now I’m just bullshitting. It is a girl’s second nature to overanalyze things, go through minuscule details, and pick things apart until they cannot be put back together. Well, I’m telling you, stop the crazy NOW. It is not helping you, it is not helping anyone. And your poor friends bear the brunt of your *overanalyzed-to-death* situations. Release them from this torture RIGHT AWAY.

  1. Permit yourself to think about him occasionally.

Like girls who go on a diet but have cheat meals on the weekend, you’re allowed to think about him too. Stalk him a little. But just a little. Limit yourself to 10 minutes at night before you go to sleep and then immediately afterwards think about how awesome your day was without him. Works (or, for me, is actually working) like a charm.

These are tough times. And tough times call for tough measures. Follow these 5 methods and sooner or later you will get over him. Comfort yourself with the fact that millions have faced rejection and come out of it stronger; so can you. 

Taking into account the personal nature of the article and the writer’s request, The Ridge is publishing this article anonymously.