It’s an exciting time when you’re creating your college list. Your college list should have a mixture of colleges that fall into three categories. Getting rejected is never fun, and college rejection letters are no exception. The good news is that getting rejected does not mean you’re a bad person or a failure academically, and in fact it can open up new opportunities. Here’s how to deal with the situation and use it to your advantage:

Realize the Statistics about your college list

You’re far from alone in this situation. Good schools turn away more than 50 percent of applicants, and some elite colleges deny up to 95 percent. Why? It’s largely a numbers game. The better the school, the more applicants there typically are, and due to class sizes, living arrangements, etc., there are only so many students each college is able to admit each year. Most people will actually get at least one college rejection.

Allow Yourself Time to Grieve, then Move On 

It’s okay to feel sad when you get a college rejection. In fact, it’s only natural. However, there is no reason to let your disappointment get in the way of other things. Give yourself some time to recover (go do something fun, etc.), then stop dwelling on it.

Look At the Opportunities You Do Have

Chances are, this isn’t the only college you have applied to. So, embrace the colleges that you have received acceptance letters from. Do your homework, choosing the right college is a big decision. Make sure that you’ve visited each college that you’re considering attending. Compare the cost, academic rigor, location as well as campus feel. Remember that college is a huge expense but it’s an investment in your future. Choice wisely and one day you’ll be able to look back on a great experience and a degree that you can be proud of.