Have you ever wanted something so bad that when you got a rejection you paused, faltered, shaken and doubtful of yourself? You lost you anchor and you were on a free fall. Spiralling, down and down like without the end in sight.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? However, you are already dead inside and that rejection pushed you to the edge. What if you give up...give in to all the criticism the world has been telling you. You know, just QUIT?
Ah, but it's never that serious. Life moves on. 2020 taught us that nothing is permanent. You know, a pandemic just shut down the whole world. No warning, no time to prepare, just leaving you to hang in there. And as we've just kicked off the new year, so new beginnings?
Enough of my pity party. I actually received a rejection mail this week that made me have an existential crisis for about a day 😆. I had applied to MLH Fellowship, had all my applications carefully reviewed and I knew I had it in the bag. All my essays well polished, my projects clearly explained and I had already started planning on what I would do during the program.
I have never received such a detailed response, clearly explaining all the pitfalls my applications had fallen into. My essays were fine, at least that's what am convincing myself to believe, but my coding project, 😶. The rejection read, 'After reviewing your sample code, our interviewers did not feel confident that you have the right skill set for one of our openings in the program. Specifically, we felt like the sample you submitted lacked the polish that we'd like to see from applicants.' It continued to explain the main drawback: 'The most common cause for this feedback is submitting a Jupyter notebook as it can be difficult to show the full potential of a project and evaluate your ability to write code effectively.'
We hope that you'll learn from the feedback and use it to apply again for a future batch with an even stronger application!
The sentence struck home because I have never learnt from my rejections. Okay, let me be easy on myself and say I learn, sometimes. However, this time I actually want to invest my time and grow from the feedback I received.
Each rejection is a teachable moment, though harsh, it is 'effective' in driving the point home. The point here was my skills were lacking. Two years in this field, albeit I've not given it by 50%, but still my progress is slow, or stagnant even and I seek to be better
Code more....work on more projects or start actively contributing to Open Source.
On my way home early this week I had an epiphany of sorts, I'd like to start automating some of my tasks, Tiny Automations. Sounds cool, right? Yeah, in order to achieve this, I'll need to code more, at least an hour daily and learn some Django or Flask on the way. Am currently reviewing the role of code, data and design in my life and deciding what next.
Before I go, below are two of my annual year in code review; and yes I also received them this week (perfect timing right? to remind me of all my failures 😂).
Rejection stings, some more than others. If I tell you after hundreds of rejections it'll get better, I will be fooling y'all. What matters is the lessons you pick and how you get up. It may take a day to recover, or more, but pick up the pieces....fix the broken parts and get back again.