More Like a Ship, Less Like A House

Rejections are hard. They are really rotten and they hurt no matter what. Most students apply to 15+ hospitals (I usually recommend to my students anywhere from 25-30) and with that I guarantee there will be rejections. You will not get interviews to every site you apply to that’s why it’s recommended you apply to lots!

That doesn’t make the sting of rejections hurt any less. Even if you’re given an offer at the end of all the waiting, all of those rejections still hurt. And they’ll sting a little harder if at the end of this round you don’t get any offers. BUT – this is not the end of the road. There is so much more for you to do. But first…let’s take care of yourself.

Take the time you need for self-care

When the rejections come through and this round may not have been your round – go for a walk, write in your journal, or talk to someone about your frustrations. But make sure that your self-care is more like a ship and less like a house.


On a ship, you can go down to the cabin and take a nap; but then you get back up, go with the flow of the waves, and continue moving forward.

In a house, you walk through the door, sit down and you may never get back up and out again. This will only hurt you in the long run.

Ask for feedback – from hospitals AND yourself

Once you’ve rested, ate some junk food, exercised or done whatever you do that helps YOU cope and you’ve decided to come out and kick it with the waves, then reach out. Ask for feedback (you may not always get it). But it’s always good to ask how you can improve!

Then give yourself feedback! How can you improve your resume? Are there other things you’re forgetting to highlight about yourself? It’s amazing what you sometimes forget or minimize when writing a cover letter or resume. Especially if you feel “Oh that’s just me, no biggie.” But YEAH – not everyone does that! That makes you special!

Never stop volunteering

When you’re in school, it can be hard to do it all; managing school, job, AND volunteering sometimes feels tedious. But you want to know how some people are etching you out in the application game? They have a TON of experience volunteering and it’s because they’ve made it a priority.

Never stop volunteering at the children’s hospital near you. After all, that’s where you want to end up, right? When you only volunteer to meet a “requirement of hours” and then stop, that doesn’t look good to a lot of hospitals, unless of course you’re quitting to be able to accomplish a slew of other volunteer efforts and experiences. There are always exceptions to this, but try not to think of yourself as the exception – “you are the rule.” *Quoting He’s Just Not That Into You* – anyone???

If you volunteer for 3 hours a week (that’s what we expect of our volunteers on our unit) for a full year that’s over 150 hours at just one location!

If you double that and go above and beyond and maybe do two shifts per weekyou’ve just knocked out over 300 hours of volunteering!

Continue growing, building, and learning

Finally, grow from the feedback and constructive criticism given to you. It will only make you stronger.

Build your resume and continue to learn new things about yourself and about what you love to do.

Move through on your ship and say goodbye to that house. You’re going places!

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