During my senior year, a clerical error led to the rejection of every UC Berkeley applicant from the two high schools in our district. It took a while for the district to figure out what had happened. In the meantime, I was left with a dreaded thin envelope from Cal. I reacted by writing an article for the school paper called, The Wrath of Cal (yes, I punned then, too) in which I spent many paragraphs describing my rejection and rabidly wishing ill will on the university. My principal sent the article to the head of admissions at Cal who responded by immediately accepting me into the university, saying “Dave Pell is exactly the kind of student we want.” (Full disclosure: This was back in an era where getting into a UC was humanly possible.) Since that unexpected plot twist, none of my subsequent rejections — from grad schools to book proposals to romantic pursuits to the aggressively tiny rejection letters the New Yorker used to send out — have gone quite as well. But there’s something to be said for turning rejections into fuel or fodder or fun, as opposed to letting them fester. Apparently, finding something other than rage and depression in rejection is a thing now. NYT (Gift Article): Sorry, You’ve Been Rejected. Now Let’s Party.