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Two Teaching Programs that DIDN'T Want Me

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

Back then they didn't want me. Now I'm hot they all on me 💁🏾‍♀️

You know that email that starts, "We regret to inform you..." Yeah, I'm no stranger to that guy. I've been denied by scholarships, jobs, travel contests, and teaching programs. My senior year of undergrad I was applying to shit left & right. Some wanted the kid and some didn't. I spent A LOT of time applying to these two programs & neither one wanted me 😭

The first was the Peace Corps. I applied to teach English as a foreign language anywhere for 27 months. I was literally open to all possibilities. I wrote the essays, talked to RPCVs, and had multiple interviews. I was first considered for a position in Lesotho, but was later denied because of my allergies. Then Rwanda entered the conversation. After more interviews I was told that my hair would be a problem and asked if I would be willing to change it. That was a hard no so they regretted to inform me......

The second was a Fulbright Fellowship. I had my eyes on a Fulbright for years & it was finally my time to apply. I chose to apply to teach English in Taiwan for a year. I spent months writing and editing and rewriting my essays. I completed the long application then had my interview. Ya girl made it to the semifinals and then guess what? They also regretted to inform me......

When taking leaps of faith and stretching out of your comfort zone there are going to be set backs. That lets you know that you're aiming high and going for the big risks. Applying for things that you may not even 100% qualify for is the biggest leap and I take it all the time. If you know you have something to offer and can deliver, take the chance. The worse they can say is no.

I was disappointed, but those rejections lead me to Senegal. I never would've met my amazing students and the countless friends I made while in Dakar. Without those rejections I never would've lived in Senegal for five months. There is always another opportunity and experience waiting for you.

Those rejections were a blessing in disguise and I can always apply again. My rejections outnumber my acceptances by a landslide, but the key is to keep applying. Whether you've received five rejections or five hundred, you never know what's coming next. It could be the 501st opportunity that is going to change your life. Closed mouths don't get fed.

• Rejection is often the reality when doing things outside your comfort zone like moving across the world. Everything looks good on social media and you would think I'm just country hopping at will, but that's not the case. These days when someone regrets to inform me that just lets me know there's something better on the way.


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