A major part of academic writing and publishing is learning how to handle rejection. I have had five publications so far and two more under review. I am also working on three other articles at this time, but handling rejection is still difficult. Today, I received a call from a university where I interviewed a few weeks ago. The dean was very complimentary, but the sting of being turned down did not hurt any less. I have spent 20 years of my life in school and the last 3 working on my PhD. Each article I write is tackled with enthusiasm and hope and my interview was no different. I felt like I performed very well and I was very confident that I would get the job. Unfortunately, someone else did better and accepted the position. It was heartbreaking and it will take me a few days to get back to a place of normalcy, but the one thing that has always helped me to succeed is an attitude of never giving up. In fact, I may not be the best scholar, teacher, etc., but I always seem to persevere. However, this would not be possible without a good support system. My wife, family, and friends have been very supportive today and throughout the process. If it were not for them, I may not have the strength to forge ahead. Therefore, I cannot tell you that rejection gets easier, but I can tell you to build a support system that believes in you even when self-doubt begins to creep in. We will all deal with the dreaded impostor syndrome, but we can surround ourselves with people that will believe in us when we cannot believe in ourselves. While today’s rejection will hurt for some time, hope still exists and my family and friends have helped to stoke that hope. When you deal with rejection, whether it is from a journal, conference, or employer, remember that you did not toil toward a PhD or other terminal degree just to give up. I write this for my readers as much as for myself and I wish you all good writing.
I recently completed my PhD in Education (Curriculum and Instruction) at the University of Wyoming. I have published multiple articles in peer reviewed journals and have a book chapter coming early next year. I aim to explore issues of privilege and equity of education, especially as they pertain to STEM education.