There are tons of career options that one can choose to go into after high school. Choosing one of the many career paths can be challenging for students. And we have covered this in our Interactive Guide on Choosing the Right Subjects in Grade 9Below are just some of the popular careers that students choose to do after school.

But what happens if you’ve applied to university, you’ve finished matric, you’re waiting for that university acceptance letter, and you get a letter of rejection saying that you did not meet the minimum requirements. What happens then? Lets get into some of the options you can use to deal with this situation.

I didnt get into university, now what?

It’s results day and you are anxious, you open your results and your heart sinks because you realize you have not received the marks you needed for a certain course you wanted to study in university. Your first thought is probably that your life is over, but guess what, it is not over. The first step is to accept what has happened and focus on what is the next step. In the following paragraphs, we’ll discuss how you can deal with rejection from university and how to redirect your energy towards moving forward in a positive, productive way. To learn our top tips about coping with rejection from your university, read on.

1. It’s Okay to Feel Heartbroken

For some students, university applications represent the culmination of many years of hard work. If you don’t get into your university, you might feel like all of your hard work was for naught, and you may legitimately feel heartbroken. That’s okay; it’s a completely normal reaction to falling short of a goal you’ve work so hard towards.

While it’s natural to feel sorrow and the need to grieve, you can’t spend the remainder of your year in your bed. It may be helpful to set a self-imposed time constraint on the active grieving process. Allow yourself a few days to really indulge in self-care. Watch some movies, talk to family, take a hot shower, and get takeout from your favorite restaurant. When a few days has passed, though, you’ll need to resolve to move forward. You might still feel sad, but it’s time to start channeling those emotions into something productive. At the end of your self-care days, get back up and prepare to take on the world again.


2. Don’t Take It Personally

You might think that your university admissions decisions are a direct indicator of your worth as a person or as a student. It’s important to remember that this is definitely not the case. College admissions decisions are based on so many factors that you can’t control. If you did your best to control the ones you could, then you need to know that there were other factors at play.

For example, the need to recruit disadvantaged students. Or maybe this was the year that the course you applied for received an extremely high number of applicants compared to the previous year and they could only take a few.

You never know what other factors are at play in university admissions, so taking a rejection personally is never a good idea.


3. Ask Yourself What You’re Going to Make of This Opportunity

Instead of thinking of this as a door closing, think of it as one that has opened. You have an opportunity in front of you to start fresh. What are you going to do with this opportunity?

Shift your thinking to view this as an amazing chance to be where you’re truly valued. If a university doesn’t want you, you’re probably better off elsewhere anyway. Will you churn out ideas, positivity and become a committed member of the community or will you go through your years wishing you were someplace else? Only you can make this decision.  


4. Your University Choice Isn’t Binding

While you definitely shouldn’t go into a university with the attitude that you can just drop out or change if something doesn’t go your way, it is important to keep perspective that you aren’t stuck someplace if it ends up being a bad fit. The best you can do is give it your best shot and then, if it doesn’t work out, consider to something else that will.

If you’ve been rejected from your university, it’s only natural to feel a wide array of emotions that may range from grief to anger to self-doubt. There is no right way to feel when you get the news that you’ve been rejected, but there is a right way to recover. Reframe your thinking to recognize the opportunity before you and to capitalize on the chances that you have will help you to land gracefully.



5. You can still get that degree!

Now let’s say you didn’t get into university because you didn’t meet the minimum requirements. Even in this situation, you can still get into the course you wanted to study. There are different approaches that you can choose to take, we will be discussing two of these options, one being Supplementary exams and the second one being Upgrading your marks.

Supplementary Exams

What are supplementary exams?

Supplementary exams are exams that are written by students who have not done well in matric in certain subjects and wish to try again in order to get a better result.


Who can write supplementary exams?

  • 1) A student can write the supplementary exams if they only require 1 subjects in order to receive a bachelors pass.
  • 2) A student that needs to pass 2 subjects in order to achieve the NSC requirements.
  • 3) A student that needs a higher mark in order to get into a specific university.
  • 4) A student who was unable to write their exams due to illness or death in the family who can provide documentation as proof.

To be eligible to write the supplementary exams you need:

  • 1) To have written the actual exam of the subject you wish to rewrite.
  • 2) A student who can provide evidence for any illness or circumstance that led to not writing the exam.

Process of registering for the supplementary exams.

  • You can register for the supplementary exams immediately after you receive your results. In order to register and find more information regarding the supplementary exams please visit the DBE website:

Upgrading your results

What if you don’t qualify to write the supplementary exams? Don’t worry, the other option is upgrading your matric results.

What is upgrading?

General information

  • Upgrading your results takes the entire year and you have to rewrite the matric exams at the end of the year.

Dont forget to share this page to help another student


Leave a Comment