Your application for admission…has been given careful consideration…. Unfortunately, you were not selected for admission to the graduate program…
Way back when I worked for a bank, I won $100. Every month two employees’ names were chosen at random. If those employees had the bank bumper sticker on their car, they each got $50. If one of those employees chosen didn’t have the bumper sticker, the other employee got that $50. and if neither had the bumper sticker, the money stayed at the bank.
There were hundreds of employees.
Employees from other branches called to congratulate me. The second name pulled from the hat belonged to a bank manager everyone hated. Everyone was pleased he didn’t have the bumper sticker on his car. I was pleased because he’d yelled at me just a few days before.
Sometimes you win for the most random reason. And sometimes there is real competition. The MFA program accepts only 10 or 12 applicants a year. My GPA is old and my GRE score is new but neither sparkle in the light of an English Department. My writing I like best didn’t match the criteria, so I sent what I could. Someone else obviously sent better. Since I can’t relocate, that is the end of that.
But let’s not focus on the losing. What about the winning? What have you won–a blue ribbon at the fair, a young lover’s heart, an impossible gamble? What is it right now that you’d like to win?