How to Survive your QuestBridge Apocalypse: Tips for Writing and Staying Motivated


So, you just found out you were not chosen as a QuestBridge Finalist.


Everyone says it’s fine. The world isn’t over and there is still hope, blah blah blah. You know all of this, but even if the world isn’t over, it still feels as if YOUR world is over. You still want to curl up into a corner, look out into the gloomy October sky, let one tear out, and blast the cheesy sob music until your tears turn into cheddar and you die of gas because you’re lactose intolerant.

Now before we become TOO overly dramatic and get carried away, let’s talk about how you can survive this apocalypse and why not being a QuestBridge Finalist can actually help you.

1. It’s a free review of your application!

Nerd Fact: The word Apocalypse translated literally from Greek actually means “a disclosure of knowledge, lifting of a veil or revelation.”


After re-reading your work with fresh eyes, you might catch something you never would have caught before.


2. More Time to Battle with Writer’s block!

Unlike your peers who are scrambling to get early application essays finished, you already have a bank of essays you have worked on. Sometimes, when we are trying to think of topics to write about, quantity may trump quality—you can’t edit an essay if you have nothing written down.


Use this extra time to have others look at your essays, even if it’s just your neighbor from down the street. Ask them if this essay accurately represents who you are and whether or not they can paint a picture of you just by reading this one essay.

Take a break. Go for a walk, watch a movie, experiment with cooking, check out that new Legend of Korra episode, visit a local museum. A healthy dose of relaxation can not only provide inspiration but also help to cure the symptoms of writer’s block, because we all know that staring at the scary glow of the empty word document on your screen is NOT helping.


3. Extra Motivation!

Even though you haven’t won this battle, you still have a chance to win the war! Use this experience as an opportunity to prove to yourself that you can do it. While everyone else is celebrating, use this time to work. Success rarely comes to someone on the first try and failures are just successes waiting to be discovered.

Sure it is easier said than done. Emotions are finicky things, hard to control. However, surrounding yourself with a support system (your friends, family, a bags of double stuffed Oreos and a cupcake) can be just enough to pull you up and get you back on the road, running once again.


I hope this blog post helps! If you have anymore questions feel free to email me at

Christina Chen, Quest Scholar, Yale ’18