Battles I fought

Success & Failure

You get to see or hear only one side of the story from everyone. 

While I am still carving my own success story, here’s my ugly side: the failures.

Samin Rahman, Impossible List

Applying to College

I spent hundreds of hours studying, researching and carving my applications for almost 9 months. 

Hardwork doesn’t always pay off- I almost returned empty handed. As an international student who needs significant financial aid, applying to colleges is well….tough. 

The Numbers aren't Pretty

Colleges I applied to
Offered me Admission
I could afford
  1. Amherst College
  2. Bates College
  3. Bowdoin College
  4. Brown University
  5. Bucknell University
  6. Carleton College
  7. University of Chicago
  8. Claremont McKenna
  9. Colby College
  10. Colgate University
  11. Colorado College
  12. Columbia University
  13. Cornell University
  14. Dartmouth College
  15. Davidson College
  16. Denison University
  17. Duke University
  18. Emory University
  19. Franklin and Marshall College
  20. Grinnell College
  21. Hamilton College
  22. Harvard University
  23. Haverford College
  24. Johns Hopkins University
  25. Kenyon College
  26. Lafayette College
  27. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  28. Miami University
  29. Middlebury College
  30. Minerva Schools
  31. Northwestern University
  32. Oberlin College
  33. University of Pennsylvannia
  34. Pomona College
  35. Princeton University
  36. Reed College
  37. Rice University
  38. University of Richmond
  39. University of Rochester
  40. Skidmore College
  41. Stanford University
  42. Swarthmore College
  43. Trinity College
  44. Tufts University
  45. Vanderbilt University
  46. Vassar College
  47. Washington & Lee
  48. Wesleyan College
  49. Williams College
  50. Yale University
  1. University of Toronto
  2. University of British Columbia
  3. University of Texas at Dallas

Freelancing Career

Even though my freelancing career is currently on a permanent pause (due to visa restrictions), my past gigs from Unilever, Microsoft & other clients didn’t land magically.

It had countless rejections attached to it too. 

While I never tracked the number of applications that got ignored by clients, I’d term my success rate of applications at around 2-5%.

I am however, tracking all the on-campus job applications.


Debate Life

I never could become the debater that rocked the stage.

I never became the best orator of Bangladesh.

However, I was successful at carving up the next generation of debaters, by mentoring and guiding them.

My kiddos now win championships regularly, making me proud.


Rounds Debated


Students Mentored


Championships won by me


Awards won by my Students

Learning through my 'Failures'

Apparently, Jack Ma was rejected by Harvard 10 times.
J.K Rowling had the Harry Potter rejected by 12 publishing houses.

I can give you a hundred other cliche examples of how failure is so common but the takeaway lesson is- it’s fine.

It’s alright.

As my favorite movie saying goes- “Life isn’t about how hard you can give a hit, but how hard you can get hit but still keep moving forward.”

I am still moving forward. Are you?