Are you struggling right now? Hang in there. Sometimes the best thing that can possibly happen to you is not getting exactly what you think you want or need now. Your road will lead you to happiness, through all the twists and turns, if you keep pushing forward. Sometimes another failure or rejection feels like the end of the road, but actually it’s just time to look for a new route to get where you want to be.

Everything happens for a reason

The longer I live, the more I believe that the dots, or events of your life, somehow connect in the future. You just need to have trust in something. Some people believe in destiny, others believe in karma. It doesn’t really matter what you go for, the most important thing is to trust.

Some days ago I finally settled down in Helsinki and had some time to stop and think about everything that had happened in my life recently. I wanted into move here for quite a long time. What is more, I even had a deadline – autumn 2016. I set deadlines for everything, this is my productivity tip. In summer 2015, I made a decision to get my Master degree because it was the last year when I could do it for free as a non-EU citizen.

Challenge accepted

In Russian we have a phrase like ‘rushing into the last wagon of a leaving train‘. And that was me back in December 2015. After doing a thorough research and narrowing down the options, I decided to apply for my Master studies at Aalto University. I was equally into Corporate Communications and Business Strategy. However, I met another obstacle on my way. Aalto University gives applicants an opportunity to apply for one faculty only, so I had to choose. To be honest, this decision wasn’t the easiest one to make, but after considering all the pros and cons, I made my mind – Strategy.

I bought my GMAT preparation books, and the fun part started. Working full time and preparing for the GMAT 2-3 hours every day with no assistance (like private lessons or group courses) was a truly interesting experience that showed me how persistent I can be.

After about 2 months of preparation, I went to Helsinki to take the exam. I was truly nervous as my schedule was tight -I had no time for a second try before the end of the application period. 3,5 hours later I saw the score – 560. I did it! The minimum score to apply was 550. I was the happiest person in the entire world! Nothing could stand on my way to get my study place. At least I thought so. I had an average grade of 4.7 (max 5) from my Bachelor studies, and I wrote a killer letter of motivation. I just had to wait till the end of March to get the results and start working on my huge plan called ‘My move to Helsinki’.

The most unexpected rejection

The day had come, and the list of accepted students was published on the website. I was super excited! I opened the page, but my name wasn’t there. I signed into the application system and saw the word I least expected: rejected. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I thought that there was a mistake. I was simply denying the fact.

My life and my future plans were falling apart. There are 5 stages people go through when something truly bad happens: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I managed to go through all these stages within 9 hours. I was crying like crazy. Thank God I had a friend by my side who helped me get through these big news. The worst thing was that it all happened just some days before another important day in my life – the YKI test day. I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t stop thinking about how stupid I was not to create a plan B, just in case. I didn’t prepare myself for NO. I wasn’t ready for this rejection. I had to create a brand new plan. I had to push forward. I had to embrace myself not to fail during the Finnish exam. I had to stay strong.

My plan B or the easy way

My parents didn’t raise  a quitter, – I said to myself and started creating my plan B. My YKI-test was a total success followed by an awesome trip to Sweden. In May 2016, I got to know that our marketing agency was bought by another, bigger advertising company that had offices in Lappeenranta and Helsinki. Here it was – an easy way to move to Helsinki. However, my plan B failed, and I had no other choice, but take another way – a damn challenging way.

Sometimes you just need a plan C

I got rejected by the university. I couldn’t make my plan B come true. I was furious. I had to act. I had to prove myself that ‘doing’ is the only thing that keeps me away from my dream. That I’m the only one who can tell how I can succeed in this life.

After 3 weeks of sending applications and participating in different interviews, I finally was on my route to get where I want to be. I found my dream job. I moved to Helsinki on the 29th of September, a day before my deadline. I nailed it.

Almost 5 months have passed since that day. Today I had two truly important reasons to go to Lappeenranta, and it was an incredible day. I felt like a guest in this town. Helsinki is definitely a better place for me. Now I know why I wanted to move there so badly.

If I hadn’t been rejected, none of this would have happened. And this is the story how I failed my way to happiness.