Most of my college classmates back in the early 90’s gave the same reason why they picked our school–"Because I didn't get into UCLA."
But there was no anger or disappointment when they said it. We were all happy at our school. Nobody was still smarting from an old rejection. That would have been like a 21 year-old still lamenting a romantic break up that happened back in high school. We’d all moved on.
In fact, of the hundreds of people I met over my four years in college, I only ever knew one who applied to transfer to UCLA, where he was accepted. I hope it worked out well for him (though Facebook has helped me verify that while he’s doing fine, he isn't any more successful than the rest of us are).
The prospect of college rejection can be a scary thing. But if you think that the only way to live out your vision of what college is supposed to be like is to get accepted to one dream school, well, this is one of those times when you should be thankful that you’re wrong.
Every year, lots of students get rejected from their first choice colleges, especially those students who apply to schools that reject almost everybody who applies. But nobody’s lamenting those rejections when they move into a dorm at a different college later in the fall. Cheer up. Get excited. Your outlook is good.