Rebounding from Rejection

A freshly rejected freshman tries various tactics to cope with depression.

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Bob knew it was a mistake but did it anyway—he confessed to his crush who he had met only three days earlier in AP Environmental Science. After getting thoroughly and completely friend-zoned (if a reply of “Why is a freshman trying to slide into my DMs” counts as friend-zoning), he is at a loss. Not even his usual routine of infiltrating the Senior Bar and seriously ticking off the couples there can cheer him up.

Bob stays depressed for all of five minutes before beginning to plot ways to win his crush over. The first thing that comes to mind is to simply reject the rejection! Who is she to rebuff my affections?? Absolutely not, not as long as I have Genshin Impact installed on my Potato Computer X1, Bob thinks as he comes up with a plan. He will stand threateningly outside her classrooms and lay down cracked two-by-four (the right size is essential for inflicting maximum damage) Legos in the hallway for her to step on until she accepts his feelings. He pulls out the Lego set that he has carried in his backpack since kindergarten and sprinkles the Legos all around the door of his crush’s physics classroom. Unfortunately, Bob realizes after she walks out and steps on the Legos that the attack only works if the target is not wearing shoes. Horribly embarrassed by this blunder, he sprints off to the 7-5 escalator but accidentally steps on one of his own Legos, which pierces through his shoe, causing him to start wailing like a fire alarm.

When Bob walks out of school at the end of the day, the crippling depression of rejection strikes him with full force, and he collapses on the bridge, crying and flopping around like a little goldfish that just got disowned and thrown away. As his tear ducts begin to give up on him, Bob gets up… and sees someone wearing SciOly merch. I couldn’t win her over, but I can still show off my one million IQ and 999 GPA by joining lots of clubs and winning awards! Everyone will love me if I’m surrounded by hundreds of trophies! he thinks as the second stage of coping, distraction by exhaustion, comes into play.

Twenty-six club acceptances later, Bob has his plan in full steam as he has moved his sleep time from 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. I’m gonna win so many awards that they’ll have to build the 11th floor just to house all of them! he thinks happily before returning to his geometry homework.

A week later, Bob is found unconscious near the Stuyvesant entrance, reportedly having gotten “negative hours of sleep.” After being released from the hospital (that’ll be $10 thousand, thank you very much), his parents make him drop all his clubs, much to his grief. Despite having nothing to do after school, Bob continues to maintain his 4:00 a.m. bedtime—instead of spending the time on homework, he spends hours on end stalking his crush’s Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok pages.

A few days later, while scrolling through his crush’s pictures during one of his free periods, Bob is reminded of the (now-dead) Stuy Affirmations Instagram account. “Stuy Affirmations, Stuy Affirmations, it sounds like…self-affirmation!” he exclaims to no one as he walks down the empty Hudson stairs on the way to lunch. As he enters the cafeteria, he announces, with no lack of overconfidence, “Who needs a girlfriend when I am already the BEST?!” (Life Lesson of the Day: Don’t be like Bob, and don’t be overly egotistical, or you’ll end up with no pulls.) Some students cast him side glances while another group of students can be heard whispering, “No wonder she rejected him. He is so full of himself.”

Bob’s self-pride does not last for long as eventually he realizes that he is still madly in love with and yearns for her. As Bob heads to his least favorite class, Global History 9, he sees his crush… WALKING WITH ANOTHER MAN. Immediately, Bob is swallowed by jealousy, but as he tries to approach the couple, he is met with a flood of students running toward him like a stampede. Bob realizes that the only way to change his crush’s mind is by making her fall in love with him. After Bob gets home from school, he goes on the BEST web search engine, Bing, to look for answers on “How to make a girl fall in love with you.” The first answer that appears is “Buy them chocolate.” It was then that Bob remembered the baskets of brownies and cookies he stole from bake sales since elementary school. He pulls them out from under his bed and goes to sleep, dreaming about kissing his crush.

The next day, he races to his AP Environmental Science class and stands on tiptoe (because he’s short) as he hands the baskets to his crush. After taking one glance into the basket, Bob’s crush looks at him in confusion and disappointment. However, Bob is only focusing on the baskets. What’s the worst that could happen? Bob thinks, but not a moment later, his crush sighs and says, “I’m allergic to chocolate.” SHE’S ALLERGIC TO WHAT!? HUH??? Bob, feeling humiliated, runs out of the room with the baskets and spends the rest of the period crying in the boys’ bathroom.

Having completely run out of ideas, Bob now decides to return to his usual ways of trying to seduce the junior in his AP Environmental class. He realizes that there is probably no point in doing so, but he has no other alternative than to act like it never happened and continue using his poor seduction skills. In weak attempts to get her to laugh, he makes jokes that even Spec Humor would look down on. He even tries to get her as a partner in group projects and waits for her outside her other classes in classic stalker fashion. Every week, he buys her another basket of super expensive candy (after several chocolatey disasters in the first few weeks, he now knows to read the labels carefully; finally, his health class has a real world application!), because if chocolate won’t work, the second best option is for Bob to give his crush no less than 10 cavities from candy.

Despite his poor technique, mediocre execution, and abysmal puns, Bob begins, little by little, to wiggle his way into her heart. She begins to chuckle at his jokes despite facepalming inside at how trash they are and slowly comes to enjoy his presence.

When it comes time for the Indicator Flower Sale distribution, Bob opens his card to find that, at long last, the feeling is reciprocated. <3

(Please note that The Spectator does not condone freshman-junior relationships in any way, shape, or form. Use common sense, people!)