Axel Webber TikTok Juilliard audition: a lesson in rejection

TikToker Axel Webber has a few suggestions about easy methods to cope with rejection. They embrace wallowing, shifting on, making your self a good meal (of apple sauce), and crying alone.

The viral star saved his thousands and thousands of followers up to date all through his audition for—and supreme refusal from—the Juilliard Faculty, and now they get to see the aftermath. His followers usually are not taking the denial quietly, although, with many flooding the college’s Instagram posts with hundreds of feedback, like “LET AXEL INNN” and “The place’s axel’s acceptance mail?”

Rejection sucks. Everybody feels its sting in some unspecified time in the future—in their private life, at work and, sure, in faculty admissions. Webber’s rejection (and the backlash to it) exhibits how web reputation doesn’t at all times translate into real-world success. It additionally could not have to.


Webber’s rise started when he posted movies about his tiny New York residence, amassing 33.9 million views. His account now boasts 2.6 million followers and counting, maintaining along with his life in the town, together with his Juilliard audition.

School-admissions theater will not be new to social media. A easy search of “admissions reactions” on YouTube yields many, many movies of hopeful college students opening their selections on digicam. Most of those college students don’t get pleasure from the identical degree of web fame as Webber, however their experiences on the entire spotlight simply how arbitrary the faculty admissions course of can appear. In keeping with U.S. Information, Juilliard has a 7% admissions rate. Statistically, rejection isn’t precisely a shock.

But it surely additionally doesn’t sign the tip of his performing profession. It could be simply the other. Though he could not have gotten into the celebrated performing arts faculty, Webber has since signed on with modeling company the Society, and he’s getting messages of help from such celebrities as Charlie Puth. Success, then, could not imply an training or a diploma from a fancy faculty. As a substitute, it may be a matter of posting the correct factor on the proper time and having a sure one thing that retains individuals watching and places content material on the prime of the For You web page.

Elite establishments, in the meantime, have achieved little to instill belief in the so-called meritocracy the previous few years, with high-profile information tales like accusations of collusion to limit financial aid and the Varsity Blues scandal. Yearly, hundreds of scholars are rejected from schools or denied scholarships with little clarification. The more and more social nature of these responses, although, could proceed to drag universities’ practices into the highlight and name their legitimacy into query.

The previous saying goes that when one door closes, one other one opens. Within the age of social media, there are a lot of various doorways to select from—particularly for those who’re lucky sufficient to have 2.6 million buddies that can assist you open them.