The first thing is to not panic. The first year of any graduate program is a trial period. Plenty of people who go on to have successful careers in academia didn’t get their first choice for grad school, or even their second or third.
Second, take stock of why you didn’t get in. Were your grades poor? Do you need to strengthen your application by taking more courses? Or was it just a matter of having one or two weak letters of recommendation? If it’s the latter, consider contacting the potential supervisory committee members at another institution and seeing what they think.
Finally, make sure you apply to more than one school around next time. It can be exhausting — and expensive — but it’s important to keep applying until you find a good fit.
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