Obviously, the response you prefer from graduate programs is acceptance. If you are accepted to more than one program, you must make decision. Some programs may pressure you to accept quickly. If you're unsure, take your time and carefully weigh a variety of factors. Once you have made a decision, send an email or letter accepting the invitation to attend the graduate program. Also send letters notifying other programs that you will not be attending.
The next most favorable outcome is wait-listed. While being wait-listed isn't preferred, it's better than being rejected. Applications who are wait-listed are still in the running. Programs have only a few spots and many applications who are stellar. Unfortunately they cannot offer admittance to all qualified applicants. Being wait-listed means that you're desirable but that you'll have to wait to see if you're admitted. Not all wait-listed applicants get accepted, but many do.
The final, least pleasant outcome, is rejection. No one likes this outcome. Again, rejection doesn't mean that you're not a decent applicant or that this career choice is not for you. It means that there are too few program slots and too many applicants. Understand why applicants are rejected. When a program receives dozens or even hundreds of applications, decisions are based on small differences and often are arbitrary. Sometimes it has nothing to do with you. Coping with rejection means realizing this. Sometimes after students are rejected they turn to their safety schools instead. Others apply again the following year.
What to Consider Post-Rejection?
Consider what graduate programs want. Consider what admissions committees look for in essays. Consider your choice of programs. Were they appropriate and realistic choices?. Consider your letter writers. Do you think they presented your strengths in the best light? Getting admitted to graduate school isn't easy. Carefully consider all parts of your application and whether your skills and career aspirations truly match the programs to which you have applied.