Having a bad review experience (like this bad reviewing patterns ) is always upsetting but for phd students it can be really disheartening since probably that paper had been his only focus for some months. When this happens I try to explain them that 1 – this is (unfortunately) part of the life of a researcher and they better get used to it and 2 – if the work is good we’ll manage to publish it in another venue.

As usual, Bertrand Meyer, summarizes all my feelings on this topic (and in just one sentence):

Arrogant referees eventually retire and good papers eventually get published