Fall is a stressful season for many reasons, but for high school seniors, this is the time for SAT tests, college applications, and worst of all: the first round of college decisions. As if surviving AP and IB classes weren't hard enough already, students must live through months of waiting just to see if the college of their dreams finds them a good fit for the school. When the admissions results return, some will be overjoyed, while others will be extremely disappointed. Regardless of the results, here are five things you should know about college admissions:
1. Just because someone else was accepted into a school and you weren't, that doesn't mean you're any less qualified.
College admissions are to an extent, random. Each university receives so many applications from students with excellent grades, extracurriculars, and essays that at the end of the day, in a pool of people with the same statistics, candidates are chosen based on luck. I have known people with higher GPAs, better test scores, and even more impressive extracurricular activities than myself receive rejections from schools that I was accepted to. I have also seen people who never tried in school receive admission to prestigious colleges. Just know that the schools you get into does not define who you are as a person.
2. Don't get too attached to a single university until after decisions come out.
This advice is extremely hard to follow, because everyone I know, including myself, had a dream college they wanted to attend. From prestigious colleges like Stanford and Harvard to the top career focused schools like California Institute of the Arts, everyone talked endlessly about the university they wanted to attend. However, this attachment to a single school also resulted in extreme disappointment when admissions results came out for many. Instead, do thorough research on colleges that fit the categories you're looking for, then once all college decisions come back, visit these schools and find the one that you're looking for.
3. Colleges want to see the real you, not what you think they want to see you.
Too many high school students write their personal statements revolving around a certain university's core values instead of truly using the precious few hundred words to showcase themselves to the college. Admissions officers only have an average of two minutes to read over your application, so don't write something that they have most definitely seen thousands of times before. Most colleges greatly value honest personal statements, so make sure you're writing your personal story on something that shows who you are.
4. Every college is worth considering.
There is no college too low on rankings and no college too "lame". Don't be afraid to apply to a liberal arts college if you're set on pursuing a career in humanities. Don't be afraid to apply to culinary school if you want to become a chef. Don't refrain from even applying to a college because the tuition is too high, because often times, these colleges also offer generous financial aid. Apply to every college you have an interest in while you still can, because you don't want to end up at a university and wonder what could have happened if you had just had the courage to apply to a less well-known school that you really liked.
5. You can learn to love whichever college you end up at.
Even if the university you end up attending was not your first choice, second choice, or even fifth choice, college is all about finding your niche. No matter where you are, university is so big that you will be able to find a group of people who will become your support system for the rest of your life. Don't get hung up on not getting into other colleges, but instead, focus on how you can make the best of your four years at the one you're at.