5 Things I wish I knew during the College Admissions Process

The dreaded day for many high school seniors, November 1st, rolled around several weeks ago beginning the first wave of college deadlines and applications. I know the fear, anxiety, and frustration that applying to college brings because I was there a year ago. Here are some pieces of advice that I wish I had known while applying to college.

1.  There’s no one perfect college for you.

I know it may seem like your first-choice school is the only place you could ever see yourself at, but that’s just not true. If you’ve applied to a school, odds are you already know that it fits some of the criteria that could make or break your college experience. Several schools could give you a happy and healthy educational (and social) experience, so don’t get caught up on “the one.”


2.  Some parts of the college process are out of your control.

You may have the grades, extra curriculars, a killer Common-App essay, and everything you thought was “enough” to get into a college. A cruel reality of the college process is that sometimes, you still won’t get in. I have so many friends who were shocked when they didn’t get into a school, and spent months asking why they weren’t good enough. Don’t let the rejection weigh you down, once you submit the application it’s out of your hands.


3.  Be happy for your friends!

It can be hard to congratulate your friends when dealing with your own rejections, but try to remember how they would act if you got into the school of your dreams. Celebrating their success may be a way to get your mind off your own college process. On the other hand, if you are the one that got into your first choice while your friends struggled, celebrate your own achievements without rubbing them in to those around you.


4.  College is what you make it.

I know you’ve probably heard this one before, but college is more about you than the name of your university. A reality I recently learned is that getting into a college isn’t the end of your hard work; it’s just the beginning. Even with a degree from a top university, companies will still care about your grades. No matter what school, take advantage of as many classes, internships, and interesting opportunities as you can find. What you do with your four (or five!) years of college is far more important than the status of the school itself.


5.  Take advantage of senior spring.

No matter what your college decisions bring, once all of your applications are in take advantage of your senior spring. I can confidently say that senior spring may be one of the most fun and least stressful experiences of my life. After high school comes college, maybe graduate school, and then work. Senior spring, regardless if you know what college you’re going to or not, is one of the only breaks that you will have for several years, so enjoy it. Spend time with your friends and family, celebrate senior year, and make the most out of every second. Before you know it, it’ll all be gone and you will be on your way to a fresh start at the college that’s right for you.