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Why You’re More than Your College Admissions Letter

Applying to college is like a sales pitch.

You fill out your application with all your best work and highest achievements. You take the SAT two, three, four times to get the best possible score. Then, you pour your heart out in a personal essay that is somehow supposed to convey everything a college needs to know about you in under 500 words.

You’re pitching your best self. But no matter how many hours you spend perfecting the essay or how many times you calculate your ACT Super Score, one question remains: What if they say no?

The answer haunted me. If they say no, then they’re saying I’m not good enough.

Here’s the thing, I was good enough – and so are you.

College admissions do not determine value. It took me a lot longer than it should have to realize that test scores, GPAs and college acceptance letters do not determine self-worth.

Here are seven things to remember that you are worth so much than an admissions letter: 

1. College admissions don’t define you.

As much as it seems like a college is judging you, they aren’t they’re judging your application. No matter how long you spend on your personal essay, it’s not you. You are so much more than a test score or a GPA. Just because a college denies you doesn’t change your value as a person.

2. There’s no formula to getting into college.

It is that true colleges are looking for well-rounded students, but there isn’t a set model that guarantees admission. This applies especially to UF because there are so many people from different backgrounds. That being said, UF is known for its unpredictable admissions. There was a girl in my high school who got into Harvard but not UF. Don’t take it too hard. No one knows what goes on behind the doors.

3. College shaming isn’t cool.

Going to college, whether it’s community college or an Ivy League, is something to be proud of. Don’t make other people feel bad about the schools they are applying to. Every college is an accomplishment. You should also be mindful of others when you’re talking about your admissions, especially big schools that you know a lot for people applied to. You should definitely celebrate your acceptances, but just keep in mind that not everybody will get in, and not everybody will want to talk about it.

4. You don’t want them if they don’t want you.

College admissions is kind of like dating. It needs to be a match on both sides. Admissions aren’t just looking to see if you would be a good fit for the college, but if the college be a good fit for you as well. You wouldn’t want to waste your time dating someone who doesn’t like you. Similarly, you wouldn’t want to go to a college that doesn’t want you.

5. It’s not about where you go, but what you do while you’re there.

As cliché as this sounds, this is probably the most important thing I could tell someone applying to college. During admissions, it’s so easy to get caught up in where you are going to school. Once I actually got to college, I realized that employers don’t care what school you go to, they care about what you do while you’re there. It’s completely up to you to make the best experience out of wherever you end up and that’s what really matters.

6. You should be proud of yourself.

Applying to colleges is an accomplishment on its own and you should be proud of that. The entire college admissions process is painful. It’s expensive, time-consuming and overly complicated. You should be proud for getting through it. And I promise, college is worth it.

7. It’s not the end of the world.

You didn’t get into UF, or wherever your dream school is. That’s OK. It’s ok to be upset, it’s ok to cry, but it’s not the end of the world. There are opportunities at every college, or wherever you end up. It’s rough now, but just remember that you are so much more than a college’s decision about your admission.

So, in the midst of college acceptances and admissions notices, remember that you are more than your college admissions letter. Don’t let the yes or the no define you because you are amazing!

This article is part of a series welcoming incoming students to UF. Have a question you want us to answer or explore? Email us at [email protected], and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for even more incoming student advice!

Karina Elwood is a second-year journalism major at the University of Florida with a passion for storytelling and graphic design. She's a fan of big cities, good coffee, and funny comedians. Other hobbies include crafting, thrift shopping and listening to podcasts.
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