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It’s Okay If You Don’t Get Into Your Dream College

December 15th is approaching, and for those of us who applied early decision to our top-choice colleges, it means that we get to find out whether we got in or not very soon. But whether you applied early decision or regular decision, hearing the results can be incredibly anxiety-inducing. The fact of the matter is that not everyone will get into the college of their dreams. It’s great if you do, but it’s absolutely okay if you don’t. When you hear back from your dream college, it’s important to remember the following points:

There’s plenty of other great colleges.

I know, I know. This is a cliché. However, it is a cliché that is very true. Although it may seem that The University of XYZ is the only place for you, please try to remember that there are many other similar institutions that might actually be a better fit. There’s a great deal of amazing institutions of higher learning here in the U.S., and all over the world. Even though you might have had your heart set on one specific college, try to keep an open mind.


Colleges are becoming increasingly selective.

It’s true. A lot of colleges have seen an increase in the number of applicants, and also in the quality of their applicant pools. This means that admissions decisions are becoming more and more subjective. There’s a plethora of equally smart and well-rounded kids applying for a limited number of spots, so whether you’re one of the kids that get accepted really all depends. Honestly, applying to certain schools is like trying to win the lottery; luck plays a pretty big part. So when you hear back, try to keep in mind that you were good enough; it’s just a crapshoot these days.


Don’t base your self-worth on whether you got into a specific college or not.

This is something that I’m still learning myself. I understand the thought process behind this. You have spent four years of high school working hard, staying out of trouble, and doing all the right things. Getting into the college of your dreams would validate the sleepless nights, the missed outings, the hours spent practicing for standardized tests, and all of the blood, sweat, and tears that you put into your high school career. I completely understand. But I think it’s important to realize that admission into a certain college or university doesn’t make you any less amazing. You were a smart, talented, wholesome person before the admissions decision and you will still be smart, talented, and wholesome after it.


I truly hope that everyone who is reading this gets the answer they want from their top-choice college. However, if this isn’t the case, please try to remember that your success doesn’t depend on where you go to college; it depends on you. Everything will be fine.

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Written By

Omene is a high school senior. She is thrilled to be a writer for Affinity Magazine and is particularly excited to write about politics and women's issues. She hopes to be a human rights lawyer and at some point, work for the UN when she grows up. In her free time, Omene likes to read, play with her dog, and binge-watch The Office on Netflix. Follow her on twitter at @samaddeh

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