A Guide to Handling College Decisions

Student Life

College decisions and admission can be one of the most stressful moments in one's life. After all, your whole life's career depends on it, doesn't it? You're thinking, “if I don't get into my dream school, I'll never be successful and my parents will hate me.” At least this is how a lot of emotional teenagers like me think about the decisions, but is it really true? Are your life goals smashed into smithereens if you're unable to go to the best college? Should you even worry this much about the decisions?

In the following list, I'll try to explain why college decisions are overrated and not worth stressing about. So, without further ado, let's get into five tips to handle college decisions effectively.

1. Learn How to Deal With Rejection

Getting rejected from your dream school can be painful and disappointing. However, you have to realize that just because you got rejected doesn't mean that it's over and that you're going to be unable to ever attend that school. While most admission decisions are final, you can appeal your application for very specific and rare reasons.

Maybe, there was a mistake in the application, and your SAT or GPA scores were incorrectly reported to the college in a manner that was outside your control.

Maybe, you have new information to share with the college. For instance, you may have improved your SAT score or GPA significantly, or you won a significant award or two.

These are the reasons one may consider appealing, and it will most likely increase your chances of admission.

If you don't have a reason to appeal, you still have other options, such as transferring after your first year in college.

Just remember that it's ok to feel upset about getting rejected, but you should also focus on the schools you did get accepted to and allow yourself to experience a new adventure.

2. Know How to Handle Waitlists

If you got waitlisted from your top choice school, you still have a chance to get accepted. However, because there's most likely too much competition in your top choice school, you're going to have to stand out in some way. So, it's time to start working on getting accepted.

First off, show them that you are interested. Email them, telling them that you still really want to attend their school.

Second, attempt notifying them about updates in your life. Have you won any awards, improved your grades, and/or increased your SAT scores? If so, be sure to notify them.

Remember, only put down your name on a waitlist if you actually want to attend that specific school. If you are accepted by a reach school, it's better to keep your teenage ego down and own up to getting waitlisted in a safety school. After all, it's a mere waste of time to fill out the waitlist essays. Also, turning down a spot on the waitlist will leave it open for someone who is actually considering attending that school.

3. Be Confident In Your Decision

Once you've chosen the school you want to attend, it's time to reject all the other offers and send the necessary documents to that specific school.

You might have moments where you're second-guessing your decision, but don't worry; acknowledge that this feeling is normal. Deciding which college to attend is hard, but if you deeply considered it, I'm sure you've picked the best choice for yourself.

4. Know That It's OK to Feel Disappointed

Look, getting rejected from college is emotionally painful for everyone (unless you're a psychopath or just really don't care). So, it's OK to let out the emotions; suppressing them may become more problematic.

Although, you shouldn't dwell on these emotions for too long. Try to pick yourself up and pursue the opportunities you have now.

5. Remember, You Are Not What the College Thinks You Are

Colleges really try to get to know you on a personal level; they want to know the story of your life and everything interesting you do apart from eating and breathing. However, this generally doesn't work out, mainly because most colleges still prioritize your test scores and grades, giving much less attention to pretty much anything else.

At best, they are going to meet you in an interview and get impressed by your life's details. However, interviews are generally still not prioritized that much.

So, they generally end up not caring about the real you, which is why YOU should care about the real you and use it to achieve something you want without their guidance.

In fact, college may not even be right for you at all, and many ultra-successful people felt this way.

Bill Gates left Harvard to build what would become Microsoft.

Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, left Reed College when he was just 19, reportedly because it was too much financial burden for his family.

Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard to build Facebook and didn't hesitate to do so. In fact, according to the book “The Facebook Effect,” it took him five minutes to decide to quit college.

That's pretty much it! Now, it's time to congratulate yourself; Instead of worrying about the decisions, start worrying about picking the right college necessities, and good luck attending college!

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Michael Kharadze
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Michael Kharadze is an aspiring computer scientist from Tbilisi, Georgia. Unlike others, who had a passion for writing since childhood, he only recently started to fully express himself through it and be ardent about it.