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Myka Yamasaki

What Not to Think About During College Application Season

College applications are stressful. Partially because applications are the gateway to the next stage in your life and because of all the deadlines. Due to these stressors, you get prone to all kinds of negative thoughts. Here are some common ones that you need to beat back.


1) “I’m not going to get into my dream school.”

There is a difference between being defeatist and being realistic. True, acceptance rates for most universities are getting smaller. But what is not true is that the acceptance rate says anything about what is going to happen come decision day. If you work hard on your application, rest assured you will have a shot at getting into a variety of different colleges. In addition, take the whole concept of a “dream school” with a grain of salt. Believe it or not, most schools are more similar to one another than you would like to think. Just pick a bunch of schools that share key qualities and things will work out.


2) “My test scores alone are not going to get me passed the first round.”

Seriously, test score cutoffs do not always apply. I know this from experiences that multiple friends had in the college application process. I cannot stress enough that if you work hard on making your application look good as a whole, you can compensate for a test score that is slightly off range. On the flip side, there are plenty of people with immaculate test scores that don’t get into certain schools so that you should tell you numbers are not everything. Write good essays and supplements, have good extra curricular activities to show for, and you are back in the running.


3) “I won’t get into ANY schools.”

This doomsday scenario is only possible if you apply to just 1 or 2 colleges (that don’t have 100% acceptance rates). The recommended number of colleges to apply to range from 5 to 10, though lately people are applying to 12 to 14 different colleges, which is probably unnecessary. If you are within this range, you will have a 99% chance of getting into multiple schools. Just make sure that your test scores and GPA meet the average range that the school accepts. This negative thought is seriously ridiculous, put it away immediately. Everything will be ok.


4) “X person is going to take the spot anyway. They are way smarter than me.”

If you know that other people from your school are applying to the same college, don’t assume that the student with the highest SAT or the highest GPA will get “the spot.” First of all, as being someone who has gone through the process, it isn’t always the person with the highest numbers that get into certain schools. Secondly, there isn’t only one spot per high school open at extra prestigious colleges. Often times, colleges are willing to accept multiple qualified students from one high school. So don’t lose hope!

I hope you know that everything will work out. Trust me, the college application process did not go as planned for me but I turned out to be VERY happy with my decision. And worst case scenario, if you don’t like the college you end up at, transferring to another college is always an option! Keep faith, everything happens for a reason.


About Myka Yamasaki

Myka will be attending Occidental College (located in Los Angeles) in the fall and is very excited! She is looking forward to reflecting on her high school experience to help others do their best on the SAT/ACT and in college admissions. She loves cats, food, and friends.

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