I just always thought everything would work out

I thought it would be too ridiculous if the people I knew who were jerks in high school got into good schools and I didn’t. I thought I would get to the end of this and feel proud of myself. I applied to 17 reaches and was waitlisted at 6 and rejected at 11. I’ve never felt so hopeless in my life.

I’m sorry you’re feeling this way. You are you, and there’s only one of you, so forgetting about other people, be proud of your accomplishments in high school! Did you apply to any target or match schools? At this point, the sting of rejection still hurts, but within the next month you will want to have a plan of next steps. Let’s lay out your options atm :slight_smile:


Sorry for you. What is the plan from here? Your waitlists give me confidence you will get into schools that are just right for you. Don’t feel badly. Let’s figure out next steps!

Hopefully you applied to some matches and at least one safety.

Happens every year, impossible to count on admission.
You can try to get off waitlists, possibly enlisting help from your guidance counselor. Maybe your guidance counselor can call the waitlist colleges to find out your chances or if some update is needed.

Even so, there are other colleges still accepting applications. Or consider taking a gap year.

I am sorry to hear this, but you can still go to college this fall. Please share your stats, your budget, and school preferences and posters can help you…there are many schools still taking applications. In the first week of May the NACAC list of schools that have openings post deposit date will also be out, but we don’t have to wait until then.


I did get into my safeties and matches, so at least I have something

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Yes, I got into my safeties and matches, so I at least have that

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Getting admitted to safeties and most matches is the expected result.

Getting rejected from reaches is the expected result.


I am sorry for your situation. The spots on your waitlist might be more viable than in past years. Be kind to yourself and everything will work out.


Of your 6 WLs, find which one you like the most and send in a phenomenal letter of interest. Send letters to all the ones you like, but do the work for the one you like the most. Don’t just do the continued interest form, write a detailed letter showing your vision of what you can accomplish at the school. Mention professors you want to work with, school specific opportunities that you can thrive in and the works.

Then you wait and if you get off the WL that’s fantastic.

But during that time, research your matches and safeties. Look at their programs, the majors, clubs, talk to your fellow Class of 2025ers. And realize that an Ivy/T50whatever stamp is not going to guarantee anything. Plenty of kids go to awesome schools just because they’re lucky as heck and have things just work out for them (tutoring, prep school, legacy, dad donated a building). But you don’t need a name brand to be smart or successful.

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That’s good. Reaches are called that for a reason.

Honestly, I don’t think that’s a good term. While there are reach schools for everyone, some schools in the RD round for unhooked applicants who haven’t done something amazing are so unrealistic, they should be called “near impossibles”.

It doesn’t help that all the unis at the very top take in relatively small classes, the US is a big country (I believe more than 2.5M HS graduates a year), roughly half their class is hooked and half or more come in through ED/SCEA, so an “average excellent” kid in an over represented demographic essentially has no chance.

It doesn’t say anything about you, how smart you are, how hard you work, etc. Don’t think that college admissions is a pure meritocracy because it isn’t.


I’m sorry to hear that and here are a few words of advice. 1) Be upset. Take some time to be upset. Everyone deserves to be upset for a little while. 2) Once the pain starts to go away, rethink the options you have in your hand. Which one excites you? Which do you think you would do best at? You might have an even better college experience at these places because you’ll be a big fish in a small pond. Not a bad thing! 3) Commit to one and don’t look back! Never have regrets. Instead, be the best you can be and understand that ultimately, the college experience is what you make of it and that you will be fantastic anywhere you go.

I completely understand that it seems like it won’t work out right now but everything will. In 10 years… maybe even 5… maybe even 1 year, you will look back and laugh because you can find great opportunities at any college. The numbers, rankings, and statistics you see of colleges are all fake, so don’t worry. I know it hurts now but it won’t be like that forever.

Check out the book “Where you are is not who you’ll be” because it will help you understand some of the college mania. But please take some time to wallow! We all need that!

Again, so sorry to hear about it all but it WILL BE OKAY in the end.

Attached is one of my favorite articles to read when my own kids are feeling down about something. Don’t stress!!

Why Everything Has A Way Of Working Out In The End | by Tony Fahkry | Mission.org | Medium.

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If you got into safeties and matches then you did well. Pick one and celebrate your successes in life. Be active on campus and go for things you want to do and make a positive name for yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t. Now… Go make it happen


I agree with others who have said you did great! I also wholeheartedly agree with the suggestion to reach out to your top WL with a compelling email, yes, if it is a college you believe truly serves you best (as a whole person).

You are comparing yourself to others who annoy you in high school. I get it; so common. But if you can learn to not worry about others and just focus on your own greatness? Trust me- you will be so much happier & successful than most people. And your own fulfillment is the goal, right?


They’re called “matches” for a reason.


It did work out for you. You were admitted to several matches and your safety.


Do you feel comfortable telling us a few of the schools that you were accepted to? Are they affordable?

There are a lot of very good universities in the US (and just as many outside the US). Students often get fixated on a few famous schools. However there are very strong professors and very strong students at a very wide range of universities, and once you get to class you will discover that is true where you are. Once you graduate and get a job you will find that you are working with students from a wide range of universities and no one cares where you got your degree.

I am generally skeptical about applying to 17 reaches. One issue is that it is difficult to imagine that 17 reaches are all a good fit for you. Another issue is that to get accepted to “highly ranked university” you should be able to clearly articulate why “highly ranked university” is a good fit for you, and I cannot imagine being able to do this for 17 different schools.

One daughter graduated a few years ago with a bachelor’s degree from a university that is not quite in the top 100 in the US, but is “top 50” for her major. She is headed in September to a graduate program that is “top 5 in the world”. She is able to very clearly articulate why that specific program is the best one for her (and can do this while ignoring the ranking). I think that this helped her chances of admission. If you get to the point of applying to graduate schools in a few years, similarly you should know which schools are a fit for you and why.

Regardless, you are wiser, and it sounds like you are headed to a very good university in September.


Actually, you need to be able to convince each “highly ranked university” that you are a good fit for them from their point of view.


Prior to applying, reaching out to WLs, and accepting admission, however, it is wise to be able to articulate a number of reasons why you want that school. That way you can avoid making choices that aren’t necessarily right for you.

Otherwise agree - once you believe a school works for you, you must show them why you are a fit for their specific mission, environment, programs…

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