Some Advice from the Successful

High school is crazy. Trying to get into college is even crazier. And yet, thousands of amazing individuals manage to get into the nation’s top schools each year.

When this website first started, dozens of high-achieving students were interviewed. Here are some highlights of their best advice to students looking for acceptance to any college:

“Be yourself on your application – do not write about what you think the admissions office wants to hear. Write about what you are passionate about, and try to find something that will help you stand out from the tens of thousands of other applicants.”

“As I write this sentence, I have no idea whether I’ve been denied/deferred/accepted, but what’s more important, I think, is not measuring self-worth by a single admissions decision. We all have so many years ahead of us, and wherever we go, it’s our choice to take advantage of whatever’s in store… Cliche, I know, but there’s a reason why people keep repeating it.”

“Looking through this it’s going to seem like you roll the dice and hopefully you get in. But I really do think if you have decent (not extraordinary) stats and extracurriculars you can get in. I put a ton of work into my essays, and I’ve been working hard all of high school. The application is just a way to show how hard you’ve worked and what you’re capable of.”

“Admission to top universities like Stanford is such a crap shoot for anyone, so don’t go into it thinking you’re a shoe-in or a lost cause. Put your best foot forward and show them why they WANT YOU, not just why you want to go there.”

“During high school I never really focused on ‘doing things to get into college;’ simply do things you love, and do it well, so you will have fun and success will naturally lead to college. My leaving comment to the other high schoolers is to follow your dreams, and don’t let anybody tell you ‘no.’ You really do miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”