“It made me hate my best friend.” That’s how a high school grad recently described the college admissions process to us. Made her hate her best friend? Not because she spilled a secret or bought the same jeans – but over college? Really?
This grad, who had a comparable SAT score to that of her friend, applied to four of the same colleges. But when last April rolled around, she found an email inbox of rejections – while her BFF had gotten acceptances. “It was frustrating. It was disappointing. How did she get in and I didn’t? It hurt,” she said.
This isn’t an uncommon situation. But remember that admissions is a holistic process: it’s not just about your test scores; your grades, curriculum, essays, activities, recommendation letters, and sometimes an interview all become part of the package. So, just because you and your friend have the same SAT score, doesn’t mean that you’ll be admitted to or rejected from the same colleges.
Does this mean that, to maintain your friendships, you should apply to different colleges? That’s a pretty unlikely scenario. But, if you’re a senior, what you can do is prepare yourself for a roller coaster ride of emotions over the next eight months. Some of your friends will be admitted to colleges that you aren’t admitted to, and you will be admitted to colleges that your friends are rejected from.
What you need to do is put it all in perspective. Value the friends that you have. Celebrate successes and support setbacks together. It’s an important life lesson.
As for our recent high school grad who hated her best friend? They’re BFFs once again.