11 months ago
Admissions Advice

How can I step stressing about stats/ getting into college?

I am a sophomore in high school and I am very stressed about getting into college. I am not the top of my class, I feel like my extracurriculars are not competitive enough, and I overall feel like I will not get accepted into a good college. How can I stop being so worried?

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@AlexHopkins11 months ago [edited]

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
11 months ago

Hi! When stressing about getting into good colleges and such, it's important to remember that the admissions rate doesn't mean a school is good or bad. Additionally, a school can have both very strong and very weak programs. Try looking into colleges known to be good for the field you want to study. For example, even though the University of Washington has a 56% acceptance rate, it has a very highly-ranked environmental science program. Purdue, which has a 67% acceptance rate, is well-known for having many strong programs, such as engineering. Try not to focus on acceptance rate because that is one of the top ways to stress yourself out.

I've spent my whole high school career thus far (junior) worrying about perfect grades, great extracurriculars, hardest classes, top colleges, etc. and it's really draining. If you have fun working hard and getting great grades, cool, but try to remember that high school only happens once, and viewing it through a super stressed lens discolors the once-in-a-lifetime experience. Additionally, what college you go to ultimately will not change your life drastically (unless you make some reaaally good connections) - you will still be successful if you don't go to a T20 school. In 15 years, no one is going to ask what college you went to. Think of young adulthood as more of an experience to learn, grow, and have fun, and it might take a bit of weight off your back.

If that still doesn't help quell the stress, really stop and ask yourself why you want to get accepted to a top school. If the answer is anything that can be achieved through a different school, then you can stop freaking yourself out. if the answer is because you want to go to somewhere prestigious so you can secretly feel proud of your achievements (if this is the case, I've been there, it's normal), please try to reflect on this and remember, once again, no one is going to care about what college you went to later in life - whether it be Harvard or an in-state.

And if that still doesn't calm you down a bit, remember that you are only a sophomore and if you show continuous improvement in your junior and senior years, colleges will see that and take it into consideration. But seriously, choose an extracurricular to work on, choose some hard classes that you're interested in, and don't worry too much about having a little bit of everything or the most difficult schedule ever. As long as you commit to school and your EC(s) of choice, your transcript will look plenty good enough to get into, as you phrased it, a "good college." Which is subjective, so remember that too.

Hope this helped at least a bit!!!

11 months ago[edited]


i'm also a sophomore with the same issue. I feel like i cant go one day without being worried about my future. I always remind myself that worrying isn't healthy and will only hurt not help me. I find myself constantly questioning if i will get into a good college and something that helps me is organizing. Making a list of what colleges i'm interested in and their requirements really eases the stress of being confused. I find laying it all in one place eases my anxiety so i would try that.

I also have realized that most colleges don't want a "perfect" student. They want someone who can be a part of today's society, that can help with world issues and be someone who you can count on. They want students who are well rounded and an effective part of society. Most of the time, people think that studying all day means you will get into a top college but in reality that just creates students who don't have soft skills like communications because they spend so much time being alone.

Also, always remember that if you work hard, everything works out in the end. Its cliche but it is very true!

have a great day!

11 months ago[edited]

Before I answer your question, I want to tell you that it's ok to be worried about your future, but it there is a very fine line between being worried and being so worried that you can't function in your daily life. Because if you keep worrying yourself sick, you will hate your highschool and college years, and whatever you do, don't let this happen, because will affect your future in so many ways. Take a step back and realize that life should not be all about getting into the top colleges, having the perfect GPA and class rank and SAT/ACT score. Believe me, I used to think like this too and it really screwed things up.

I know this is a bit pessimistic, but lets face it: there is literally always going to be someone with something slightly better than you, but you can't let that deter you from what you want or how you view yourself.

Here's where I answer your question:

First, I suggest making a list or some type of representation of all of your stats so that you really see where you stand. Your GPA, Class Rank, extracurriculars, colleges you might want to go to, SAT/ACT(if you have that). Look at this list and write down what you want this list to look like. Your desired(within your abilities)GPA, class rank, future extracurriculars, and SAT/ACT score. Compare them and see how close/far you are from where you want to be and use this list to check if you're on track for where you want to be. If you realize that you lack in something, focus on that.

Hope this helps!

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Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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