By Rachel Bennett for HerCampus
As you’re starting the college application process (if you haven’t already, you overachievers), most people will be telling you one thing: what college you should go to.
Like Rory Gilmore of Gilmore Girls, you may have your heart set on Harvard, but your grandparents are pressuring you to go to Yale. Okay, we all can’t be Rory and have to decide between Harvard and Yale, but you get the point.
Once you start filling out those applications, everyone will tell you where you should spend the best four years of your life. But what aren’t these people telling you?
Luckily for you, Her Campus is telling you the 10 things no one told you about applying to college, so you’ll be even more prepared to make your decision by the time you’ve received all of those acceptance letters.
10. The application process can put a strain on friendships and relationships.
Yes, even though you and your best friends compare yourselves to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, applying to college can hurt even the best sisterhoods. Some of you may stress out about the process while others don’t, one of you may get into your dream school and another doesn’t, and you may be able to pay for college even though your BFF can’t. A number of situations like these can affect a friendship, and honestly, some friendships end when high school does. But as Brandeis University Campus Correspondent Asya Bashina says, “The ones that do stick around will be your close friends.” As you’re applying to colleges, make sure you and your friends agree to be supportive of each other, no matter what happens. And if you do get into an argument over schools, talk to each other about it. Applying to college is a sensitive subject, and some people may not realize when they’ve hit a nerve. “I had one friend who, when I told her I was applying to Yale just to see if I would get in, told me I was not Yale material, just Cornell material, and I actually cried,” says HC Contributing Writer and Northwestern freshman Katherine Mirani. “We talked about it after everything was over and both realized how messed up the whole thing was. She had no idea that she was saying something offensive, and I should have seen the comment for the college-crazed mishap it was and let it go.”If you’re in a relationship, talk to your boyfriend about what colleges you’re applying to. What will happen to your relationship if you get into a school that he doesn’t, or vice versa? Communication is key during the college admissions process. If you and those close to you can get through the college application process, as well as the actual transition to college, then you can pretty much survive anything.
9. Labels stop mattering after high school.
While who’s popular, who’s a braniac, and so on may dominate most of your thoughts in high school, you should know these labels stop mattering after graduation. Why is it important to know this as you’re applying to college? Because you shouldn’t feel like you have to compete with your classmates to get into the best schools. During my senior year, I was accepted and almost went to a great school that not many people had heard of. I ended up going to a better-known school, and even though I have grown to love it, I think the lesser-known school would’ve been the best fit for me. If you apply to schools that not many people have heard of or ones that are labelled as “easy” to get into, be proud of that. Going to college is a great achievement no matter what school it is. Just because others may not see what’s so great about a school doesn’t mean it isn’t the best place for you.
8. Your dream school may change.
Just like Rory, who had dreamed of going to Harvard only to discover she loved Yale more, your dream school may change as you’re going through the application process. While some of you may accept this decision with open arms, others of you may be hesitant about this sudden change of heart. How can you change your mind when you have been set on one school for your entire life?! Don’t worry – it’s going to be okay. This happens, and if you really fall in love with another school, don’t question yourself or be afraid to change your mind. HC Contributing Writer and USC senior Rebecca Buddingh had planned on going to Boston University since her freshman year of high school, but once she received an acceptance letter, she realized she didn’t want to leave her home state of California. “I decided that my new ‘dream school’ was USC, and the day I got in was one of the best days of my life!” Rebecca says. “I’ve been at USC for three years now, and I’m incredibly happy that I changed my mind my second semester of senior year!” As Rebecca found out, it’s never too late to change your mind about what school is best for you.