As college admissions grow increasingly selective, more and more high school students face more than just rejection letters from their dream schools. In fact, despite four years of hard work and attention to detail on handfuls of college applications, many students are lucky to receive an acceptance letter at all.
High school senior Tatiana from Arlington, Va., struggled with this reality. After completing eight applications -- and writing nearly 24 essays -- she found herself guaranteed a spot at only one university, wait-listed at three, and rejected by four. She joined HuffPost Live’s host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani today to discuss the hard work that went in to her past four years, the disappointment she felt as the letters rolled in, and how she is maintaining a positive attitude about her future.
“In the end, it’s honestly a crapshoot,” said Tatiana. “There are so many exceptional students in the country right now, so many people with 2400s, 2380s, exceptional community service, etc., that it’s honestly not a shoe-in for anybody.”
While she understands that each decision ultimately comes down to the minute details, it was difficult for Tatiana to wrap her mind around the fact that after making good grades, receiving tutoring to get the best SAT score possible, playing varsity sports and participating in community service that she would end up with only one college acceptance.
“I was actually extremely disappointed," she said. "I basically did everything that they told me to do, and of course there’s no guarantee, but when you put so much time and effort into it and people kind of tell you that you’re on the right track and you’re going to get your goals, when you come up with basically nothing, which for me was only one acceptance, it’s a huge disappointment.”
However, she’s taking her rejections in stride and looking forward to experiencing the hidden benefits of not attending an Ivy league school.
"I’m going to be able to take advantage of certain opportunities at my school and hopefully be one of the more successful people within my school,” she said. “If I’m in a more relaxed environment … then I can focus on doing what I want instead of trying to keep up with everyone else and constantly comparing myself to others.”
To hear more about Tatiana’s college admissions experience, watch the full HuffPost Live clip in the video above.