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How do I get into a good college?

How do I get into a good college?

Yikes! It's time to start putting together those applications. No pressure or anything.. they just have a fair chance of determining the course of the rest of your life. Yeah I know, you're not old enough to vote yet but you're expected to make such a huge decision? Anyone else about to have a panic attack?

Okay, okay, calm down. The truth? It's not that much of a big deal. If you don't get into your top school (or any school), the world still spins. You still have every chance to be successful and wealthy (more on that some other time)! Still, college gives you an experience boost in two important skills - learning and communication. So, of course you want to shoot for the stars. But I'll be here to catch you, just in case you fall :)

Here's what you need for best college application experience and chance of acceptance:

Know what they are looking for

Good grades and test scores are just a part of the picture. Grades predict your ability to follow through and manage a (presumably) heavy academic workload. What they don't predict is how 'intelligent' you are. They don't even predict what kind of a person you are, or what you can contribute to society. Colleges want emotionally mature students who have the drive to achieve great things. What is it that makes you stand out? How can you explore your passions further?

Know what you are looking for

Take a good hard think about what you want to get out of college, besides a degree. To experience different cultures? To schmooze with the well-connected? To pick the minds of top-notch researchers?