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  • Akhil Daswani

Life Advice: Getting Into Your Dream College Isn't Everything

This past week was the penultimate result for millions of students around the world. Did they finally get into their coveted dream school?

For some the answer is yes, and we celebrate those Achievers. Everyone posts about them- friends, family, teachers, principals. They become the talk of the town.

But what about the ones that put in all the hard work and fell just short?

Here’s my advice to them:

1. Life isn’t binary, not going to your absolute dream school might seem devastating right now but eventually over many years this moment will NOT matter in shaping who you become.

2. The job market gives more emphasis to the skills you develop, the hard work you demonstrate, your eq, than just the name of your institution.

3. In spite of having done this for over 13 years, I can tell you that college admissions is far more random than anyone would like to admit- many of those variable lie far out of your control- the city and country you apply from, whether you have legacy at a college, how many applications a college gets in a particular year.

4. The focus of college has got to be about finding the right fit, at OnCourse Vantage Pvt. Ltd. We spend far more time thinking about where a student will fit in rather than be guided by rankings and brand names. Why? If you fit in you’re happier, if you’re happier you’re more likely to do well academically and more likely to grow as a person- all factors that are strong indicators of future success.

5. Over the past decade I’ve found that kids who went on partial or full financial aid went on to actually have amazingly successful careers. Why? Even though they didn’t have necessarily brand name (Need blind colleges aside) colleges to carry them they were resilient and worked their butt off from day one. High GPA’s, strong community involvement, members or leaders of clubs on campus, networking with anyone and everyone- they clawed their way to success.

We had an incredible cohort this year- Future Athletes, Musicians, Artists, Engineers, Scientists, Bankers, Consultants, Policy Makers. And we’re proud of each and every one of them. 

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