When it Comes to College Applications, Students Get to Give the Final Rose
What does the ultimate guilty-pleasure reality television show The Bachelor and the college admissions process have in common? It may feel like students are competing for their own "rose" from their top-choice schools, but, while there may not be romantic beachside getaways or dramatic tell-alls, a student’s quest to find their best-fit college is pretty similar to The Bachelor’s mission to find a future partner.
Take away the fancy trips and the drama and this addictive reality television show can actually teach students a lot about navigating the college application process. Both journeys require some serious soul-searching, research, and the ability to keep an open-mind and explore multiple opportunities.
Explore Multiple Options
Instead of setting your sights on one college, keep your options open and take the time to explore multiple different kinds of schools. In the most recent season of The Bachelor, Colton takes the time to interview 30 different women before narrowing down his list based on who he connects with. Similarly, students should cast a wide net of potential college interests and then narrow down their prospects as they learn more about each school.
Take a Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Your best-fit college may not be the local university or the institution everyone in your family has gone to. In order to discover which schools are truly the best fit for your academic and personal needs, challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and look into new opportunities. During The Bachelor, contestants are constantly exploring new hobbies, cultures, and locales and you shouldn’t be afraid to follow in their adventurous footsteps when it comes time to compile your college list.
Reveal Something New About Yourself
As all Bachelor fans know, revealing an internal challenge or previously unknown part of your personality is a sure-fire way to secure a coveted rose. Just like Colton, colleges want to learn more about who an applicant is outside of their test scores, extracurricular activities, and GPA. Consider using your essay as an opportunity to reveal something about yourself that can’t be found elsewhere on your application.
Lead with Your Passions
Every season's bachelor looks to bond with contestants over a shared passion, which is why so many dates involve hobbies such as working out, camping, and singing. When it comes to building your list, it’s important to choose a college with learning opportunities that relate to your own interests and passions. Students need to prioritize this throughout their college search and look for relevant courses, majors, programs, activities and more that really "click" with them and that they'd be excited to pursue once on campus.
Say “No” with Grace
Just like there can only be one woman for The Bachelor, there can only be one college you choose to enroll in. Many students will need to decline admission offers from other schools, and it’s important to do this politely. Take Colton’s lead and thank the admissions office for their time to leave things on a positive note.
Trust Your Gut
Whether it’s choosing a school or a romantic partner, major life decisions are never easy to make. After receiving all of your college acceptances, take the time to consider the pros and cons of every opportunity before awarding your final "rose." At the end of the day, it is important to pick a school that you are excited about. Similarly, the bachelor always struggles to make his final decision, but the most successful bachelors follow their heart and trust their instincts, which students should do as well.
Unlike The Bachelor, most college applicants will not walk away from the process with newfound fame, but students will gain a deeper sense of who they are and what matters most. If you are struggling to compile your own college list, our team of expert counselors can help play matchmaker and identify your best-fit schools.