Nothing is perfect.
Sometimes it's easy to forget how great we are as individuals (yes, you too). Personally, I often find myself smacking my head against a wall graffitied with my imperfections. Getting a "C" on an essay which everyone everyone else received an "A". People my age and younger excelling in the field of work which I am still trying to walk on. I become discouraged.
Sometimes it's too easy to define yourself by your imperfections. Imperfections are sharp. They are chiseled from our granite, as if they are stealing from our statue. They're easy to find. Looking around, everyone else seems different. I WANT TO STAND OUT. But not like this. I don't want the world to see me like this, in this light. I can do better. I can become better. Just lemme take a deep breathe. Then I crumble.
The college admissions process has become an extremely stressful entity this past decade or so. More people are going to college (absolutely brilliant!); however, this makes college far more competitive. Scholarships are more competitive. Admissions are more competitive. Even getting registered for classes is competitive. Everything about college has become competitive and it's driving a lot of people over the edge. Teenagers and young adults are working to make a name for themselves and a lasting impressions, yet some are rendered with a rejection; flinging themselves into a pile labeled "not good enough".
It is offensive to say, "I am am not good enough". In my humble opinion, I do not think that there is any earthly entity that is perfect. I am not perfect. You are not perfect. Harvard is not perfect. Meryl Streep is not perfect (but she comes pretty close). It is unfair to claim that other things are perfect and that you are not since you do not amount to them. Going to Duke may not be the best thing for you not because you are not "Duke-material" but rather because Duke is not you-material.
Imperfections are beautiful. Those sharp, chiseled edges each telling their own unique and beautiful stories; each more than worthy of a song. They are glamorous, the way that light scatters off them, revealing a different perspective at various angles. Oh! They are amazing. And looking around, it seems that now one else has them the same. I'd be jealous if I were them. Hey, they may have their virtue, but you sure as hell have yours.
So now what is there to do? Make the best out of the situation? Make the situation your own. Instead of letting college make something out of you, now you have the opportunity to make some out of college. Get out there! Make your own, finely tailored, and incredible experiences. Learn from the success of others, but don't strive to mimic them. Put your own flair on life. Show the world your style. Learn as much as you can and climb as high as you desire. Let your own integrity set the tone rather than the integrity of the school you went to. You have the opportunity to make a name for yourself; I bet that it's beautiful.