Do not hope.
This advice could sound absurd. But, it helps.
There are tons of books in bookstores and advice from college counselors, websites, and people with experiences about “how to get into (your epitome college).”
The ultimate truth is, no one knows. Of course, the admissions will look into your essays, grades, recommendations, and resume. But, luck also plays a crucial role and you do not know what kind of tastes your application reviewers will hold on the tip of their tongues. In the end, your admission is unpredictable.
So, I recommend anyone who cares about colleges to work. Work as if your admission is not guaranteed to any college.
Be hopeless. Be desperate. That is the only way to survive in the bloody competitive world of college admissions.