Personal story: I REALLY wanted to go to Boston College and didnt get in, my number 2 school was St. John's University, because I applied early I was given a decision early. However, I was denied at first because the first time I took the SAT, I sucked. When I took the SAT again, I reached out to admissions and asked if I could send updated scores, they said yes, I did and i got in! And it was the best time of my life. Sometimes even when its no, its not.
Also, it's best practice to apply to several schools. Apply mostly to those that you believe you'll be accepted to, a few that you know you may not be accepted to but would love to go to, and a few that you definitely know you'll be accepted to. That way, if anything unforeseen happens along the application process, you have options to choose from!
Once you get an acceptance package, you get a lot more information, including costs and financial aid. For me, once I was able to compare all of the costs and additional information from the schools I got into, my priorities shifted, and even though I was accepted to what I thought was my dream school, I decided that what I valued in that school didn't matter as much as I thought it did.
So, if you don't get accepted into your top school, you could try and look at it as a positive, and try to look at your options with a new lens!
Best of luck!
College experiences are all a great time to learn and grow, sometimes going to a college you didn't expect to attend, or one that wasn't your first choice, ends up being better than you could have expected. Whichever way it works out, you will make new friends, get a good learning experience and grow.
As an alternative, as others have said...take a semester or two at a different college to start. You can transfer those credits and re-apply to the college of your choice if you absolutely know you must go there. Be careful to make sure that any class you take will transfer and work as credits at the college you want to move to. Getting into a college that did not work out the first time is sometimes easier once you've gotten some college credits under your belt and show that you can keep a good A average GPA while taking college level courses at a different university.
My main piece of advice is that it is not so much about the college you go to, but what you make of it! Go out and meet new people! Join a club! Take advantage of the opportunities presented! I met my best friend because she lived on my floor freshman year and she was the only person around to grab breakfast. I didn't go to (what I thought was) my dream school and it all worked out. Everything happens for a reason and sometimes the best thing to do is trust the process!