Shifting The Conversation About College
Start writing a post
Student Life

Shifting The Conversation About College

College admissions are rigged--what else is new?

45
Shifting The Conversation About College
https://unsplash.com/photos/YZsvNs2GCPU

From age 9, I have been enrolled in private schools. At these two institutions, college was an ever-present conversation. A lot of our parents, teachers, and administrators expected nothing less than admission to "highly selective" and "prestigious" universities; anything other than "prestigious" generated both shame and gossip. My brother's classmate, for instance, were admitted to Southern Utah University (which he later attended). His admissions decision was met with extreme criticism from all grades--whispers of his stupidity and statements of "how embarrassing" it was for him to matriculate to a school like that were widely disseminated around the high school, middle school, and (in some extreme cases) lower school.

Kids in our generation are under immense pressure. This pressure is facilitated by decreasing admissions rates and increasing standards for admission. Most of my peers in high school ran clubs, created businesses, and obtained internships. The majority of my high school received 3-4 hours of sleep every night, and in general, an overwhelming amount of my peers suffered from anxiety or depression.

Where does this pressure stem from? Mostly, it can be traced back to the issue of college, parental expectations, and societal values.

When I was a junior in high school, I remember meeting with my college counselor and parents. He asked me my top schools, and after hearing my answers, he let out a sigh of relief. "Finally, a student who is realistic."

Most parents, I later learned from my counselor, groom their children to aim for the Ivy Leagues and other selective liberal arts colleges. This mindset supports an attitude that prioritizes clout over best fit which is inherently problematic for students.

The Ivies are notoriously competitive. These low acceptance rates sometimes push students (and parents alike) to seek desperate (and often illegal) measures. For a particular group of rich, lifer students at my high school, things like paying older students to take online college courses, cheating on the SATs and ACTs, and participating in other malpractices were unspoken norms. This blatant issue created a divide between us--the normal, middle-class students--and them--the elite with massive amounts of money. As college decisions rolled out last spring, many of my peers were angry about certain acceptances since we knew that these admission decisions were based on money, cheating, and legacy--not merit. The growing pressure to attend selective schools creates a temptation amongst America's wealthiest to follow these actions, and it ultimately deters students from matriculating to the schools that best fit their academic abilities.

Moreover, college isn't necessarily everyone's path. Although society advocates for college degrees, some students may choose technical trades or speciality fields that do not require a college education. The overarching conversation about higher education should shift to this message instead: valuing student's happiness and personal interests is more important than attending a "brand name" school. People will be more successful when they pursue fields that make them happy and that appeal to their passions. Regardless of college ranking or field of study, parents should motivate their kids to find schools that fit them best instead of plucking universities off of ranking lists.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Alone At The Met

I survive a day alone in NYC.

3346
Wikimedia Commons

It was six in the evening. I was sitting in the courtyard of a Renaissance-era Italian villa, glancing around at the statues, most notably one of a boy removing a thorn from his foot. Despite the supposedly relaxing setting, I was incredibly anxious. My phone was at less than 5 percent battery, and once it died I would be completely disconnected from my family and peers, alone in one of the largest art museums in the country.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

College 101: How To Ease The Back To School Blues

Getting back into the school groove when you just can't seem to let go of summer.

7402
Beyond The States

With fall classes just beginning, many of us find ourselves struck with summer withdrawals. Especially for those who refrained from taking courses over the summer, it can be quite difficult to get back in the swing of things. Fortunately, there are various ways to help make the transition back to college as smooth as possible.

Keep Reading... Show less
Dating Apps

We Met At A Bar

Salvage what you can; if you can't, it's alright to walk away.

5539
We Met At A Bar
Anne Waldon

We met at a bar.

Keep Reading... Show less
Sports

The Mets And Me

They may be the worst sometimes, but this baseball team has given me more than I could ask for.

4592
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

On September 3rd, 2001, a sea of children littered my home's navy-carpeted den to watch baseball during my dad's 40th birthday extravaganza. A baseball game flickered on the TV, and a red and blue bubble of a scoreboard sat in the bottom right corner of the screen. The New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies were in a wild game at Veterans' Stadium. As I, a five-year-old boy with a jumble of curly blonde hair, sat in the back of the kid clump, I wondered which team I should root for. After a long debate with myself, I decided that I should root for the team that's winning (duh). But, as the ninth inning rolled around with the Phils maintaining a 7-5 lead, some magic occurred. The Mets put up five runs in one frame, stunning the Phillie fans in the room and winning the game 10-7.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Which BTS Member You Are Based On Your Star Sign

If you love BTS, I'm sure you relate to one or many of them in several ways. This star test will help you learn more about which member you are most connected to.

3474
Which BTS Member You Are Based On Your Star Sign

Astrological signs tell a lot about a person. Do you ever wonder what your BTS bias star sign is? Is it the same as yours, or or are you more like one of the other amazing members? Take a look and find out what yours (and the members of Bangtan) says about you.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments