Is getting into college worth the hype?
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Is getting into college worth the hype?

Why are high school students becoming increasingly stressed about college?

Is getting into college worth the hype?

I’m a high school student — and like other high school students across America, I’ve become obsessed with the idea of getting into college. I’m a slave to the college board, I spend my extra time studying for the SAT, and every move I’ve made for the past several years has been motivated by getting myself into my top choice college. I’ve memorized acceptance rates, toured campuses, and by my sophomore year, I already knew which colleges I would apply to. And I’m not an outlier in my community — every kid I know has their goals in mind. But is this a good thing? Should we be teaching kids to obsess over college so young?

Though I think it’s good that most high school students are trained to get accepted into colleges, I think this eliminates a certain freedom of choice that teenagers deserve. I’ve been going to a prep school since the first grade, and to be honest, I don’t know anything different. Frankly, if I hadn’t been brought up to think that getting into college was the be-all end-all of my life, I’m not sure I would even consider attending college, and certainly not a top-tier school. This mindset that society has created for kids my age seems like it’s super progressive, but it really only benefits really “smart kids.” Otherwise, it makes teenagers who can’t get into top-tier colleges — or teenagers who don’t want to — feel inadequate.

From their freshman year of high school, kids are pressured into taking rigorous honors and AP courses, and every piece of advice they are given for the next four years is in order to “get them into college.” Parents and counselors push high school students to their breaking point - encouraging them to sign up for a myriad of extra curricular activities and classes, all to aid them in having a glowing application. Though I admit it’s admirable that education boards across the country are helping more children get into their top choice schools, I think it puts an unnecessary amount of pressure on students. Students (specifically in America) should have more freedom of choice in terms of the things they want to do in high school, because not every student had the desire to push themselves academically. The pressure around getting into college has created a generation of anxiety-ridden and stressed teens (such as myself) who are constantly worrying about what more they can add to their resumes and what will get them into a good school. Surely getting into college is a good thing, but in the past few generations college has been the only thing that many high schoolers have been thinking of, and it’s clearly had a huge impact on the mental health of teens throughout the country. The society that has been created by this college craze is trying to put every high school student in a box — or rather, in an application — that many of them can’t fit into. There’s nothing wrong with encouraging students to set goals for themselves and to become successful, but if we continue to keep pressuring students to overwork themselves in high-school, we will lose some degree of individuality in young adults.

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