2015-02-28 / The Bullhorn

College acceptance does not define student

The college application/acceptance process — this chain of events is the one universally accepted form of success for students nationwide.

Colleges of all faiths, shapes and sizes fight over the best and brightest students each class has to offer. However, this process is harmful to students.

Students are indoctrinated to believe that all success hinges on this lone event. The education system today has duped students into believing that only the top tier colleges offer true success; this lie has students everywhere believing that success is narrow in definition. This detrimental custom has done nothing but further harm the already fragile psyche of adolescents.

Students today are misinformed. Even in the age of instant information, students are left in the dark about what their future education will entail, and this problem must be corrected. Instead of students hinging their success on the whims of one college’s admissions office, we should give students a chance to build a portfolio with many potential futures. The college admission process must change.

This one change of events has the power to make or break students regardless of IQ, money and social standing. Starting at the early age of 15, students are bombarded with a constant stream of letters and pamphlets from colleges all across the nation; these leaflets all promise the same thing: “You will succeed if you attend my college.”

That right there is the issue affecting all potentially collegebound teens in America. Students are expected to already know exactly what they want out of life at an age where love is still a mystery, where drive and ambition have yet to develop, and where the future still seems so distant. Students spend nearly the entirety of their high school careers looking solely on what a degree will offer them nearly a decade after high school began; and yet we continue to allow this harmful system to berate our children.

Students have been duped into believing that only top tier colleges will facilitate success for them, and that is simply not true. Students spend so much time simply trying to reach for this exclusive college that they miss out on the beautiful intricacies of high school. A first kiss, prom, homecoming, making friends, and more are all foreign concepts to students because we have attributed success to only the top five percent of all students. This system must change in order to provide a reality check for students.

Success isn’t fleeting, we have the better part of life to craft an identity that is rich in success and what we love. Success and life are so much more than the words in a book, or the data from an experiment. Students need to learn from experience and enjoy high school. One deferral or denial to a prestigious college should not make or break him or her. There is no one definition of success and that is one fact that must not be overlooked any further in the college application process. The dreams, confidence, and fate of our students depend on it.

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