The Specious Student

The college admissions process of present day American society is received differently by a broad array of individuals.

As a high school student, I experience the oppressive pressures associated with the process on a daily basis. I overhear harmless discussion as well as endless tirades on the matter floating through the hallways of my school as I scurry to class. One recurring and unsettling theme I have witnessed is that students feel a burden to invest substantial time and effort into pursuing activities and carrying out actions that will supposedly make them appealing to admissions officers. When a student is asked why he is chasing after a leadership position in a school club, a typical response might be that officer positions show involvement in one’s school and that colleges like to see such involvement. The underlying dilemma is that students are increasingly undertaking endeavors that fail to reflect genuine interest.

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Rather, they direct pursuits towards what they believe will impress colleges and culminate in acceptance into a prestigious institution. Progressively meager acceptance rates instill an idea into today’s students that top tier universities seek multifaceted individuals devoid of weaknesses. For example, one student at my school asserted that one must serve as President of multiple clubs to even be considered by notable institutions. Another student expressed frantically that a B on her transcript would equate to an automatic rejection by the Ivy League school she aspires to attend. This mentality that arises from the increasingly competitive college admissions process sculpts superficial students who build their lives around a college application. This is the inherent flaw of the college admissions process: a single application by no means can honorably portray a person.

Students are people, not an amalgamation of statistics and words on paper.