Staff Ed: The college process should not leave students judged

You’ve probably noticed that college is a big deal.

To many BSM students, it is the event of a lifetime. Maybe it’s because we’re competitive. Maybe it’s because we attend a college preparatory school. But turning the topic of college into a fount of criticism is not an appropriate approach.

Decisions about college are of the utmost importance, so adding social anxiety to the situation is ridiculous. Overall, we need to stop judging our peers’ college choices. While genuine interest and excitement is amiable, judgment and petty comments add unnecessary stress to an already stressful decision. The entire college application process is an opportunity to find what is best for you only; it should not be an outlet for other people’s jealousy or aspiring superiority.

When students choose to wear college apparel to school, they should not be choosing to set themselves up for a day of judgmental comments from their peers. The peanut gallery that seems to manifest itself with an artillery of criticism every time a student wears a Harvard sweatshirt or anything of the like is uncanny. Whether teasing remarks are said in jest or not, they seem to constantly hold a spiteful undertone––one that leaves the recipients feeling insecure about their college choices.

Do you feel undue stress is added to the college admissions process through peer judgement?

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Sadly, it sometimes seems that we invite this judgment by sharing our ACT scores; we are practically asking people to comment on our success. Of course, it is anyone’s individual right to share his or her test scores, grades, or class standings, but that student should be aware that he or she is inviting competition and hurt feelings.

No matter what your grades or ACT scores are, how many activities you’ve done, or how well-known the college you’re applying to is, your college decision depends on who you are as a person: what your specific academic needs are, where you want to be after college, what programs are offered for your personal interests, and, most importantly, what will make you happy.

Let’s be realistic. You should find a school that feels comfortable, suits your interests and qualifications, and makes you feel great about yourself––no matter what other students’ opinions are.

We’re all in this together––applying is stressful for everyone. So why would we judge anybody on any part of the process and add social pressure to the situation? We should be genuinely supportive of each other. Nobody should feel like they’ll be judged on decision day.