Out Of Your Ivy League
April 28, 2017
With College Decision Day on Monday, the topic of college has been a prominent subject at BSM and all around the country. Seniors plan and finalize the next four or more years of their lives, and this endeavor can be both exciting and mentally draining. Due to student loans, the extensive application process, and the time commitment of college, the pressure to attend a “good” school has been steadily increasing.
Many students, especially at a college preparatory school such as BSM, spend their high school years working to be able to attend prestigious and well-known schools; this ideology can result in the stigmatization of students who decide not to attend an Ivy League or distinguished university. “I think a lot of students tend to put a lot of pressure on themselves… what we don’t like to see is students [who feel that] the right fit… for them is not good enough,” college counselor Amanda Anderson said.
The aggressive environment of the college application process can convince students that respected, competitive universities provide the best possible education, while, in reality, each student has their own individual educational needs: “Education itself is…in my mind…the most important thing in a person’s life, but an education can mean so many things…it could mean going to Harvard… but it also could mean taking a gap year and working at a nonprofit organization,” senior Macy Rooney said.
Several ambitious students find esteemed colleges appealing, but the tremendous price of these schools can deter countless possible graduates. Expensive student loans can follow college students for the rest of their lives, and for many, the cost isn’t worth the prestige. This is one of the reasons why BSM hosts Freshman Friday several times a year; they want students to know early on what options they have available to them. “There are a lot of great choices, [and freshman] need to know from the start that grades matter, [especially when it comes to future] scholarships,” Anderson said.
It’s important for students to understand that everyone’s path is different. Combined with all of the factors that go into picking a college, students must look at what they value despite societal pressures. “There’s no shame in going to a college according to your ability. I care more about how you are as a person than whether or not you are going to Harvard or NDSU,” junior Spencer Becker said.