It’s May again, and all colleges have notified the admissions results for this coming fall. The intense moments of waiting for emails and staring into the mailbox are finally over, and now is the time for decisions. Finally, for the first time in a few years, students are free from SATs and challenging AP classes — all there is left is to enjoy the summer.
Entering college is a whole new phase of life filled with excitement; however, it seems like not all students and parents understand the actual purpose of getting a college education. Although people do agree that college is a place for learning and experiencing new things, many consider going to a top-notch college as a requisite for individual success. Acceptance to a prestigious college is treated as some sort of medal one obtains, or a magical cure for boosting up one’s self-esteem.
“We have a facebook group for graduating seniors to post their college admission results,” said Chan, a senior, who wished only to be referred to by their last name. “I think it’s good for people who want to share their good news with others, but at the same time, it would be inconsiderate for those who didn’t achieve what they want and wish not to share their results.”
There is nothing wrong in wanting to go to a good college; however, the questions is, is getting accepted to a prestigious college everything? To be honest, if I were asked that question in the past, I would have answered “yes.”
I knew — in my head — that colleges aren’t everything and that it will not change who I am. However, that idea did not appeal to me. Although my parents had told me that grades in high school do not affect my whole life, and that college is not the purpose of life, I was obsessed with the idea — a false idea — that I must get into a good school. It was I who pushed myself to do better, constantly comparing myself with others
Like many other students in my school, I tried to shape myself so I could be more appealing to college admissions officers. I joined clubs and attended events simply to add more on my college apps. Although I had interest and passion for the activities that I engaged in, I was constantly asking myself,, “is this good enough to impress colleges? Why can’t I do better like other peers?”
Because I set my eyes entirely on getting into a good school, I ended up stressing myself more and more, and I had to give up some of my extracurricular activities. At one point, I thought: why am I doing all this?
These days, the ultimate goal of many high school students is to get into a good college. I was one of them too, until I truly realized that colleges aren’t everything. Yes, going to college is a great idea, but it should not stop you from enjoying the present and being who you truly want to be.
Whether you get into the college you wanted to or not, college admissions results should not be the source of low, or even high, self-esteem. No matter what, your value will not change.
The name of your school does not define who you are.