The New York Times: The Stress of College Applications

In Tara Parker-Pope's article in the health column, "College's High Cost, Before You Even Apply" and "The Burden of the College Admissions Process," talks about the stress of juniors and seniors in high schools dealing with stress in order to be accepted into one of their top picks colleges.  She even asked three students in difference locations to discuss how they feel about applying to a college and how important it is to them to build up their application.

In one of the articles, Phoebe Lett, a student from a boarding school in New Jersey, said something very valuable and meaningful that caught my attention. In response to the question by Parker-Pope, Lett says,

"As I rack up as many extracurriculars, community service hours and “beneficial relationships” (college-prep speak for impressive recommendations), I can’t help but think that it’s not good enough. Better grades, higher scores, more varsity letters, more leads in the play: have I been bulking up an application that perhaps doesn’t reflect who I am, but instead just represents what a college wants from me? That is my true fear."

The reason they this stood out because trying to earn community hours and participating in school is important to students as they are on the path to college. Some students do enough in order to get accepted whereas others do not really care. This student is wanting to go attend college, but the competitive schools and their qualifications are made to either get her through or get rejected. I remember when I applied to a university in St. Louis. They could not wait to get my ACT scores back; therefore they closed my account. On the other hand, I had enough qualifications and requirements to get accepted into the University of Memphis. I don't think that the university is a challenging school to get accepted. The question I may inquiry is what type of students they don't accept.

My first year at college was stressful as I hurried to meet deadlines and eagerly make excellent grades to get more money. The medicine specialist Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg mentions that  "parents can help children develop resiliency for coping with life’s ups and downs. The key, he says, is to teach them that their parents’ high expectations of them aren’t tied to grades or accomplishments. “It means teaching them, ‘I know who you are deep inside, and I always expect to see that compassion and generosity in you,’ ” says Dr. Ginsburg." To add my commentary, I will say that there are parents that set the bar of expectations for their child too high. Too high to where they will fail a course and will hide it from his or her parents because they will know the consequences for failing the course. Since they hide the fact that they failed, they will be afraid to tell their parents in order to please them and not feel like a horrible child and unloved.

Getting accepted into college was anxious for me. I did all my high school work, made good grades, and kept a good enough GPA to show the people at the university that I wanted to be there and that they should accept me for being me and not out of any stereotypes. They should not be stressed out because of the application process or they don't have enough to complete the application, but they should relax. The last thing a student wants to do is to get sick or depressed if they are not accepted. When I got accepted and done with all the paperwork, I felt the burden go away. Now that I am in college, the mission is to pass all courses with excellence and get involved and just have fun. When it is all done there will be a career at the end of graduations waiting to be filled by me.