Breaking down the college admissions stress



College acceptances/decisions is the infamous teen stressor that haunts kids minds in the month of March. Now that were here, what do we do?

 For those raised in the American school system, the word ‘college’ has been associated with  pressure and stress.

   Since elementary school, the standard has been to strive for “perfection,” to get into a “good” college and “ensure” a stable future. 

   Is this, however, the correct way or the healthy way for a student? 

   As a senior, I have carried this same association between college, perfection, and fear has 

through school. Such fright caused added pressure and anxiety. Everything involving the word “college” and the whole decision process added pressure and anxiety.  

   Why should there be such difficulty selecting a college?  For as long as I can remember, I’ve been told I would know when I found my “perfect” school — I’d get a gut feeling. And then, I would just know I magically belonged there. 

   However, the pressure of perfection simply makes it more difficult. If college really has to be so perfect, what would happen if you make the wrong decision?

   If college is, truly, the pathway to the future— the thing we’ve worked our whole 

school careers for, then what happens when we make the wrong decision? Do you ruin your whole life in doing so? Well, luckily, this is where my advice comes in. Now, as a senior with no college decision (yet) and no decided major, I am certainly the last person to give advice on this subject. 

   Many Eastern students share this belief. “Personally, the stress of a college decision is about the struggle between telling myself that it’s just another school and the pressure I put on myself about my goals for the future — and how college will supposedly impact that,” says Valora Wong, ‘22. “The thought of college can be stressful because there are so many places to choose from. It’s hard to pick just one because you don’t know the right answer,” shares Olivia Condell ‘23.

Truly, there is no wrong answer in picking a college. You need to make the best decision 

for yourself, not following the advice of people who it will not impact. 

   As a senior in high school, the majority of us have never even had the chance to vote 

yet. How are we supposed to be trusted with making the adult choice for our own future without the ability to have adult privileges like voting, drinking, and going to 18+ festivals and events?  

   There are options — you can always switch your major, which a majority of people do 

within their college career. Another option is always transferring schools. Realistically, college credits are college credits. And whether you get them from an Ivy League institution or a community college, they are going towards your future in a positive manner either way. 

   By looking at college in a no-pressure, no mistakes environment, the stigma and fear 

around it is removed, allowing you to make a decision in a less erratic way. 

   And finally, it is okay to not know. 

   Between COVID and everything else, it is almost impossible to know what you want, and that is perfectly fine. Your opinion is the one that truly matters.