The pressure to get into college might not be so good


Bella Beck

Sydeny Lewis is crossing her arms with a composition notebook.

Pressure to get into a “good” college has only increased over the past couple of years. Students feel the stress and strive to look impressive on their college applications. To boost their resume, students join organizations or work for awards only because of the effect it will have on their college applications.

From what I’ve seen, organizations and clubs like DECA, NHS and Key Club are mostly comprised of people who don’t actually care about business or volunteer hours. The only reasons they are there is to look good on paper for colleges.

Not only does the pressure to get into a “good” college have a large impact on mental health in high schoolers, it drives the already competitive nature of getting into college. To so many, getting into a “good college” is important. Students feel pitted against their classmates to achieve a certain status of college acceptance.

Last time I checked, getting into college is an achievement, no matter what its status is. Because of the competitive nature of post-high school decisions, students over commit to advanced classes, extra-curriculars, jobs and volunteering. This much stress constantly on the shoulders of teenagers drives already worsening mental health into a deeper spiral.

For those who recognize that there is a problem and want to seek help through a counselor or therapist are often the people who have so much responsibility and stress that they don’t have time to go see a therapist.

In high school self-care barely exists. Every minute between the first day of freshman year and the day college applications are submitted is spent at school or at an activity that students are told will help them get into college.

This idea raises two questions. What happens to the students who do everything “right” and still don’t get into their dream school? What happens to the students who care more about their mental health than their extra-curriculars? Do they not get to go to a “good college” or post-high school option?

I don’t know if there is a solution, but something must be done to combat the decaying mental health of high school students and lessen the stress of getting into the ideal college because in reality, there is no such thing. Do your best and take care of yourself now because who cares what college you get into if your mental health doesn’t allow you to make it there.