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New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

Let’s be considerate of others during college decision season

Stop making assumptions about others post-grad plans
Wall+of+college+flyers+and+information+located+outside+of+the+post-high+school+counseling+office+on+the+second+floor
Dieffenbacher
Wall of college flyers and information located outside of the post-high school counseling office on the second floor

“She’s not even smart. How did she get accepted there?”

“They have a lower GPA than me, and somehow I didn’t get in.” 

“Why would he want to go there? That is not even a good school.”

These are remarks that I overheard at New Trier High School beginning in mid-December as the first wave of college admissions decisions were released. People are constantly comparing themselves to others, attempting to justify someone else’s acceptance or bolster their own sense of worth. Let’s confront the truth: in doing so, you are placing yourself lower than everyone on an imaginary pedestal, showcasing not only a lack of consideration but sheer rudeness.

Next time you overhear someone criticizing an excited senior who got an acceptance letter or finalized their post-grad plans, tell them to mind their own business and do better.

First and foremost, it needs to be reinforced that we rarely, if ever, know the full story of those around us. Jumping to conclusions about someone is not acceptable, no matter if you know the person very well or don’t know them at all. Someone might be really quiet in class or not participate, but this does not mean they aren’t excelling academically. Some may always appear to hang out with their friends for most of the weekend and socialize, but this does not mean they aren’t involved with extracurriculars. Social media and a person’s physical and online presence do not always define one’s true habits, interests, personality, and intelligence. Stop acting like you are smarter or know about someone when, in reality, you are just making assumptions.

In the past as well as this year, I have also heard of seniors creating lists of everyone that they know of applying to the same school, noting down test scores, GPA, and other factors that may determine their admission. It is baffling and quite pathetic that someone would spend time searching for information that isn’t their business, let alone create a whole spreadsheet. And what is the purpose? College admissions are extremely competitive nowadays and seem like a lottery system.

Another bothersome comment is when people question why someone chooses a school because of its rank or acceptance rate. Everyone has their reasons for selecting a school–location, size, program of interest, sports team, and more. Why are we putting people down for being interested in a school and making them feel guilty about their decision? Instead, we should encourage people to follow their passions and pursue what will make them feel happy and thrive post-graduation.

Judging schools solely on their ranking is pointless. Attending any college is an accomplishment, and the experience largely depends on what you make of it and the effort put into the academics rather than the institution’s rank. 

It is also important to acknowledge that college isn’t the next step for everyone, and no one deserves judgment for this decision. Some students may not feel ready for a college atmosphere. Other students may have financial concerns that dictate their choices. Many individuals may take a gap year to work a job, take part in a study abroad program, or embark on a personal passion project; others may seek to join the military. Everyone has their unique path, so respect it.

Next time you overhear someone criticizing an excited senior who got an acceptance letter or finalized their post-grad plans, tell them to mind their own business and do better.

View Comments (3)

Comments (3)

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  • J

    Julie Hartvigsen
    Feb 4, 2024 at 8:41 am

    Excellent article!

    Reply
  • M

    Michelle Lafaye
    Feb 1, 2024 at 7:23 pm

    This is the BEST article I’ve read in a long time!!
    Amazing job, Kate!!

    Reply
  • M

    Marilyn Ratkin
    Feb 1, 2024 at 5:29 pm

    Kate…you ROCK!!

    Reply