College talks, keep them to yourselves

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I hate being the one to bring up college. Unfortunately, however, the subject cannot be avoided forever. Don’t worry; I’m not going to talk about the upcoming deadlines or the extensive essays. Rather, I want to address a common issue that I have noticed within our senior student body.
Of course, it is understandable that seniors are talking about the applications and process that each college requires, but too commonly I have heard students say negative things about certain colleges.
Everyone has different standards for the type of college they wish to attend, therefore I understand students having different attitudes toward certain colleges. I think these students, though, need to keep these thoughts to themselves because they can be offensive.
Just the other day I was sitting with a large group of seniors and someone nonchalantly said, “Wait, what is the school that accepts basically everyone?” In my head, I thought of the many colleges that students from New Trier are applying to and couldn’t think of the college that this person was referring to.
From across the room, another person shouted, “I think it’s University of Iowa. I heard that it is so easy to get into.”
At this point, my jaw dropped. Although I am sure that these specific students didn’t mean to come off rude or critical of this school, their comments could have easily offended someone.
Sure, I know many students who have gotten into this university, but that doesn’t mean it is “easy” to get into. It solely means that the students accepted are academically qualified for the school. Just because a school has a higher acceptance rate than others, doesn’t mean that it is easier academically.
From what I have heard, students from New Trier go to schools with a wide range of acceptance rates. By the end of their freshman year, they realize that most of these universities obtain similar academic standards and contain a difficult curriculum. Therefore, in the end, acceptance rates mean very little.
Many students also give some schools the negative title of being a party school. To many parent’s disappointment, any school can become a party school if one really tries. Just because a student goes to a school that has this negative connotation, does not mean that they are a partier.
Students choose a university for the education, not because they want to party every single day. A responsible student can get just as much out of a party school as they can at a “regular school.”
Another thing that frustrates me is when students use the term “safety school” when talking to other students. I know that most students are applying to some safety schools, some target schools, and even some reach schools, but these labels should be kept to oneself.
For all someone knows, the school that they are referring to as a safety may be considered someone else’s reach. If someone said that Syracuse is their safety in front of another student who doesn’t meet the academic standards of that school, they could become less confident with their individual college journey.
Even though college does not seem like a sensitive subject because seniors talk about it, it is. The process is difficult and, honestly, I don’t think a student’s personal experience with it should be publicized to others. Getting into a university is stressful on its own and extra pressure doesn’t need to be added by others’ standards or negative attitudes.
Just make sure that next time you’re talking about colleges with someone else, be careful of what you say and keep an open mind.

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