Now that I am becoming a high school junior, the college application process is around the corner. I see my friends enrolled in 6-7 AP classes, including ones such as AP Human Geography, which have no real connection to their respective futures nor to their genuine likes. In addition, they are applying for internships at popular research institutions and do secretly realize they hold no bona fide interest in the topics offered by those research institutions.
If this is not enough, they are engaged in sports of every season, even in sports they do not relish, and are managing 12 clubs and more. They know they will struggle. One characteristic these activities have in common is that they are done for the mere purpose of impressing notable colleges. Such worry about college selections requires the suppression of one’s authentic enthusiasm and demands a persona of artificial excellence.
One characteristic these activities have in common is that they are done for the mere purpose of impressing notable colleges.
It emotionally dispirits me to witness high schoolers take part in countless activities and intellectually-arduous academics only to gain admission into an acclaimed educational institution. They have stopped pursuing their true passions because their actual hobbies, such as dancing or makeup application, may not be deemed admirable or respectable.
Hence, they are partaking in fancy-named activities and are jeopardizing their mental and physical health (including sleep and stress management), along the way. Why are we doing this? Why do we not perceive the importance of our happiness and inner peace?
Does admission into a notable college guarantee lifelong fulfillment? It certainly does not. Why are we gambling with our emotions for inauthentic elation, something oh-so worldly? Are not their experiences that lie beyond the bullet points for insincerely-emphasized resumes?
Is this youth expected to be a leader of tomorrow? Is this youth expected to creatively combat the troubles of what lies ahead? Is this youth expected to RUN the globe of the coming times?
Why are we gambling with our emotions for inauthentic elation, something oh-so worldly?
Who is responsible for this undesirable molding of our minds? Is it due to parental or societal pressure? What is more critical than the identification of the cause is to admit that there’s a problem in need of attention. Current high schoolers are endangering their mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical stabilities for college admissions.
I understand children’s desires to make their parents proud through successful placement into respected institutions, but by following the typical face of brilliance, they are undermining their crucial creativity and confidence.
No matter what they be, I encourage students to follow their original fascinations, captivations, and attractions, which will cultivate their genuine personalities and give them durable self-assurance.