I have been doing a lot of thinking about each successive generation of high school seniors and how they make the choice of which college they want to apply to.
I have the opportunity to interact with quite a few high school students and as I parallel my impressions of their high school experience with what I have seen among underclassmen at some Boston schools, I am a but worried.
It seems like with each year, the kids are more and more focused on rankings and names as opposed to what college will actually be a good fit for them. It also seems like the more impressive their resumes get the more lacking they are as individuals ( I mean this in a general sense, not about any child in particular, just trends I see amongst classes). What’s the point of community service if you only do it so that you can impress admissions counselors? Why play a sport for x years if you really hate it? Is it really that necessary to dazzle the admissions boards at ivy-league schools?
I won’t lie and say that my generation was completely above all this. U.S. news rankings ( btw, they were free back then) did play a role in my college selection process. But in the end, what moved me to apply to the places that I did was their educational ethos. I really believed that a small school and a liberal arts education was what would help me develop most as an individual.
ok, I was being a little facetious, my advisor convinced me to apply to two ivys. obviously it didn’t work it with either. Perhaps if I had gotten in to one of them I would have gone, swept away by name rather than what was best for me. BUt, my college was always my first choice (or so I told myself and anyone else who asked). At the end of the day, going there was one of greatest blessings of my life.
If I had gone to an ivy I would have become a pretentious, snobby you know what (not saying that the people who go to those schools are any of those things, I’m just reflecting on how my own ego would have been inflated). But, I was able to learn humility at my college. I was able to learn about what piqued my interest academically. I was able to forge friendships that God willing will last a lifetime.
Why was I able to do those things? Because choosing a college for the most part was not just about going to the school with the best name, it was about going to the school that would make me feel safest, push me out of my comfort zone and challenge me academically.
If an ivy does that for you then fine. But It seems like more and more kids are turning their noses at awesome institutions because they weren’t established before the revolutionary war!….lol.
There is nothing worse than spending four years of your life in place you shouldn’t have been. Well maybe there is: Spending those four years in a place you shouldn’t have been and not even realizing what you missed out on.
(I know I am ending some of my sentences with prepositions… sue me..lol)