The college admissions process is often a part of the journey from adolescence to adulthood. While applying to college can be exciting, it is also stressful for many students. Numerous teenagers spend the bulk of their high-school years preparing for the college admissions process. Although students may be working toward college acceptance, they are sometimes negatively impacted by the college admissions requirements.
The growing expectation for academic excellence and the development of impressive skills and interests has become overwhelming for many students. Students often spend their days building their college resume by attending clubs, playing sports, working community service, or staying up late to study for exams. Although students may be working toward their college admissions requirements, they may experience negative effects, such as sleep deprivation and fatigue.
Due to their developmental stage, teenage students are motivated by acceptance and positive image. However, the college admissions process can induce feelings of inferiority in students. The college admissions process forces students to deal with unwanted advice, shame or invasion of privacy brought on by external influences, such as high school administration, admissions boards and their peers. This competitive environment may cause teenagers to doubt themselves and their capabilities, negatively affecting their self-esteem.
The college admissions process can negatively affect students' learning experiences as high school becomes a competitive training session for most high school students. Often overlooking the value of the high school experience, students become consumed with the "survival of the fittest" mentality, which negatively affects the quality of their high school experience.
Many students work diligently to meet the requirements of well-known, prestigious universities. Students pursue acceptance to these universities because of the social status they expect to receive and prestigious careers they expect to enter. This reasoning discourages students from pursuing admissions to colleges that are better suited to certain careers, such as service fields. Thus, the students learn to make decisions based on status, not their own intrinsic interests and abilities.
Acceptance to highly competitive institutions can foster a negative, elitist attitude among certain students. Gaining admission to prestigious universities often inflates self-esteem and generates feelings of superiority. While it can be helpful for students to experience pride and celebrate their accomplishments, this new-found sense of self can negatively impact their ability to be compassionate and empathetic for those with diverse backgrounds. Consequently, college admissions requirements can widen the gap between students who are privileged and those who are not.
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