The Pressures of Acceptance

Original: April 12, 2011 Issue 14

By: Sarah Elborai

Staff Writer


Working hard to get into your school of choice? You aren’t the only one.

Have you ever felt that all the hard work that you have been doing throughout school has not paid well enough? Well, you are not alone.

Many students nowadays are subject to these emotions due to several reasons. Firstly, pressure of university related statistics. For example, in 2010 Georgetown had a 19 percent acceptance rate. If that is not enough of an incentive to keep working and working till the death, then let’s add parental pressure into the equation.

Parents are now raising their children to “please [other] adults, which is unprecedented,” said Marilee Jones, author of “Less Stress, More Success: A New Approach to Guiding Your Teen Through College Admissions and Beyond.”

Jones stated, “The solution is to give kids more freedom, teach them how to create, set up systems for them to fail and to bounce back.” I believe that this is correct. According to Jones and her co-author, Kenneth R. Ginsburg, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the more stress the student has, the more he or she falls ill, physically and emotionally.

“Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” by Amy Chua, talks about the author’s efforts to give her children what she describes as a traditional and strict “Chinese” upbringing and the ways in which these have changed her daughter’s attitudes in life, especially toward education.

The pressures of college admissions fall under a large topic, competition. “When applying to top schools such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, and Columbia, students are competing with every other exceptional student in the world—the competition is greater than ever.” said Eva Eskow, from the Lamp Online website.

This leads students to become more stressed and concerned. As a result, students lose track of where they want to be and aim for overwhelming expectations, causing some of their hopes to be ruined by rejection.

The Lamp Online website also states that in the competitive process students must be open-minded.

“If a student approaches the college admissions process with a realistic attitude and reasonable options, they shouldn’t feel overwhelmed or discouraged.”

There are over 3,000 colleges in the USA. One does not necessarily have to apply to the most prestigious school in America.

The competition is unreal. The uncertainty is overwhelming. But the stress is certainly beatable by strong, desirable, and able students and can be overcome.