Ivy League colleges should not be social expectation

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Ivy League colleges should not be social expectation

Natalie Glick, Deputy Editor

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“You’re the exception to every rule when it comes to getting into college.” This sentence was told to me by one of my close friends. I never thought about myself in the manner of an exception to rules when it came to the college process. It felt like I was being told that I didn’t deserve to get into college, and that it was an easy process for me. 

This comment brought the question, “Why are there social rules when it comes to college at Lab?” to my mind. Furthermore, “Why are there social rules about the classes and activities I need to take to get into college?” Being on a university campus and attending a school that is considered a college preparatory school creates a social pressure when it comes to college. 

Throughout high school, and even parts of middle school, my education was about getting into college. I never felt like I was going to school to learn or to become a better citizen of the world. It was simply about getting into college, which is an issue with this school. High school as a whole shouldn’t be just about getting into college, it should be about learning just for the sake of learning and growing as a person. 

It started in freshman year, when I would hear so many of my peers talk about getting into Ivy League schools. It felt that was the social expectation here. They said they were going to take X class so an Ivy would want them. For some students, those eight schools would be a perfect fit, and they would love it there. 

I am not one of those students. 

But I have always felt there was a social force telling me I wasn’t good enough because I didn’t want to go to one of these schools. This is an issue because I wouldn’t have been happy at one of these schools. It feels like I am constantly around people who deem the Ivies the end-all and be-all of schools and don’t understand how these schools might not be the best fit. 

Instead, I found a school that has already empowered me. Mount Holyoke College offered everything I was looking for in a school. It has small class sizes, access to professors and a wonderful campus. I couldn’t be more excited to be attending this college after I take a gap year with an internship abroad.

We shouldn’t celebrate a school simply because it was deemed “the best” by an outside organization. Instead, we should celebrate students being happy with their choice of school no matter its rank.

By creating the social environment that focuses on college rather than just learning, we create an over-competitive environment for students. We spend too much time comparing one another rather than celebrating the successes of our peers. As a school we need to stop measuring success based on where students go to college, and instead we need to start celebrating the diversity of learning and interests that Lab fosters.