The Admissions Mania

The Admissions Mania

Shalaka Madge

Every year, the months of October, November, and December see anxious seniors and their stressed parents frantically trying to create the perfect applications for their dream colleges.

In his book, Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania, noted New York Times columnist Frank Bruni addresses the parents and students who have their sights set on some of the most prestigious universities in the country; he emphasizes that there are countless paths to success besides going to a “brand-name” university.

In a startling passage in his book, Bruni discusses the academic backgrounds of the 2014 Fortune 500 CEOs. Of the top ten, only one was an alumni of an Ivy League University. The rest hailed from University of Arkansas; the University of Texas; the University of California, Davis; the University of Nebraska; Auburn; Texas A&M, the Kettering University; the University of Kansas; and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. This proves that as long as students work hard wherever they go, they can create a bright future for themselves.

According to Ms. Rivera, Morris Hills Supervisor of Guidance, the admissions mania is only going to get worse. She rightly pointed out that sometimes students see the acceptance or denial as a sign of whether they will be successful in the future. “What can get better,” she said, “is how we handle [the mania].” Ms. Rivera urges students who have decided on a school to ask: “Why is that your dream school? How did that become your dream school?” She cautions students that though it is great to aim high, oftentimes the reality may not match the dream.

Countless anecdotes show that it is not the university that leads a student to success, but the student who takes advantage of available resources who will lead himself to success. In fact, rejection from one college should not considered as a student’s doom. It should be seen as something that pushes the student on the right path, or as Ms. Rivera considers it, a “personality-builder.”

It is understandable that when college admission decisions are released, the admitted students feel elated while those rejected feel sad. However, both the elation and depression should be momentary; as Frank Bruni rightly concludes, “there’s no single juncture, no one crossroads, on which everything hinges.”