Stop asking seniors about college

Mischa Trainor, Editor-in-Chief

As an underclassman, I looked forward to senior year. It was presented as the light at the end of the tunnel after the notorious junior year. It was supposed to be a time full of fun senior traditions and bonding with my grade in the alcove. I, however, have felt the pressure of the college admissions process at the center of almost every conversation.

Whether it’s talking about college visits, sharing the status of applications during a free period or trying to guess where everyone is applying, college talk is everywhere.

While it’s natural to want to rely on friends for comfort or to share excitement about our future, it sometimes gets to be too much. College applications and meetings already take up so much of our time and many of us are consumed with anxiety about whether we’ll get into our top choices, so why do we let this stressful topic seep into even more of our days?

College talk can also become competitive. It is no secret that there are overlaps in the schools where seniors are applying, and oftentimes talking about who is applying where results in people trying to deem who is “smarter” or has better statistics, like GPA or ACT. 

The competition can get so toxic that students might even try to verbally dissuade others from applying to schools because they want a greater chance of being accepted. This practice is incredibly harmful and could be avoided if people stopped constantly discussing where they were applying.

The reality is that we will not get to read everyone’s applications and that college decisions are based on so much more than just grades and test scores, so we are not capable of knowing who really deserves to get in. Rather than worrying about comparing ourselves to others, we should be rooting for our peers to get into their top choices and be happy for them.

This is not just a problem with students. I am not alone when I say I am tired of being asked where I am applying at every Shabbat dinner or having to share my college plan with every single adult I ever talk to.

While it’s hard to avoid talking about such a big part of our lives right now, I urge people to take a step back and try to give yourself and any seniors you know a break from the college talk. There is so much more happening in our lives. Focusing solely on college will cause us to miss out on everything happening in the present.

If you really need to ask where someone is going to college, don’t make it a public event. Don’t ask loudly in front of an audience, or in a way that can publicly embarrass us. And don’t give us a surprised look or disbelieving murmur when we tell you. 

To all the adults reading this article, I have a little piece of advice. For our sanity, please don’t ask us about college. We will let you know when we decide where we’re going, and we may even bring it up with you.   

We only get one senior year and obsessing over college would be a waste. So please, stop talking about college.