The Declaration of Independence
December 6th, 2016
The Declaration of Grayson Rosenberg, exhausted student.
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one person to declare her independence from the preoccupation of the college prep culture, and to escape the American college preparation pressures, it is an inevitable measure that must be carried out, in order that American teenagers can live their lives.
Because the society that I live in places so much importance on college acceptance and the steps to get there, I refuse to live under the pressures that are presented to me every single day, those put there by others in my society. To prove that this is a necessary separation, let the following facts be known.
The college application process pits peers against each other, teaching them to treat everything like a competition.
Families spend copious amounts of time and money to prepare kids for the SATs and ACTs, which are supposed to represent all of a person’s book-smarts. Therefore, the tests don’t show a representation of what the student already knew, but what they learned in a short period of time for the sake of the test. Also, a written test can not analyze a student’s full abilities in all areas.
College tours and applications take up so much time that they end up taking away from the actual learning in classes.
There is so much stress for students in the process: the stress of SATs, ACTs, and other standardized tests, the stress of deciding which colleges to apply to and/or tour, the stress of writing the applications, and the stress of waiting to find out if you were accepted.
Watching all of your friends get accepted into schools and still waiting to see if any schools want you can completely undermine a person’s confidence.
The fact that a student’s fate for the next four years, and possibly the rest of his/her life (depending on the outcome), rests in the hands of some admissions officer puts so much pressure on the student.
If someone were to try to get through the college application process without using tutors for the tests or competing with others to get the best scores, they would not be accepted into any of their top choice colleges, which further proves that there is no way to avoid the college prep environment.
Students complain about the above list all the time. I have seen examples directly from my peers. Students say how they could not finish work on time because they had to finish their applications, or that they couldn’t do what they wanted to because they had to study or do homework. No matter how many times we mention this, neither our teachers, nor our parents, nor the admissions officers acknowledge that fact and try to help rid us of the pressure.
Because of all of this, it is necessary for me to declare my independence from the college prep culture, so that I might enjoy my high school life, and stay true to what I need for myself for at least the next three years.