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Ivy League Problems
September 27, 2022
College. A word that can bring up so many emotions, some happy, sad, nostalgic, anxious, stressful, and exciting. For some people, college is the biggest decision of their lives, with so many possibilities, and options. From state schools to private schools, big or small, sports and academics, and of course the Ivy leagues; the most prestigious schools in the country, with the smartest, most influential, and special people. Some people have even dedicated their lives trying to get into these schools. So, what are the mental effects on these kids trying to get into such prestigious schools?
Annalee Nissenholtz, the director of college counseling for Interface Education Services, has spent 12 years being a college counselor for Ladue Public Schools; she also has over 40 years of college counseling experience. Nissenholtz said, “They are wasting their life when they should be enjoying their high school experience and taking advantage of all the activities and programs that the high school offers.” While kids consume themselves with academics, Nissenholtz believes there could be an impact on student’s mental health, “I think that it can have a really detrimental effect on a student who normally would be mentally healthy and happy, because some students put so much weight on their shoulders thinking that it’s the only way they can prove themselves,” said Nissenholtz. Many reasons kids feel so stressed is because of the pressures of trying to be the best of the best. According to Powerful Prep, Ivy league schools have an acceptance rate of just above 9%. “We estimate that over three quarters of the students who apply for admission to Yale are qualified to do work here” according to the Yale administration. But since there is such a little acceptance rate, these students are not accepted. “The kids become depressed and emotionally upset over something that is beyond their control,” said Nissenholtz.
Parents are also hurting their children’s mental health too. Many parents use where their kids go to college as a reflection of who they are, and how well they raised their children. “In addition to all the other things that are weighing on students, now they also have to worry about their appearances,” said Nissenholtz. Of course this is not good for a student’s well-being, having to constantly prove that they are better to people that should love and support them no matter what. This could push kids into career paths and classes that they may not want to do, causing them to get sad or depressed because they are not happy.
So how could parents make the college decision process better? Parental support. Parents who support and try to help their kids in any way they can without judgment, and help them through these difficult times can be very beneficial to their kids’ mental and physical health. “Really think about your child and your child’s personality and support your child’s choices with enthusiasm and excitement, support and trust that your child has good judgment,” said Nissenholtz, “also don’t let your application for colleges affect everything you do in high school, it’s a time to explore and find out what you want to do, so do it.”