By Michael Taszarek ’18
Competition in college admissions between students harms friendships and the overall community.
Every day, Brophy students are surrounded by competition. There is competition in sports, academics and in social settings.
Competition can be very beneficial; in sports, for instance, competition breeds an urge to win and drives players to perform at their best.
Some may argue that academic competition is even a good thing, as it also breeds a culture of success.
College admissions competition within Brophy, however, is very harmful to the community.
Students know the acceptance rates of the schools to which they are applying, and many labor all four years in high school to make their ultimate application the strongest possible, which is a good thing.
The competition becomes harmful, however, during late junior and senior year.
Around this time, students begin to tour schools and go to local information sessions for colleges.
Members of the community begin to realize that they are competing with real people, people with their own ambitions, who have worked hard for a strong admissions profile.
Two different kinds of juniors and seniors begin to emerge in this time period: Those who keep quiet about their test scores, grades and where they are applying, and those who do not.
For the purposes of this article, we will define these test scores, grades and where a student is applying as one’s admissions profile.
Some students openly share their admissions profile and where they are applying, whether it is to compare themselves to the competition or simply to show off. Others, keeping quiet, refuse to share any information.
The discourse between those who share and those who do not can become volatile.
Students who do not want to share their admissions profile feel threatened by those who ask about it, and the students who ask about the other student feel threatened by the fact that the other student is not sharing.
The community and the college prep experience is weakened by encounters like these. As the Brophy community, we are all supposed to support and help each other achieve our goals.
Ultimately, admissions decisions are not made by students, but by a college admissions counselor.
There is no reason to ask students their admissions profiles, as this only breeds competition and makes some students feel threatened. Students can share their admissions profile if they would like, but students should not expect to hear another student’s simply by sharing theirs.
These students need to recognize that others may feel threatened by their boasting and that what they are doing could be destructive.