Don’t Ask Me About College!

Students having to deal with classes and applications shouldn't have to deal with the stress of personal inquiries.

Grace Berigan, Editor in Chief

The questions began as early as my freshman year. Since then, they’ve only gotten worse. It’s the dreaded go-to of nosy adults everywhere: “So where are you going to college?” The truthful response to this question is one I’m sure the adults don’t want to hear: “I don’t know.” Once the question is asked, I feel compelled to divulge the very personal details of my college application process.The truth is, it really isn’t anyone’s business. Whether well-intentioned or not, these types of questions can come off as judgemental and competitive. 

 

If years of schoolwork, standardized testing, and familial expectations aren’t enough,

knowing where everyone else is applying multiplies the sense of competition and anxiety. This pressure can come from other students who are anxious to either fit in or feel superior to their peers. Senior Charlie Sewell says the culprits are often his parents’ friends: “I feel the most stress from them. They’re not trying to be malicious. They’re just curious about the lives of their friends’ kids.” Though he recognizes these good intentions, Sewell is not immune to their effect: “I feel like I’m just annoyed answering the same thing over and over again… I don’t have a plan laid out, so that adds to the stress.” 

 

Alice Taylor (12) has a more passionate approach to prying adults; “It stresses me out, it makes me sad, it makes me feel like I’m only worth what I’m doing in the near future,” Taylor said enthusiastically, “It makes me feel like I don’t have an option besides college.” In Western culture, students feel pressure to attend a four year college immediately after high school. However, this trend does not apply to all students. Assuming that a senior is applying to school in a casual conversation can offend rather than break the ice.

 

Henry Davies (12) shares Taylor’s feelings; “It’s kind of terrible. I hate it. It makes me feel like I’m not doing something right when they ask me something I’m not a hundred percent certain of.” It’s easy to feel overwhelmed during a process as intense and personal as college applications. Though writing off college discussion as a complete taboo would be a severe action to take, it’s important not to push when discussing the topic. As the student, it is entirely acceptable to answer questions with, “I’m sorry. I just really don’t feel like talking about it.”