Down the downtrodden path of success

The Tower Staff

In the midst of college application season, many students find themselves in a time of reflection on past high school years, often paired with a stressful look into the future. Within a lot of these students applying to college is the pressure of getting into the “best” school, following the path that their parents or siblings took and overall giving up their own wants and goals to please a societal or familial standard.

According to a poll from Gallup, 70 percent of surveyed high school students who had at least one parent attend college felt pressure to also attend a “good” college. Although these influences can often be helpful and encouraging towards students, we at The Tower believe that this shouldn’t be the sole reason to decide on college and postgraduate choices.

Going to college, especially in communities like Grosse Pointe, is often considered the normal and acceptable path for students to take upon their high school graduation. Those attending more competitive schools are placed at the top of the social ladder. However, this mindset only adds to the stresses and pressures on students to follow this path, often neglecting to even consider pursuing a future they are truly passionate about.

We at The Tower believe that students should be reminded that a college or other paths do not define them and do not dictate their societal status. Instead of settling for these unfair expectations, students should consider what is right for them and pursue a path that encompasses their aspirations and goals.

Along with these overarching pressures of attending certain colleges, to reach such expectations, many students spend their high school years joining clubs and enrolling in classes that will enhance their chances of being accepted into these schools or programs. This limits their opportunity to pursue activities of interest to them or allow them to explore options to find a certain path that they are actually attracted to.

According to a survey on The Tower Instagram, 90 percent of South students who responded said they feel pressure to take certain classes and join clubs and activities for the sole purpose of helping them get into college. We at The Tower believe that although it is important to get involved in high school and challenge yourself in classes, students should involve themselves in things because of their actual interest over anything else. High school should be a time to test out new interests and indulge in those that are already known, allowing students to form an idea of what they find appealing for their future.

We at The Tower believe it is important for students to take a step back and truly consider all of their postgraduate options and remember that each student is different in their desires and abilities. Whether that final decision is applying to any level of college or university, attending trade school, joining the military or another path, students should make that choice based on their wants and needs, and not the pressures of those around them.