The Tower Pulse

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The problem with prestige

In ‘Legally Blonde’, Elle makes it to Harvard. In ‘Gossip Girl’, the series ends with Serena and Blair going to Columbia. In the media we consume, we frequently watch the main characters enter prestigious universities, and through that media, the reputation of these Ivy League schools grows larger and larger. With a popular name and title comes a lot of conversation, universities like Harvard, Cornell or UPenn are subject to a lot of misconceptions especially when it comes to their impact.

Joshua Sonnenberg ’25












Maybe somebody has heard of Harvard, but what is the true value of Harvard? Since when did Ivy League’s become the goal and when did that education become the highlight of a resume in some eyes? A myriad of things impact the ultimate decision of which school you will attend after graduation, such as: finances, personal preferences and major. Some may even decide not to go to a selective school and instead take a gap year or start working upon graduation. No matter all of these things, if you possess a strong work ethic, you can make the most of whatever situation you find yourself in.

We at The Tower believe that no matter what school you attend, you can build a reputation and make connections with other students or leaders in your field that can benefit you. Networking and internships are not exclusive to larger universities; opportunities can be found anywhere. Especially in the final two years of high school, students become honed in on numbers and how they will affect their future. The fixation of results and how little things add up begins to weigh a person down and it’s not something that should be taken so seriously. Numbers matter, but experiences and communication also hold significance. It’s a harsh contrast from what students perceive as important, mostly because of the dialogue that surrounds the application process, but it is true.

Society marvels at the concept of Ivy League acceptance and its promised level of higher education. While those schools are very respectable, students need to start being fair to themselves and realize that “ivy or broke” is unrealistic and unhealthy.

In Grosse Pointe, you could say our version of an Ivy League for the majority of graduates is the University of Michigan. It’s many kids dream school due to its high ranking athletics, academic programs, and numerous other factors. Every year on decision day at South, many seniors will sport a wolverine shirt and South will regularly send a large group of graduates to the university. Due to its close proximity, it has become the reach that many fantasize of and it’s always in the conversation when discussing college applications due to its prominent recognition in our area and the high expectations among our students. In a way, a lot of kids grow up with the university through tailgates and other events. However, We at The Tower believe prestige doesn’t always equal prominence or success for an individual in the short or long term. There are so many other great schools in the midwest and in our state specifically.

Furthermore, success can be reached from the lowest of caverns. It’s not something that’s defined by someone’s origins or your prior education. What someone has currently accomplished only means as much as they make of it. If at this point in time someone is looking for college and doesn’t think an Ivy is realistic or desirable, that’s okay. Later in life, established connections and work experience will likely be stronger for a resume than where you received higher education. Ivies are an environment not suited for everyone. We at The Tower emphasize the importance of finding a college not based on name value but rather the value it could provide to your character, health and future.

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About the Contributor
Joshua Sonnenberg ’25
Joshua Sonnenberg ’25, Graphics Editor
Joshua Sonnenberg ’25 has a lot of unique hobbies, such as building his own computer, participating in lots of running, and frequently adding to his comic book collection. His love for drawing however is what inspired him to become Graphics Editor for The Tower. “I love having the opportunity to publish both written and artistic works in the paper,” Sonnenberg said. The second year staffer is never seen without wired headphones, which usually have boygenius playing. Sonnenberg can almost always be found uniquely making his graphics on his phone instead of the typical iPad.

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