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OPINION: Take college acceptances with a grain of salt

Some students might receive many acceptance letters while others receive none
Some students might receive many acceptance letters while others receive none.

By Meghan Bobrowsky,
BlueDevilHUB.com Multimedia and Social Media Editor-in-Chief–

“Congratulations! We’re excited to welcome you to the class of 2021.”

This message is what all seniors hope to read when we open our college portals. Some students will excitedly feast their eyes on celebratory messages while other students will struggle for a single acceptance letter. So if you receive a life-changing acceptance email in your inbox, think twice before posting on social media or bragging to your friends.

According to their website, Stanford University has one of the lowest rates of acceptance in the country at 4.8 percent for 2016. University of California, Merced, on the other hand, admitted 73.7 percent of applicants who applied for the 2016-17 school year.

These two universities magnify just part of the range of schools that Davis High students attend after graduation. For some parents of students, graduating high school itself is the highest level of education they pursued. For others, high school was a prologue to their additional four or however many years of schooling.

Of Davis High’s 2016 graduating class of 513 students, a quarter (129 students) chose to attend one of the ten University of California campuses, while another quarter (123 students) chose a two-year college or vocational program and an additional 20 percent (100 students) picked a California State University. Other students’ selected colleges can be seen in the chart at right.screenshot-2017-01-03-21-39-31

Six percent of graduating students did not attend college but instead followed alternative career paths such as entering the workforce or joining the military, according to DHS’ website.

Clearly, not every student dreams of a degree from Dartmouth, but some do study sleepless night after night in hopes of transforming that dream into a reality. These students likely applied Early Action or Early Decision to their schools of choice.

Generally, students use this opportunity to apply to their reach schools, which can ultimately lead to crushed spirits or tears of joy depending on the content of the letter they receive.

This year, Harvard University admitted 14.5 percent of the 6,473 Early Action applicants, which amounted to 938 students, according to the Harvard Gazette, the weekly newspaper published by the Harvard News Office. While 14.5 percent is significantly higher than the overall acceptance rate of 5.4 percent, the number is so minute that some students still find themselves faced with rejection.

Adding to the environment of anxiety and disappointment, one student’s reach school might be another student’s safety school; another reason to take caution when rejoicing. I have heard students who take nearly all the AP and honors courses offered repeatedly bash certain California public schools, and I want to urge my peers to think about how that would feel to our classmates who are interested in those campuses. Every school has strengths, and California public schools are good schools. So there is no reason to talk negatively about those or any other colleges.

I was accepted to my preferred school and immediately posted on Facebook. I shared the news around my friend group and regretted the decision almost instantly. Only one of my friends had also received an acceptance letter. One friend had been deferred, and another friend had not been accepted to any schools yet.

I tried to place myself in their shoes and imagine how I would feel hearing about their college acceptance. Instead of being happy to hear about their news, I could easily picture a swirl of emotions including jealousy and anxiety inside of me. Now, I am more conscious about what I say regarding college.

So yes, you have every right to be proud of your accomplishments and celebrate, but be considerate of the people around you who are still wishfully waiting on those acceptance letters. Go right ahead and put “Columbia ‘21” in your Instagram bio, but do not talk excessively about your soon-to-be home in front of friends who are still waiting to hear from colleges, and absolutely, do not demean other schools. Ever.

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