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The Good, the Bad, the College Admissions Culture…

the good, the bad, the college admissions culture

The Good, the Bad, the College Admissions Culture…

College admissions, like life, is an inevitably long, arduous struggle to some highly unpredictable outcome. You persist, put your best effort in, and hope for the best as you should. There’s nothing wrong with investing in choices that will shape the next 4 years of your life. The problem happens when college admissions become your life.

It’s March, and those decisions are coming. When my friends post their decisions on Instagram, I can’t help but feel jealous at their freedom. I’m longing for a taste of acceptance, that feeling when the work you put in finally culminates to a grand success. Personally, I think the holistic college admissions system is a net benefit that encourages us to explore our passions and improve ourselves.

Still, I am very aware of the stress and pain involved. A few days ago, one of my friends messaged me in distress, proclaiming that he lost all hope and “college was his only passion” after a tough competition season. I immediately messaged him back with encouragement, and my equally conflicted thoughts about college admissions. After chatting about our hopes and worries, I felt understood. I also realized how much my friends and I discuss college admissions. We weren’t seniors, but college was undoubtedly one of our Roman Empires and discussing our admissions plans became a form of community bonding.

Finding Community

On a wider scale, it is pretty common for students to discuss college admissions and ask for advice online. One of the most popular forums about college admissions is the Applying to College Subreddit, affectionately known as A2C. Addition to the usual information channels, there have also been plenty of discourse about the admissions culture itself. A motivational post praising ambition, hard work, and impressive resume toppers would follow a post reminding users to forget about college and take care of their mental health. At least once a week, users will debate about whether prestige matters or not. On Wednesdays, we settle our differences and enjoy some super hilarious posts as a tradition.

While A2C is a supportive community, many students have also noticed that social media increases the stress and pressure surrounding college admissions. Many A2C users have criticised the toxicity of college decision videos and admissions advice Youtube Channels.

  • LimmyTalks (, which showcases impossibly good application profiles, has been under fire for destroying the self-esteem of students and accused of creating fake profiles for garnering views.
  • People even complain about channels with good intentions such as the ever-popular Gohar’s Guide ( for lacking real substance. I don’t mind if their videos appear in my Youtube shorts feed, but I know that it’s time to take a break when I see college videos all over my recommendations.

So, what are your thoughts? Do you think the college admissions culture is getting out of hand?

By the way, best of luck to the class of 2028!

If you’re interested in how to start your own college application process, check out this article here!

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