@Allie_Sez #CollegeNameGame- Prestige of universities outweighs all else in decision-making process

by Allison Begalman
The lives of high school students are consumed by one word: college. For most teenagers, this is a topic that appears to surface in almost every conversation—seemingly controlling our lives. We might as well physically label ourselves with our college decision  as parents, neighbors, teachers and even our orthodontists have  poked and prodded us with questions about our future plans.

They, along with the grueling competition, have effectively turned the college admission and application process into a heavy burden that has ultimately stripped us of our identities.
Juniors will  quickly become familiar with the dehumanization attached to the application process.
“It is strictly a numbers game. For example, three years ago, Rutgers implemented the no-paper rule, meaning I don’t even send a transcript or recommendation letter to them,” said guidance counselor Candace Kilmer.
The belief that intellectual capacity is indicated by the prestige of a university is overwhelming.
“It’s hard living in a place where people associate you [as a person] with where you are going [to school]. Throughout the whole process, I felt I was being judged for where I was being accepted and where I wasn’t,” said senior Alex Ehrenthal.
The effects of this thinking are evident. Students feel stressed about applying to college and about making their college decisions, simply because the people around them are, essentially, working against them.
“Sometimes in a conversation, I won’t even get a ‘How are you?’ or a ‘How is everything going?’ The discussion to goes immediately to ‘Where are you going to go to school next year?’” said senior Raushan Palejwala.
The taxing nature of the application process certainly does not improve the situation.
In 2008,   New York Times writer Tara Parker- addressed in an article the adverse physical and emotional effects on students during their junior and senior years of high school. “Students complain about lack of sleep, stomach pain and headaches, and certain mental health problems,” said Pope.
Senior Andrew Wilson has also felt the effects. “The chaos that comes with making a decision that seems as though it will affect the rest of your life can be stressful,” said Wilson.
The obsession with prestige is felt by the colleges and universities themselves. According to  New York Times writers Richard Perez-Pena and Daniel E. Slotnik, this past January, Villanova University “acknowledged that [it] had misreported some statistics” to U.S. News and World Report for ranking purposes and that “its deception was intentional.”
All we can do is accept the unwarranted identification colleges  impose upon students, and hope that people can look beyond the college name.
“You pick a school that is best for you and everyone else’s opinion shouldn’t affect how you carry yourself,” said Ehrenthal.