The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

Letter to the reader 2024
Personal Finance 101

College Pressure is Too High

Colleen Mullins
Many students stress out as they look through rankings and lists of colleges to apply to, along with the added pressure from parents, peers, and teachers.

Whether it’s the practice SAT, finals, the real SAT or the application process itself, college always occupies the thoughts of students at LHS.

The pressure of college is different for everyone, but there is a general consensus that it is prevalent. As higher-tier colleges become increasingly more competitive, many students, teachers, and parents place even more importance on college at a young age. This, in turn, causes students to face more pressure to succeed in high school and apply to top colleges (with low acceptance rates).

Although college has meaningful value, it’s fair to question whether students face too much of a burden to attend a good college.

The DOI staff believes that there is too much pressure placed on students to attend a good college, and that the focus starts too early during (or in some cases, before) high school. Many freshmen students have college in the back of their mind and may start focusing on their GPA or testing scores right away. Programs like Link Crew can reinforce this by constantly talking about preparing for college; even though the goal may be to lessen stress levels, many times it does the opposite.

Many members of DOI agreed that although students begin thinking about college during freshman year, the real pressure hits at the beginning of junior year as standardized testing (whether ACT or SAT), AP classes, and college visits all suddenly become prominent. DOI thinks that college pressure can act as a positive force by increasing student motivation and work ethic, however, this is not always the case.

In general, most teenagers are more stressed than they should be; according to a study published in 2014 by the American Psychological Association, teens, on a scale of 1 to 10, say they felt a 5.9 regarding stress, when the healthy number is 3.9. The pressure of college does not help lower this stress number.

The level of stress may be even higher for LHS students. Several DOI staff members stated that because Libertyville is such an affluent community with great educational institutions, students are expected to be higher achievers than in other places. For many, this means expectations of going to high-ranked schools.

As a staff, DOI agreed that the majority of pressure comes from the students themselves. Many LHS students, whether trying to make their parents proud or meet their own high standards, face serious pressure to go to a reputable school.

Additionally, the DOI staff believes that the friends students surround themselves with have a large affect on how pressure impacts them. If a friend group is very driven, then a student is more likely to compete and feel pressure to do as well as others. With so many students applying to high-tier schools such as The Ivies, this can cause a lot of stress and pressure for students who are trying to keep up. In fact, many DOI members asserted that at LHS, there is stigma towards students who don’t apply to “prestige” schools, which can cause some students to feel bad about themselves.

The DOI staff agreed that college definitely matters, but its importance depends on the individual and their future plans. In turn, the staff agreed that the value of attending a strong college does not justify the pressure students face every day.

Drops of Ink concluded there is too much pressure placed on LHS students to attend a strong college and there is not enough emphasis placed on telling students to do what they want. LHS students should work hard to succeed while remembering that there will be many different opportunities that will allow them to make their mark in the world, regardless of where they go to college.

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The student news publication of Libertyville High School
College Pressure is Too High